It’s time to move digital out of the too difficult box to build trust and unlock capacity
31 / 01 / 2024

It’s time to move digital out of the too difficult box to build trust and unlock capacity

Towards the end of 2023, Prodo published data highlighting the barriers that social landlords said they felt prevented them for gaining traction with digitalisation. Read about our findings...

At Prodo, we were keen to understand this data, so undertook research across the UK to find out why the needle was sticking at around a third as an average for all digital transactions, sector-wide. We also wanted to understand the correlation between data quality for customer and asset data and digital CX maturity.

In a sector where we see action in response to change more than we see systemic change to achieve long-term business outcomes, we explored why landlords faced with the most complex operating landscape for a decade would continue to juggle and whack the moles driven by high call volumes, increased complaints, strengthened consumer regulation readiness, increased cost infraction and eroded operating margins. Digital can be a game changer if it’s set within the context of understanding customers' needs and preferences and driven by customer voice and customer choice. It can also build trust by offering a transparent, accountable service - key for consumer regulation and unlock much needed capacity to channel resources into customer-facing services and to support those who have different needs or those who are digitally excluded. 

As someone with a track record in designing cutting-edge products that are aligned to customers' needs and preferences and placing UX and CX at the heart of service design, as CEO at Prodo, I’ve been determined to
tackle the barriers to digitalisation to support the sector and help landlords build trust, unlock capacity and get ready for regulation.

Let’s start by exploring some of those barriers:

31% felt that transformation disruption was the biggest barrier, this rises to 42% when considering the integration challenges

28% felt that poor data quality and not understanding customers' needs and preferences stalled digitalisation

17.5% had a fear around depleted satisfaction, and there is some evidence that a forced or poorly executed channel shift by default can impact of satisfaction

12.5% were concerned about lack of management buy-in and it not being seen as a priority

We’ve pivoted our product at Prodo to tackle these barriers, as we know that starting with an understanding of customers' needs and preferences delivers a positive service design and ultimately higher satisfaction. We also hear landlords on disruption - of course the sector wants to unlock capacity and build trust, but we understand that so many organisations have come before us and promised the silver bullet of technology gains to solve complex, capacity-hungry challenges.  

Our customer platform, which puts customer choice and customer voice at the heart of service delivery, is already delivering significant gains for landlords, freeing up capacity and ensuring robust, transparent service delivery. The end-to-end solution and easy-to-use app joins the dots on customer experience and drives positive customer satisfaction. It also seamlessly connects directly or via system integrators with all the sector systems NEC, Civica, Aareon, Dynamics, Salesforce, Total Mobile – the list goes on. 

Aligning our technology with existing systems significantly reduces transformation disruption and enables landlords to take their time evaluating and designing their technology road map.

Our research has also highlighted a large proportion of landlords who just aren’t ready to take that step. Data quality, change readiness and capacity is impacting effective change and this is keeping digitalisation in the too
difficult box. 

Our response is not to force change, but to support readiness and modulise our offer. Our CX Action Plan and CX Data Ready programmes are short; sharp cost-effective solutions led by sector-leading experts who will work with you and your customers to get ready for regulation and simple, effective digitalisation. The beauty of this is speed,
actionable steps aligned to consumer regulation and the cost is offset within the first 10 months of use of the Prodo app, even when only a simple module is taken.

CXActionPlanWhite

Our modular workflow and data platform allows you to address each start to address the areas in the end-to-end customer journey. But more significantly, utilised end-to-end, it can seamlessly connect all your back-end systems to provide not only that seamless customer experience but the experience within your contact centre too. This has a direct benefit on reduced call handling times, call wait times and improved CX.

Blog 30.1.24

By joining together your workflows, the platform can allow you to improve data quality in your back-end systems whilst also collecting additional information, that you may not be able to store in your back-end systems from customers or frontline teams to help you align with the new consumer regulation.

Unlocking capacity and building trust is vital if landlords are to tackle the complexities of the current landscape, with business plans under pressure, operating margins squeezed and consumer regulation and expectations strengthened it makes sense to focus on understanding customers, offering them choice, and delivering a transparent, positive experience. Digital can be a vital tool to provide customer choice and enable customer voice. 

Our tips for achieving effective digitalisation:

  • Know your customers - we work with you to make sense of your customer data and build-in needs and preferences 
  • Align to your technology roadmap - integration, business plan alignment and buy-in will all be enhanced if you align your customer portal and app to other technology priorities
  • Use your customers to help you design - working with focus groups, engaged customers and analysing sentiment data such as complaints and contact will help you to get the experience right 
  • Understand UX weaknesses - walk through the user experience and put yourself in their shoes. Our methodology helps you do this easily 
  • Align to regulation - be clear on the drivers of satisfaction and how you can deliver transparency, influence and accountability
  • Set your outcomes at the start and make sure your shift is focused on delivering them, e.g. capacity creation, reduced call volumes, higher satisfaction etc.
  • Do what’s right for your context - if you are not ready, tackle what’s holding you back first

About the author

Rob Quayle is Prodo’s CEO and has spent his whole career in fast-paced, regulated consumer-facing businesses. He is a sought-after thought leader on all things property, data, and technology and is a passionate advocate for developing products that support customers' challenges. During his tenure with Prodo, he accelerated the introduction of new partnerships and solutions to enable landlords to save money, drive performance, improve the lives of residents, and enhance communities.

Having previously worked in senior technology leadership roles in both for-profit and not-for-profit sectors, including private equity-backed and FTSE organisations he brings his proven expertise in understanding customers' needs and challenges, developing products and services using cutting-edge innovation that delivers value for organisations and customers.

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