Author: Anya Ward, Orbit
Orbit, one of the largest housing groups in the country, has developed an innovative online platform to engage with its customers.
‘Your Voice’ provides customers with an easy way to feedback on their experiences and make recommendations for improvement on things that matter to them and their community. Successes have included: improvements made to online customer magazine ‘Orbit Life’, amendments to the tone of customer letters, implementing automatic email acknowledgements and helping to shape Orbit’s new rent policy.
And it has really come into its own during coronavirus, because now, more than ever, Your Voice is playing a crucial role in allowing Orbit to stay in touch with its customers and understand what is important to them…
Where did the idea come from? Orbit recognised the need to engage with its diverse customers base and capture a range of views and opinions to improve services it offered. Orbit decided to develop an innovative approach to ensure every customer had the chance to engage with them, by introducing a digital engagement platform – Your Voice.
What can customers do on Your Voice?
- Share their views on a range of topics, strategic groups and local communities.
- Talk about things that matter to them most by creating their own posts and telling Orbit about what they would like to influence.
- Participate in surveys, polls and discussion forums to inform business decisions.
- Register for training sessions or events.
- Like, comment and follow other customers posts.
- Connect with other customers who have similar interests or live in their local area.
How was Your Voice implemented?
Orbit consulted with a range of customers to choose the right platform, branding and layout for them. It tested the platform and made a few improvements before launching to all customers in August 2019, ensuring the registration process was as easy as possible allowing the platform to be accessible for all abilities.
Orbit set up a ‘local communities’ area in the forum, which allows customers to follow their estate, scheme or area to receive tailored communications and take part in shaping the community they live in.
How is Your Voice being used now?
In the current climate, Your Voice has played a crucial role in allowing Orbit to stay in touch with its customers. It has set up a designated ‘Coronavirus’ area within the forum, so customers can keep up to date on local advice and support available to them.
Orbit have also been distributing activity packs to help keep children entertained and have shared good news stories to help lift community spirit. The platform has been used to match vulnerable customers to those who have time to support in their local area and most importantly, keep people connected to others and to us.
It has also allowed customers to hold Orbit to account on its response to Coronavirus and provide them with an opportunity to share any ideas they have on how it can improve its support. Customers have reviewed Orbit’s communications, contingency plans and helped shape its scripts and surveys when completing wellbeing check-ins to vulnerable people.
Orbit now has plans to use the platform to spread positivity and will be posting a series of competitions, polls and surveys as the situation progresses. Your Voice allows Orbit to receive instant feedback and have open, honest conversations with its customers to see how it can support them during a very difficult time.