Service delivery and ways of working are changing, in every sector, all over the world. This year proved to be a catalyst for businesses and organisations to revaluate their strategies and processes and consider the future of their service delivery.
The Scottish housing sector proved its resilience and adaptability when the world went into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Housing is a basic necessity, and Scotland’s housing associations understood the importance of continuing to provide support and services for their customers and tenants while, at the same time, ensuring the health and wellbeing of their staff.
Focusing on our members, the following examples demonstrate how they transformed services, from tenancy sign-ups and repairs to welfare services.
Kingdom Housing Association used technology to help tenants fix routine repairs without a member of staff being there in person. This use of augmented reality could be a gamechanger for the future of maintenance services. Read more about the service here.
Allocations, viewings and sign-ups
Ardenglen Housing Association created a YouTube video which explained its tenancy agreement, including terms and conditions, for prospective tenants to view before signing. Watch the video on YouTube.
Virtual viewings were introduced by Sanctuary Housing for potential tenants as well as a new sign-up process, in line with guidance published by the Scottish Government. Click to find out more about the viewing process and sign up process.
Link Housing Association developed a simple sign-up process that can be used while social distancing rules are in place to ensure the safety of both tenants and staff. Allocations and viewing Covid-19 Procedure
Customer support and engagement
Remote welfare support was provided by Wheatley Group advisers. They helped customers with online appeals, set up conference calls with the DWP, provided translation for Polish customers and used FaceTime to help customers make a Universal Credit claim online. Additional information can be found in this article.
Cairn Housing increased the range of channels that customers could use to contact its Cairn Connect customer service team. This included seamless user interfaces for conversational text messaging, social media enquiries, web assistants and enhanced connectivity to existing webchat and self-service systems. Read more here.
Increasing its use of technology has enabled Elderpark Housing Association to understand its tenants’ views. A survey software application has provided it with a range of information that helps it to gain a greater understanding of customer needs. Read more here.
Empowering culture change
In order to create a culture of continuous improvement, Trust Housing Association established an internal team, with staff from across the organisation, in order to build on their skills and provide the opportunity for collaboration and learning in areas such as service design, problem solving and digital technology.
Innovation fun fact
Did you know, Google has the 80:20 rule which means staff must work 80% of the time on the core work they have been employed to do but can spend 20% of their time working on other internal projects that they would not normally be involved in? This increases their experience while creating shared and novel thinking across this organisation.
Read the other articles in this series
- Resiliently redesigning
- Physically distant but virtually accessible – connecting through digital technology
- SFHA associates and third sector partners: supporting the social housing sector
- Supporting our SFHA members during 2020
- A year of creativity, digitalisation and modernisation: SFHA Innovation Programme reflections