Communicating with residents – update from our May Big Door Knock

Every few months, we carry out our Big Door Knock, where colleagues, including members of our Executive Team and Board, go out to neighbourhoods to talk to residents so they can tell us first-hand how they feel about their homes and how we’re doing as their landlord.

In May 2024, we carried out our Big Door Knock in Westmill, Hitchin. Colleagues knocked on 798 doors and spoke to 202 residents.

We focused this Big Door Knock on our communication with residents. We can see from feedback from residents, particularly through the Tenant Satisfaction Measures, that communication is an area with higher resident dissatisfaction, so we used this Big Door Knock to understand more details and focus on the improvements we need to make.

What did we learn?

Why residents contacted us

We started our conversations by asking residents when they last contacted us, and how the communication was throughout that process. The reasons for last contacting us were:

  • New repairs 40% (80 residents)
  • General enquiry about our services 12% (25 residents)
  • Following up on existing repair 11% (22 residents)
  • Queries regarding damp & mould and water & heating were also reasons for contacting us from a smaller number of residents.


We then asked residents to rate the communication by settle during their last contact from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

  • 70% (142 residents) scored settle’s communication 7 or higher and expressing satisfaction when asked to give a comment as to why. Common reasons for this score were clear communication where their queries were directly answered, timely responses & regular updates.
  • 12% (24 residents) remained neutral when asked. Delayed services & the time to get through to us were some of the reasons for this score.
  • 18% (36 residents) scored communication during their last contact at 4 or below. Their dissatisfaction was with waiting times, unclear communication and their service request not being met.

Does settle communicate information residents find important?

  • 62% (125 residents) felt we communicated information that they found important as they scored this question at 7 or higher out of 10. Respondents from this group felt they were kept regularly updated and the responses they received from colleagues were both timely and satisfactory.
  • 21% (35 residents) were neutral (they scored 5 or 6 out of 10). This was due to slower responses and feeling that the information we provided was incomplete or lacking.
  • 17% (35 residents) were dissatisfied (scoring 4 or lower out of 10). Reasons given were feeling that we didn’t respond quickly enough or our communication was unclear.

What can we do to improve?

115 residents responded to our question about where residents feel we can improve.

  • 37% (43 residents) suggested increasing the frequency of communication whether it be throughout a repair or general service updates.
  • 22% (25 residents) asked that we focus more on targeted communication regarding individual service requests.
  • 21% (24 residents) felt it was difficult to get into contact with us either due to long wait times or the lack of a face-to-face channel of communication.

We will use these results as part of our ongoing focus on improving the communications we provide around service requests. Especially to provide more frequent and timely updates and make it easier to get in touch with us. Our May service update includes details on some of the ways we have made it easier to get in touch with us in recent months, including launching a ring back service, reducing the number of days it takes us to respond through our website, relaunching Live Chat and trialling video calling.

Everyone at settle has an objective this year to improve communication with residents. We have shared the results of this Big Door Knock with everyone at settle and emphasise this in one to one conversations with colleagues and our monthly team briefing with all colleagues.


During each Big Door Knock we also check if the residents we speak to have new or existing service requests they would like us to raise or escalate. 46% (94 residents) had an issue they wished to escalate, leaving 54% (108) residents with no immediate concerns. The most common reasons for escalation were existing repairs followed by new repairs.

Have your say

If you would like to share your views on our services – you can tell us what we could do better or when we’ve done something well. More information about our Big Door Knocks is available in our How We Collect Feedback section.