Goal: Access and customer care 

"By March 2020 we will ensure that all Rooftop customers enjoy excellent access to services, in person and through technology, delivering best practice in customer care." 

Strategic context

Residents expect to access our services by telephone, at our offices, through staff attending their homes and, increasingly, by digital access through our website. This goal has already delivered improvements to telephone and office services, and the main focus has now become the improvement of direct online access by residents. 

Prime Minister David Cameron has said "promoting digital inclusion is essential for a dynamic modern economy and can help to make government more efficient and effective."

Digital skills are a vital route to improve residents’ financial literacy, education, employability and wellbeing.

They give residents choice and control and access to lower-cost, better services. Those who are not online are older, in lower income brackets, and are less likely to have formal qualifications. It is estimated that households can save around £500 a year by being online, and one in three internet users say they use the web for learning and finding information online.

The main focus of the goal is:

  • By 2020, to achieve 85% of residents with regular access to internet services (increased from just 45% in 2009) improved online services offering greater flexibility (out of hours) and scope, with the ability to complete the transaction without staff intervention and pay online
  • improved financial inclusion for residents, and
  • more efficient and cost effective provision of services.

What we have done

1: Customer access direct to services (2010-2015)
This was a long-term project looking at ways to improve access to services by encouraging resident access through the website. It included piloting of new technical solutions involving smartphones and digital TV together with the development of new ways for residents to access our services automatically, promotion of digital inclusion and helping residents make use of other facilities and services online. 

A number of initiatives have helped residents to become more digitally included and access more services online:

  • Pilot of a discounted broadband tariff only available to our residents
  • Co-ordination with the Worcestershire Broad Band National team to ensure that the National Superfast broadband rollout would include all our residents
  • Reconditioned computers and TV adaptors to provide residents with access to cheap equipment to access the internet
  • Pilot of tablet initiative, providing a cheap tablet deal to residents
  • Installation of kiosks and wi-fi systems in schemes and Head Office reception
  • Pilot of kiosk systems in the rural environment
  • Introduction of new web sites and online systems
  • Over 2,500 registered users of our website, which residents can use to access our on-line systems
  • Introduction of booking appointments online and updating personal details online

The important work being carried out in this project was recognised in October 2013, when Rooftop Housing Group won the CIH Midlands Digital Communications Excellence award. 

Further recognition followed with our work in digital inclusion forming part of the reason for our award of ‘Best Social Landlord’ in March 2014.

Our survey returns for January 2015 indicate that we now have 64% of residents with regular access to internet services, up from 45% in 2009.

The follow-on from this work is a new project starting in 2015 to manage a full training and support programme for residents using volunteers and digital champions, with the aim of achieving 85% residents online by 2020 and providing excellent on-line services. 

2: Develop working practices and processes for electronic document management system (2010-2015)

This project introduced Swordfish, a new electronic document management system linked to our Capita Housing System. Staff working from remote locations or in residents’ homes need to be able to access computer systems, data and file records from any location. This project ensures that relevant paper based information systems were available electronically for remote access and integrated with our Capita (housing management) software system. There are now over 80,000 documents held electronically.

The follow-on from this project, is a new five-year project to further extend our move away from paper to electronic data in support of our sustainability and green initiatives.

3: Installation of the mobile working system for the Capita Housing System (2011-2015)
Rooftop uses the Capita software system to manage our housing. A remote working module was installed and tested to confirm that staff can access all of the Capita functions and data wherever they are operating. 

What we are doing

4: Residents online programme 2015-20
This projectis targeted to achieve 85% of residents on-line by the end of 2020 through the development of a digital champion network and support through external parties. It will incorporate further development of our on-line services and other initiatives designed to improve digital inclusion.The other focus of the project will be to consider the processes for support of those 15% of resident who will not be on-line by 2020.

5: Electronic Document Management (EDM) Phase 2 - 2015-20
This next phase of EDM will extend our programme of moving to electronic documentation and data in support of our remote/agile working initiatives and to facilitate better resident access to Rooftop information.  As at February 2016 well over 100,000 documents are stored electronically on our systems.

6: Replacement of the main housing system (2016-19)

Replacement of the main Housing computerised estate management and on-line customer access