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One Housing Group respond to customer needs

Ad Esse at One Housing Group - respond to customer needs

Headline results

  • An agreed way forward for OHG to increase the level of self-service
  • A prioritised list of customers to move to self-service

The client

One Housing Group (OHG) is a housing association, managing 16,000 homes across London and surrounding counties. OHG embarked on a Lean Transformation programme with Ad Esse, called ‘One Future,’ which involved a series of process reviews and improvement activities. A key project was identified as part of One Future, to complete a data analysis exercise. The focus of the work was exploring how customers could access their services in different ways.

The challenge

The main issues were the current lack of modern ways for customers to engage with them and a need to reduce call and email volume into the organisation. The use of new technology, such as web forms and mobile apps, were not being fully utilised, with little data being collated about satisfaction with existing contact methods. They wanted to know if customers could contact them another way, how would they like to do it. The purpose of the project was to conduct a data analysis exercise to understand why residents engage with OHG, and the different ways that residents want to engage digitally (including the ways that OHG want residents to engage). The data gleaned from this work would inform the features of new systems being implemented and OHGs digital engagement strategy.

The approach

A scoping meeting with key stakeholders resulted in a clear set of objectives and required outputs from the project. Following this, the approach involved mobilising an in-house Lean Champion to lead on the data exercise, with Ad Esse providing support at agreed stages. Customer surveys were needed in order to gather information from residents and potential customers. Several types of customer survey were used to conduct this analysis, including paper and online versions, with different sets of questions aimed at different audiences. Other activities involved attending focus groups with existing tenants and leaseholders, alongside collating feedback from the business itself. The output was a short presentation to senior stakeholders and a reference document produced outlining all the analysis.

The results

The main agreements from the data analysis exercise were:

  • OHG should target 18-40 year olds towards moving to self-service (general needs, due to volume); these customers have both access to mobile devices and want to do more activity online
  • The priority services for moving to self-service are repairs and rents (currently two thirds of why residents currently contact OHG):
    • However – if these services are not internally geared towards efficient and effective delivery, there is a risk of creating more failure demand (priority is to understand and reduce failure demand first)
  • There needs to be a strong motivation for people to start using self-service – it needs to be easier than simply picking up the phone to talk to OHG.

“The work undertaken by Ad Esse and our Change Champions has produced invaluable data that is allowing us to focus our investment and energies on what the customer really wants from our next generation self service-portal. This will also guide us to effectively integrate with our back-end databases thereby providing a compelling initial digital offer – that we can continuously enhance.” 

Tony Blows, Chief Information Officer