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Futr’s UK Housing lead, Kitty Hadaway, recently sat down with Dean Anderson, the Director of Customer Service at Futures Housing to understand their customer centric digital approach. For Futures, their digital strategy is part of their wider Corporate Plan. Its aim is to enable customers to engage with their landlord digitally. It’s not about becoming digital only, but offering more choice to customers, so that they can engage with their landlord in a way that is convenient and easy for them.
However, delivering a digital strategy doesn’t come without challenges. The challenge with many digital transformation initiatives is that often it can be met with resistance, and it can take a long time to get it over the line. In this vodcast, Dean shares his insight on how to deliver an effective customer centric digital strategy. He explains how you can create an effortless user experience to alleviate fears among customers and staff, and how to ensure staff feel part of the journey.
Getting colleagues to champion
At Futures, colleagues are aligned on the vision and plan for the digital strategy from the get-go. Futures has a Change Training Manager who helps colleagues with the roll out of technology and trains people individually on any new tech that’s being implemented. According to Dean, “There needs to be a golden thread to bring colleagues and customers on board with new technology. Colleagues should feel like they are part of the journey, and that the transformation isn’t being done to them.”
Dean explains that often transformation initiatives fail in organisations because employees are disengaged, either because employees don’t want the change, fear it or are excluded from the change process.
To ensure colleagues are engaged, Futures involves colleagues in the design and development of their digital strategy from the start so that the business can successfully build processes around it.
Listening to customer feedback is also, of course, crucial in developing a customer centric digital strategy, even if it means challenging your own perceptions of your service. Dean says, “Even if you think, ‘is that true?’ if customers are saying it, it must be, and we have to look into it and put it right.”
However, the challenge with many customer Voice initiatives is that the loudest customer Voice might lead you down a rabbit hole, which means that issues that are affecting the majority of your customers, may get ignored. So, Dean advice is “To pick out the key themes coming out from customer feedback and address those themes. You have to be conscious that you are addressing the right issues that are affecting the greater good.”