Newydd Housing has partnered with Orchard to deliver a digital self-service platform for its tenants.
With Orchard’s Digital Self Service Platform at its core, the housing provider has improved its tenants’ online experience, streamlined internal processes and enabled its customer services team to work smarter, as well as picking up a TPAS Cymru award along the way.
As a relatively small housing provider, with around 3,000 properties, Newydd Housing was aware that changing tenant preferences and the widespread shift towards digital services meant it was at risk of being left behind. Having worked with Orchard for 20 years, it decided to introduce Orchard’s Digital Self Service Platform to replace its outdated and little-used tenant portal.
Eleanor Chard, head of customer services, Newydd Housing, said, “We have to acknowledge that tenants want to contact us in different ways and digital self-service is in demand. The uptake by our tenants has completely surpassed what we expected – it’s definitely worth doing!”
To maximise uptake among tenants, Newydd Housing ran an extensive awareness campaign integrated with its community regeneration work, with tenants who weren’t digitally confident offered one-to-one training as well as devices on loan or for purchase through recycling schemes.
After the launch of the My Newydd app, the housing provider set a target of 1,000 sign-ups between March and December 2019. This was achieved in just five months, meaning over a third of tenants were registered to use the new service.
Tenant feedback since the launch has been very positive; 75 per cent rated the app as very easy to use and only 22 per cent said that they’d prefer to communicate with Newydd Housing by telephone in future. The project also led to Newydd Housing winning a Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) Cymru award for Digital Services.
One of Newydd Housing’s tenants said, “I’d tell any tenant to sign up to the app. It’s easy to use, it’s friendly, you’ll find the information you need ever so quickly, and it will make your life so much easier as a tenant.”
Michael Morgan, IT application engineer, Newydd Housing, said, “We’re now looking at Orchard’s entire portfolio to see where there’s a natural fit for our future IT strategy – we feel that Orchard could be a ‘one-stop shop’ for all our needs.”