INVERCLYDE'S largest housing association has won an award for 'excellent customer service'.

The customer experience team from River Clyde Homes claimed the prize at the annual Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Scotland Awards.

Staff say they are delighted by the accolade which comes after a shake-up of the organisation.

Joe Deegan, who manages the team, said: “The excellence in customer services award is a real achievement for the team.

"The aim has always been to keep customers and communities safe.

"Everything we have achieved has been shaped by listening to customer feedback and designing a service that meets the changing needs of our customers and the organisation.

"We are very proud to have achieved this award and we will continue to evolve our services."

Bosses at RCH say that the service provided by the team 'has become the envy of housing associations across Scotland'.

A spokesperson said: "Since its introduction, the team has become the trusted face of the RCH group, with a skills and knowledge base that is second-to-none.

"We acted on customer feedback and developed a team with an extensive local knowledge that is prepared to go above and beyond to deliver a rounded service.

"Demand failure over calls being answered has decreased significantly and customers really appreciate the opportunity to call in with enquiries and to make payments at any time of the night or day.

"The team is fully accredited by HouseMark Scotland for the way it handles complaints and since last year, it has also monitored our CCTV system which has already resulted in over 300 significant incidents being logged."

Meanwhile staff from the RCH financial wellbeing team were highly commended for their work in promoting social inclusion in the district.

The unit has been instrumental in tackling rent arrears over the past 12 months, with the gross amount owed reduced by two per cent.

Jillian Moffat, chair of the River Clyde Homes Board, said: “These awards are amongst the most respected in the country and clearly indicate the step-change that River Clyde Homes has made in recent years to improve services for customers and to provide additional help and assistance when it’s needed most.

"I know that the 24/7 one-stop service is greatly appreciated by our customers.”