Our aspirations of 75% digitalisation

Our aspirations of 75% digitalisation Image

Thousands of pounds, hundreds of hours and, thanks to an increase of more than 50% of our fantastic tenants taking to digital, we have been recognised as one of the best organisations for digital growth in the housing industry.

We were recently ranked number 11 in the Housing Digital list of top 30 digital housing providers and have announced our aim of moving 75% of all customer interactions online by 2023.

Over the last 12 months we have seen a significant increase in registrations for our My Home app, with around 4,000 tenants now signed up, meaning they can access our services at a time to suit them.

During this time new digital rent statements will see an annual saving of over £15,000 in printing costs, and a paper reduction of 47%, with aims to increase this to 70% by 2023.

Our commitment to the environment has also been reflected in a reduced carbon footprint, with increased virtual meetings reducing mileage and carbon emissions with less travel, and a digital sign up process to create a paperless solution to potential tenants applying for a home.

Most recently the team has introduced a pilot virtual repairs service where a member of our maintenance team has a video call to diagnose a repair issue. This allows them to order parts, or in simple repair cases – talk a tenant through the resolution. So far the team are seeing some real positives, with around half of all repairs jobs successfully being trailed using this method.

Mat Ashmore, Head of Technology and Innovation said: “Our biggest digital aspiration as a business is of course that by 2023, 75% of our customer interactions will be online. At the moment we’re at 29%, but our corporate strategies set out a plan to achieve this target.

“By involving tenants in these decisions we’re following our commitment to put them at the heart of what we do, making digital services suitable and above all, accessible.”

Our mantra is to increase digital, but leave no one behind, which is one of the reasons we set up several digital tenant groups, who give feedback on digital services and how this can be made as simple as possible.

Our retirement living schemes have communal computers for tenants to use, and our offices allow customers access to computers and IPads, for those unable to use digital services without support.

Other improvements include:

  • Our automated telephone payments system, which has been running for over a year and has taken 2,106 transactions saving approximately 245 hours of Customer Advisor time
  • We are looking into new ways to use technology in new homes built including BT fibre broadband as standard, USB ports included in electric sockets, supplying the Infrastructure for phone and TV and promotion of digital services in home user guides
  • We’ve made a number of improvements to our online customer portal, making reporting repairs (the bit most accessed by tenants) quicker and easier
  • Staff members are set up to work from anywhere with an internet connection, which has meant they can still deliver essential services throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. This has included additional training, extra kit, improved remote access, new programmes including Microsoft Teams and preparation for returning back to the office with desk booking systems and Video conferencing equipment.

We are setting out a plan to take the positives embraced as a business throughout the pandemic to harness new, more efficient ways of working digitally, using a blended approach with both in person and digital working.

To find out more about our corporate strategies and vision for the future, follow us on social media or check out our website for updates.