We were introduced to Places for London – The TfL Property Company in 2020 to utilise our Heartbeat methodology as a framework for building customer centricity across the organisation. Following a successful pilot with their Arches portfolio, CGA have since been supporting the organisation’s customer strategy, including an award winning customer centric initiative implemented through the challenging Covid-19 years.


As context, the organisation had been tasked with designing and delivering a new commercial strategy for the organisation, which is unique in that it has a large property portfolio split across a number of sites, uses, and with multiple stakeholders ranging from the Mayor of London to local communities. As a result of that, their objectives are not purely profit driven, but are heavily geared towards delivering positive social impact.

The team was aware of a general need to shift to a more customer-centric approach, as well as a specific requirement to engage retailers in a changed commercial environment where more people were working from home and therefore footfall was reduced at commuter transit points.

In the initial instance, our role was to better understand the existing quality of customer experience at their Arches properties, identifying pain points and recommending solutions.



What became clear from the Heartbeat® findings was that there were definite gaps between what customers wanted from Places for London – The TfL Property Company as a landlord and what they were receiving. A combination of qualitative focus groups and quantitative surveys with employers, employees and internal stakeholders enabled us to develop a series of pragmatic and action orientated recommendations.




One of the key outputs was for an optimal rent strategy that helped renting companies to grow. We also recommended a different approach to segmentation, encouraging the organisation to think about their customers in terms of business maturity, and developing their mindset to offer a more tailored approach to serving renters. Rather than thinking about property asset management, the goal was to think about customer asset management.




As a result of that input there were two immediate outcomes.

Firstly, Covid gave the team confidence to immediately freeze the rent for all tenants and communicate effectively about what they were doing and why. The message was that they understood the challenges their tenants were facing, and that they were going to help them find a way through – it immediately boosted morale and trust in the organisation. The second prominent outcome was that by the first year review they were 200% up on revenue, alongside having improved the quality of service delivery and the structure of the organisation.

From there, the project set the tone for a new customer-led mindset and we were invited to repeat the process for their retail and residential arms. We sought to systematically embed the customer into the way Places for London – The TfL Property Company do business, supported by our Heartbeat® programme and our customer advisory boards for ongoing insights. Furthermore, in 2021 TfL’s property arm was awarded the UK Customer Satisfaction Award from the Institute of Customer Service.

The relationship has since spanned four years, driving systemic change that’s delivering sustainable success, including a significant increase in rental income from their portfolio in the following years.

CGA have been a fantastic partner, advocating a very seamless methodology to provide
information on what our customers think. Most importantly they helped more than that. They have assisted us to understand a better way of approaching how we improve for our customers, something I cannot recommended them enough for.

Siobhan JaredCustomer Performance Manager

We love talking all things customer and employee experience. If you’d like to understand how we can navigate your business through this world, get in touch.

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