VerseOne Digital Innovation Event in Housing Proves a Winner | VerseOne Housing Hub

VerseOne Digital Innovation Event in Housing Proves a Winner

On the 3rd and 4th of October we held two events focusing on digital innovation. Our two primary sectors, Housing and Healthcare each have their challenges and opportunities in this field and these events were the perfect way for our customers and ourselves to share experiences and some fantastic solutions that have been implemented. Here we round up what happened during the Housing event.


Kicking off on the 3rd October, a selection of our brilliant customers came to present to their peers, various digital projects that they have been working on or that they have implemented, showcasing how digital solutions are helping to transform their organisation. 

First up was Caroline Hall, Engagement and Communications Officer for Sussex Housing and Care. Caroline talked through the intranet project that they embarked on. Intranet projects can be large, complex and time consuming. It can often seem like a daunting task. Caroline shared the process she went thorough, from engaging staff and colleagues right through to building the solution, designing the content and launching the system, you can view Caroline’s fantastic slide deck here. One incredibly interesting aspect of her talk was the need to change culture. Often when an organisation doesn’t have an intranet, or an intranet that’s not fit for purpose, the need to find information has to be done off-line. When a new working and functionally rich intranet is launched, there has to be an element of changing culture, staff and colleagues need to get used to finally having an online resource they can go to for the information they need. It is all about breaking old habits, something that is often overlooked when a project like this is launched.

Alex Petford, Head of Asset Data at Peabody Group, shared his experiences on rolling out a successful self-service portal, during and after a merger. We all know that the world is moving to an era of increased self service, and having the ability and skill to keep a seamless level and quality of service through what can often be disruptive times, is imperative. Working out the process when a merger is about to happen is critical, halting change programmes, adopting and adapting and then selecting and developing the correct products are all critical pieces to the puzzle. Alex used his experience to showcase some of the ways in which he was able to manage all these elements to deliver a self-service portal that meets the needs of the audience. It doesn’t stop there for Alex though, the continuing promotion of new portal functionality, alongside a robust channel shift programme are all in his future plans, exciting times indeed. Please feel free to download Alex’s presentation here

Eleanor Hall, Communications Manager at Community Gateway Association, gave all of us a fantastic insight into how customers can help shape a website, with her wonderful presentation Digital Play Doh: How customers can shape websites and intranets”. After audience members received a welcome gift of Play-Doh tubs (who doesn’t like Play-Doh :)), Eleanor launched in to why it is so important to engage with customers from the very outset. With her knowledge and experience of customer engagement, Eleanor shared tips and techniques about how to make this possible and to maximise customers views and opinions to the benefit of the project. Eleanor also described the difficulty in engaging with a wide demographic, especially the 18-34 age range. Often this age range of very different dependancies including work, young children etc, so it’s about adapting your approach in order to cater for this.

Sue McLachlan, Customer Services Manager at Severn Vale Housing gave a fascinating insight into how Live Support has helped increase their customer service levels, making it far easier for Severn Vale’s customers to reach the organisation in as easy a way as possible. Sue talked about how Severn Vale took up a trial of the software to see what kind of impact incorporating Live Support would have, not only to customers but her team as well. The ability to run detailed reports during this trial gave Sue the confidence to incorporate Live Support as a crucial customer service tool. 

By enabling Customer Service Agents to manage multiple queries simultaneously, wait times for a response are as low as 30 seconds, which is incredible. Sue however still wants this lower, and is looking to get this down to as little as 10 seconds. Sue should us some of the detailed reposting that can be run in the system, allowing her to visualise the busiest times of the day/week, and the rate at which people are transferring their support queries from the telephone to Live Support.

It was a fantastic day and we will be sharing more insights from this event over the coming days. We truly believe that events such as this add value to all that attend, we can’t thank the speakers and attendees enough. We now can’t wait to organisae the next one.

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