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Housing Hive: Bridging the Digital Divide- Empowering the Digitally Excluded

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We all witnessed how the pandemic highlighted the exacerbation of inequalities through digital exclusion, and how lack of connectivity or digital skills can limit all areas of daily life.

When it comes to the numbers, it’s approximated that 11m people across the country do not have access to the internet, with 1 in 3 of those people being in social housing (as reported by Inside Housing).

So what can landlords do to help?

We’ve all heard the “digital-first” stories of the past, where channel shift numbers were the drivers, forcing customers to engage digitally by purposefully reducing the effectiveness and responsiveness of other channels.

In reality, the effective way to utilise digital to address this is to focus on understanding customers and providing choice. Give the people who have the ability, confidence, access and means to engage digitally the platform they need to manage their tenancies, delivering an efficient and transparent service. In turn, unlocking the internal capacity to focus on supporting the people who need those non-digital support channels.

Rob Quayle, CEO of Prodo, emphasises this point:

“If 30% of your customers are digitally excluded, for whatever reason - economic, needs or preferences, you won’t find me suggesting you try and convert them to digital.

What you will find is me advocating to get the 70% who want a digital service to enable 24/7 contact, online appointments, and push notifications for an ease-of-access experience transacting digitally to create the capacity for the 30% who need a different service.”

Don't miss this opportunity to gain valuable insights into transforming your housing association's approach to digital exclusion to build trust, unlock capacity and transform customer experience across the board.