Derby Homes has deployed Clearview’s customer engagement suite of software. Paul Cole, Derby Homes’ customer engagement officer, explains the thinking behind the decision to implement Clearview and the challenges faced by the resident involvement team.
What are your resident involvement challenges?
As a result of a council review of housing services in 2013, resident involvement was identified as a key service area that needed refreshing because ‘genuine tenant involvement is modest and needs revitalising’. Involvement was seen as being limited to a few tenants who attended the ‘city’ board and the tenant federation meetings. Engagement across the organisation appeared to only involve a few individuals who were not representative of the wider body of tenants.
Since the review, the resident involvement team of seven has been restructured and is now implementing a new customer engagement strategy. A large part of this involves a change in culture from relying on regular meetings, in favour of being more proactive, mobile and engaging with tenants in their homes and communities.
Previously, outside our regular ‘housing focus groups’, no real engagement data was collected, so we weren’t in a good position to understand what activities were going on across the organisation. As a result, it was hard to deliver a truly measurable service, let alone gather reports with any degree of accuracy.
These changes have also improved the relationship between internal teams and have given us a new challenge in co-ordinating the amount of information this type of engagement generates.
How are you capturing tenant engagement data to deliver a more holistic view of tenant interaction and experience?
We know there’s a lot more going on if you scratch below the surface. We’re now working a lot closer with many more staff. Our new strategy means everything has to be funnelled through us, so we can ensure consistency and quality. We’ve never before been in a position where we’ve been able to learn from data for the bigger picture, so it’s a really exciting time.
After some initial research, we went through a full tendering process, based on a specification we drew up from a ‘wish list’ of things we’d like to be able to do. Going through the tendering process, Clearview’s submission was the best match for our specification and we felt that the responses were thorough, honest and reassuring.
We aim to have a system that provides us with a means to deliver, plan and monitor all engagement within Derby Homes. This will range from recording attendance at board meetings, tenant panel activities, capturing feedback, delivering surveys and tracking volunteer contributions.
We will be testing the software to its limits and will assess its potential for things like our new doorstep consultations. This will require mobile working using tablets and phones and face-to-face delivery of consultations in a variety of locations across the city.
We’re also keen to get to grips with the reporting, to create dashboards for multiple users and provide real-time information on hand to plan our future work and report back to Derby City Council.