Sector urged to get a ‘Shift’ on

New book aims to help associations achieve channel shift towards digital transformation.

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20 years’ worth of insight into housing associations makes a page-turner, as the sector switches on to a digital future.

The first guide developed specifically for housing associations seeking to implement digital transformation sets out a four-phase framework for running channel shift projects to achieve the best outcome for associations and tenants alike.

Shift! How to Make Channel Shift Happen in Housing shares insights into the social housing sector, gained from working with housing associations across the UK over the last 20 years.

In writing the book, Pippa Adams, CEO of digital marketing agency Prodo and co-author Rob Walker surveyed hundreds of housing industry contacts in various roles and carried out interviews with senior housing professionals involved with channel shift projects.

The result is pitched as a “frank picture” of the challenges involved in encouraging both customers and stakeholders to embrace digital channels.

Adams said: “Today, consumers are used to receiving fast, convenient service online, regardless of the organisation they’re dealing with. This means that housing associations have a lot to live up to as they adopt new channels of communication.

“Effective channel shift implementations should make access to common, repeatable services for tenants easier, quicker and less stressful to use, and allow the organisations to spend more time assisting customers with more complex needs,” she said.

Shift! focuses on the four main pillars involved in making channel shift happen – mindset, planning, delivery, and measurement and improvement – making it easy to refer to before, during and after a project.

Outlined is the concept of ‘cultural buy-in’ for digital transformation projects and the adoption of holistic, agile approaches to effect improvements in tenant customer experience while achieving organisational efficiencies at the same time.

“The social housing sector is very open and collaborative, so people are willing to talk about and share best practices.

“In Shift!, we wanted to capture that and add our own contribution,” said Walker.

“While there are, of course, different approaches to achieving channel shift, we’ve seen projects fail when certain key steps are missed.

“Through Shift!, we’ve provided a framework, tried, tested and developed by Prodo across many years and many projects, that organisations of any size can follow.”

Pictured: Pippa Adams and Rob Walker

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