Winner Focus: RHP Group - Not for Profit & Charity
RHP Group is a housing association with a strong social purpose. Formed back in 2000 after a transfer of stock from Richmond Council, the group is a not-for-profit organisation with a purpose of providing quality and affordable housing options to people unable to rent or buy in the local private housing market.
Recently, RHP launched the UK’s first digital-only housing service ‘RHPi’. The new platform helped to reduce costs and thus provided more opportunities for RHP to build more homes.
This case study covers RHP’s digitalisation initiative and looks at how RHPi helped the company provide a better service and adapt to new industry challenges.
Business Context Behind RHPi
In 2015, the UK parliament announced that all housing associations needed to reduce their rent by 4% over the next four years. This, coupled with a growing housing crisis, meant that housing associations such as RHP Group had to become more cost efficient to still be able to build new homes while also providing excellent service.
RHP's answer was to introduce the UK's first digital-only housing service, designed to reduce costs while improving service.
The core Features and Benefits of RHPi
As a digital-only service, RHPi had to be backed by online services that were quick and easy to use. To ensure outstanding customer service, RHP Group provided access to the following services 24/7, 365 days a year throughout their site:
- Repair appointment booking ability along with a choice of a two-hour slot that suits the customer
- Live chat with a representative from 8am-8pm on weekdays via web chat
- Online rent payment
- Access to employment advice and support if clients are looking for work
- Access to RHP’s e-communities forum where customers can leave opinions about the service they receive
RHPi is giving customers much more choice in an industry that traditionally doesn’t provide it. RHP Group is also providing further assistance for customers who are less confident online by referring them to ‘digital champions’ who can support them in getting the most out of RHPi.
The Innovative and Creative Solution
The new service was successfully rolled out that’s to the support and drive from all RHP employees.
Employees were involved from the start of development through a number of workshops led by RHP’s Executive Group where people put forward ideas and suggestions on how the service could work.
RHP Group also carried out extensive consultation with customers before the fully digital service was rolled out.
Business Impact and Results
One year after the introduction of RHPi, RHP Group saw a great reduction in overhead and increased customer satisfaction scores. Customers also saw a 30% reduction in contact costs after the implementation of the digital platform.
Furthermore, RHPi drastically impacted RHP's ability to build more homes. Since launching the new service, the Group has completed or has under contract to complete, nearly 250 homes.
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