Understanding the problem
Councils are responsible for providing repairs to socially rented properties. Most users access the service by phone and it is typically the service with the highest volumes. The national cost of repairs call handling is over £30m per year. It is estimated that only about 50% of calls are for new repairs, implying significant levels of failure demand.
The service is attractive to provide digitally, however when an acceptable telephone channel exists take-up is often low, possibly due to:
- failure demand, with users calling for updates on existing requests
- lack of clarity as to responsibility for repairs
- complex diagnosis
- urgent/dangerous repairs not suited to digital channel
- preference to speak to agent
- demographics of tenants same as those likely to be digitally excluded
To create a common service pattern for housing repairs that is designed around the needs of the user. The CSP should be a reusable platform that is easily adoptable by other councils.
Several councils had recognised the issues and submitted similar bids to the Digital Fund. These councils were partnered to take a collaborative approach.
OrangeMaple partnered with Southwark Council, Lewisham Homes, Gravesham Council, Lincoln Council and MHCLG to run a discovery project to explore the barriers of digitising housing repair reporting services, and identify a common housing repairs customer journey for all four organisation
Full details of the findings can be found here:
The discovery confirmed this was an issue for both our customers and many councils. With the lack of a best practice reusable product we continued our work into the discovery phase