Ongo has invested thousands of pounds and hundreds of hours in improving its digital offer, which has resulted in an increase of more than 50% of its tenants taking to digital.
Ongo was recently ranked number 11 in the Housing Digital list of top 30 digital housing providers and has now announced its aim to move 75% of all customer interactions online by 2023.
Over the last 12 months, Ongo has seen a significant increase in registrations for its My Home app, with around 4,000 tenants now signed up, meaning they can access our services at a time to suit them.
During this time, new digital rent statements will see an annual saving of over £15,000 in printing costs, and a paper reduction of 47%, with aims to increase this to 70% by 2023.
Ongo’s commitment to the environment has also been reflected in a reduced carbon footprint, with increased virtual meetings reducing mileage and carbon emissions with less travel, and a digital sign up process to create a paperless solution to potential tenants applying for a home.
Most recently, the team has introduced a pilot virtual repairs service where a member of their maintenance team has a video call to diagnose a repair issue. This allows them to order parts, or in simple repair cases talk a tenant through the resolution.
So far, the team has seen around half of all repairs jobs successfully being trailed using this method.
Mat Ashmore, head of Technology and Innovation at Ongo, said: “Our biggest digital aspiration as a business is of course that by 2023, 75% of our customer interactions will be online.
“At the moment we’re at 29%, but our corporate strategies set out a plan to achieve this target.
“By involving tenants in these decisions, we’re following our commitment to put them at the heart of what we do, making digital services suitable and above all, accessible.”
Ongo’s mantra is to increase digital, but leave no one behind, which is one of the reasons it says for setting up several digital tenant groups which provice feedback on digital services.
Ongo’s retirement living schemes have communal computers for tenants to use, and their offices allow customers access to computers and IPads, for those unable to use digital services without support.
Other improvements recorded by Ongo include:
- Its automated telephone payments system, which has been running for over a year and has taken 2,106 transactions saving approximately 245 hours of Customer Advisor time
- Constantly looking into new ways to use technology in new homes built, including BT fibre broadband as standard, USB ports included in electric sockets, supplying the Infrastructure for phone and TV, and promotion of digital services in home user guides
- The online customer portal has been updated to make the reporting of repairs (the bit most accessed by tenants) quicker and easier
- Staff members are set up to work from anywhere with an internet connection, which has meant they can still deliver essential services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic
Ongo is setting out a plan to take the positives embraced as a business throughout the pandemic to harness new, more efficient ways of working digitally, using a blended approach with both in person and digital working.
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