Digital Customer

It should be easy for people to communicate with us. We want the online experience to be the best, quickest way to contact us.


It should be easy for people to communicate with us

We want to make sure our online services are easy to use and designed with input from you, our residents, so that the services we offer are the services you need.

We will increase the number of customers who make contact or request services online and reduce the number of those who contact us in more traditional and expensive ways, such as by telephone or in person.

We will engage with our residents and help build confidence in areas from basic computer literacy through to the professional skills which are needed to access the jobs of the future.

These services will deliver improved value for money for the council and encourage and enable greater independence for our residents.

Customer Strategy

East Riding of Yorkshire Council is committed to delivering the best outcomes for the citizens of the East Riding. We want to make our customers the focus of everything we do. We will listen to understand what our residents and businesses need and respond appropriately to put in place affordable services which are easy to use and access.

The ways that customers can contact the council has evolved over recent years reflecting innovations in technology and changing customer expectations. We want our digital services to become the contact method of choice for customers and will do this by providing convenient and easy ways of accessing our services and making every contact count.

Download East Riding of Yorkshire Council Customer Strategy 2022-2026 (pdf 2.7mb)

A digital-first approach

Digital technology has changed the way people interact both socially and when requesting goods and services. We will design our services to be accessed online and will promote and support self-service wherever possible.

We need to ensure that our digital services are easy to use, secure and available at times that are convenient for customers. However, we realise that not everyone will want to contact us in this way, and we will continue to provide services through other means and will work within our communities to provide support to those who are digitally excluded.

Digital technology can help us to reduce costs, and we will encourage people who can access our services online to do so, which means we can focus resources on those more complex services and those customers less comfortable with digital technology.

Key outcomes

Our ‘Customer Strategy’ outlines how the council will deliver an exceptional customer experience across all contact channels:

  • Responsive services
    Being able to understand our customers’ needs means that we can design the personalised and responsive services that they need. Doing this will help us to put customers at the heart of local problem-solving and decision-making.

  • Services you can trust
    It is important that customers can trust us to design services which address their needs and the needs of the local area and that these are delivered in a way which provides value for their money. We will do what we say we will and be consistent in our dealings with customers.

  • Meeting and exceeding expectations
    We will be open and honest with customers and tell them up front how long it will take for their request to be dealt with and then keep them informed on the progress of that request.

  • Resolving problems
    We will take ownership for our mistakes so if something goes wrong, we will apologise and take responsibility to quickly put it right. We will learn from the feedback we receive and use that feedback to help improve the services we deliver.

  • Time and effort
    Wherever and however customers contact the council, we will make it easy for them to do so, including customers who need more than one service from us and wherever possible, will deal with enquiries at the first point of contact. We will also ensure that the same information or services can be accessed regardless of how or from where those services are requested.

  • Showing empathy
    We will ensure we understand our customers circumstances and will listen to them and show we care by treating them as our priority.

Access East Riding

Accessing information and completing council services is increasingly happening via a host of different contact channels and we need to ensure that customers can access the same information or services in multiple different ways.

The Council's Customer Strategy aims to 'put customers at the centre of everything we do, improving and delivering the best service we can.' The Access East Riding programme was developed to deliver the Customer Strategy and help us to use the Council's resources more effectively, whilst ensuring that those customers who require more help and support to use online services are not left behind.

What this means

In the Access East Riding programme we are talking to customers to help us understand their needs when accessing and using our services, whether this is online, by telephone or face to face, ensuring that however and whenever customers contact us to report or request services, this is easy to do.

By talking to customers, we are taking an evidence-driven approach to designing our online services, which we call 'human-centred design'. Doing this will help ensure we are meeting their needs and will involve reviewing the whole experience of using the service, from when the customer first decides to use a service, through to the service being delivered. This will make sure customers have a positive experience when they contact us.

To ensure that work is focused on what customers need from the Council, Access East Riding will seek to understand their experiences, expectations and preferences about council services and how these are accessed. Being able to do this will help the project team to better understand our customer’s needs and requirements.

As we start to involve our customers more, we will understand what works for them and what doesn’t, and we will make changes based on what people tell us. We encourage anyone who is approached to get involved by spending the time to help us.

Digital Inclusion and Health

Whilst digital technology has become a lifeline for many people during the Coronavirus pandemic, there remain many who are unable to access the benefits and choice it can bring, which has further exposed the “digital divide”, ie, the links between digital exclusion and social and economic disadvantage.

This includes some who are clinically vulnerable to Coronavirus, such as people aged over 70 – this group are also more likely to have limited or no internet access or low levels of digital skills.

Now that the world has shifted to relying on technology as the norm, rather than the exception, there is a risk that these people and others facing similar challenges will become even more digitally excluded.

What we will do

We need to improve the data we hold regarding the links between digital inclusion and health care to enable digital inclusion to become an integral part of our health, care and wellbeing strategies.

Identifying those who are digitally excluded is crucial and will be the first step. We need to understand the reasons why people are not online and to consider what initiatives or incentives could be put in place to encourage people to go online. This could be a mix of training, funding, support with equipment or even as simple as just promoting the benefits of being online and what can be done in that arena, for example getting access to cheaper utilities, online shopping, etc.

Work is already being done in several areas to tackle the digital divide – these efforts will be identified and wherever possible brought together to reduce the risk of duplication and to ensure that no one is missed.

Key outcomes

Tackling the digital divide will be crucial to reduce inequalities, including health. Other key outcomes for vulnerable residents include:

  • Using data to make intelligence-led decisions, allowing resources to be more joined up and personalised to each citizen.

  • Using community resources to help build a sustainable community offer.

  • Increasing the independence of residents, helping them to live in their own homes for longer and reducing the cost of social care.

  • Delaying resident’s cognitive decline and helping them to stay healthy in a number of ways. This includes being able to access information about health conditions, medications, ways to improve health and e-health, such as the ability to attend a virtual doctor’s appointment and renew prescriptions online.

  • Reducing social isolation and loneliness by helping people remain mentally stimulated through access to video chat sessions with friends or relatives, participating in online communities, social networks, etc.

  • Individuals having the confidence to go online and recognise and value the benefits of digital services.

  • Being able to learn new things by providing access to the thousands of educational resources available online.

Community Digital Champion

The ‘Community Digital Champions’ project is enabling community-led digital training to improve resident access to online services.

The project is being run in partnership with the Smile Foundation as well other partners within the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Health and Wellbeing Alliance network.

What this is

Community groups in the East Riding were invited to bid for funding of up to £5,000 to become a pilot area to develop a resource within their community where people can come in to learn how to access and use computers, for example.

Bids closed in April 2021 and the successful pilots were chosen based on population, current access to online services, the scale of the challenge and what opportunities existed to improve access and facilities.

Assistance is being given to these community groups, including:

  • the provision of training for volunteers from the council’s employment and skills team

  • advice on the type of equipment and wi-fi connectivity they need

  • Information about the type of facilities needed to make these welcoming and accessible spaces.

Case study

East Riding Digital Divide Digital Pilot - Driffield (pdf 160kb)

Hope Hub (Christ Church) - Bridlington (pdf 174kb)

Key outcomes

Key outcomes include the following:

  • Residents can now learn the skills to improve their confidence when going online so that they can support themselves and others with their digital experience
  • Community facilities are being developed to provide a welcoming and supportive learning environment
  • Community groups can now help to deliver essential digital skills training in community settings
  • Clear signposting is in place so that residents know where and how training can be accessed
  • A catalogue of training resources has been developed and is easily accessible
  • Where wi-fi connectivity is not already in place in community settings, a process has been developed to provide a recommended approach and a guide to installation costs
  • These pilot schemes are now helping to reconnect the most vulnerable within their communities and reducing digital inequalities.

Basic digital skills for residents

Good computer and digital skills are essential for most jobs, for study or for everyday work and life situations. The council’s Adult Learning and Employability team provide a full range of computer and digital skills training for adults across the East Riding.

For beginners

Starting with ‘Computers for complete beginners’, this course provides a simple introduction to using a computer in a relaxed, supportive atmosphere. The course covers the essential basic skills required to use a computer, including:

  • how to turn a computer on and off correctly

  • how to use the keyboard and mouse

  • how to use some useful programmes

  • getting started with using the internet.

For advanced learners

If learners are looking for more advanced learning or a recognised ICT qualification that shows their ability to use a computer confidently and efficiently, a range of Essential Digital Skills courses are available.

These ICT for Life and Work courses open up a variety of opportunities through the broad range of skills they provide and are widely recognised by employers as proof of ability and competence with working with ICT, specifically in Microsoft Office.

Learners can choose from classroom-based learning which is provided in centres in Beverley, Bridlington, Cottingham or Goole. Alternatively, they can choose to learn from anywhere using online resources.

Your Life Your Way

The Your Life Your Way programme is transforming the way adult social care services are designed and delivered in East Riding of Yorkshire.

What this means

Our new operating model will help us to achieve the following programme outcomes:

  • Help people to live active and independent lives.

  • Make sure the right support is delivered at the right time.

  • Help to reduce the growing financial pressures across adult social care.

  • Enable us to manage future demand.

The Your Life, Your Way website provides access to social care in the East Riding, as well as support and guidance on how to remain independent for longer.

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