Blog 16 December 2021

Raising the CX Bar in Housing

by Netcall

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We recently had the opportunity to interview Dave Loudon, a very experienced and well respected member of the housing community and a Consultant at DTL Creative. The interview was part of a webinar focusing on customer experience (CX), “Raising the CX bar in Housing”, hosted by Govnet Events.

As expected, Dave’s interview with our Account Director, Jimmy Rogers, was insightful and so we are pleased to share his thoughts with you here.


Jimmy:


Dave, could you just give us an overview of your background and what DTL Creative is trying to achieve in the housing sector?


Dave:


Sure Jimmy, thanks. I founded DTL Creative Consultancy 10 years ago, having previously been a director in a housing association myself. As the name suggests, we look for creative solutions, or ways to employ technology for social landlords. We only work in social housing and we have team of experienced consultants and experts from the sector. It’s all about solutions, technology and how it can better the life of the tenant as well as the operations of the landlord.


Jimmy:


Yes, it’s nice to have that link of creativity which we share here at Netcall – we don’t just want to remove everything that the customer might have. It’s about taking what they have and using technology creatively to get the best out of it. How many customers are you working with at the moment that are at some stage of a transformation journey?


Dave:


We have a whole range of customers that are either considering or designing their transformation journey. Several are simply wondering what options are available, and what type of technology they need to procure? They are weighing up more traditional systems against things like low-code, as well as other ERP systems. We’re also working on a number of implementation projects with systems across the whole technology space.

It’s an interesting time in the sector. We’re seeing a lot of movement in the technology space, to see what they can do to improve their estate, from big system replacements to looking at best of breed solutions.


Jimmy:


What are the three biggest challenges or obstacles that you find that customers are coming across on their transformation journey?


Dave:


The very first challenge that people have is knowing what technology is available. We call that the art of the possible.

The next problem is legacy. There are a lot of big systems out there that are running on old databases that haven’t been updated for years across housing management platforms.

The third point is simply cost. It’s about getting the right solution, employing experts in certain technologies (avoiding a bottleneck) and looking at the bigger pictures of return on investment and total cost.


Jimmy:


How many housing associations are considering low-code as part of their solution?


Dave:


The honest answer is that not a lot of social housing folks have yet thought about low-code. Our job as consultants is to share the solutions that are available so we bring it up, but often we are explaining the concept of low-code. Once they know what it is, see a demo of what’s possible and how easy it is to deploy, they often see it as a viable option. Low-code has been around for a long time now, but it is just coming onto the social housing radar.


Jimmy:


Low-code is the easiest way to develop business applications, fast (read more at what is low-code). Dave, what first steps can housing associations take, to set off in the right direction on their digital transformation journey?


Dave:


A holistic approach is needed – costs may be spiralling in one area, but they may be unaware of what can be done in other areas to reduce cost by implementing digital transformation. Deconstructing all of the legacy tech into modern technology, can seem like a mountain to climb. But there are some really good examples of how housing associations have managed it, and I highly recommend looking at the case studies, even sometimes from outside the sector, as they offer genuine direction to get you started. Finally, I’d point out that the sector is rich in experts, but they’re scattered. Communication, knowledge-sharing and networking is absolutely key.


Jimmy:


Thank you for sharing your insight and guidance with us today, Dave.

Watch the full interview with Dave Loudon, at Govnet.co.uk/raising-the-CX-bar-with-Netcall.

As recommended by Dave, we are proud to share some housing sector case studies below.


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