Digital Customer

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.

Background

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.

Access East Riding

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

One of the first projects to be commissioned by the council’s Digital Management Office is called ‘Access East Riding’ and will take a customer-centred digital approach to designing how customers will contact the council in the future.

What this means

  • We will work with services to help improve outcomes for customers.

  • We will introduce a more consistent and high-quality approach across channels and services.

  • We will ensure the customer is in the right channel for them.

  • We will create standardised business intelligence which we will use to inform the services we deliver.

  • We will deliver services for the future in an efficient and affordable way.

  • We will consider the end-to-end service delivery, not just what happens at the first point of contact.

  • We will use automation (such as chatbots) and self-service (such as online forms) to deal with the majority of simple requests.

  • We will improve our customer’s experience when dealing with us.

  • We will understand the skills our staff need to help them to help our customers.

  • Our services are valued by our customers.

Why we are doing this

Key outcomes include:

  • We can tailor the services we provide by using the data we hold about our customers.

  • We will increase the number of customer enquiries that are dealt with at the first point of contact.

  • We will automate simple tasks and encourage self-service, by making it easier for customers to do this.

  • We will achieve shared outcomes by working collaboratively with services and partners.

  • We will save money.

  • We will create a seamless customer experience across all channels and manage the expectations of our customers by providing timely updates and doing what we say we will do.

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.

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.

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.

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.

It supports the ‘Adult Social Care Strategy and Vision 2019-2022' and helps to manage the expected increase in demand for adult social care in future years, while also improving our service to better meet the needs of local residents.

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.

Take a look at our Your Life, Your Way website – a new website for 2021 which not only provides access to social care in the East Riding, but provides support and guidance on how to remain independent for longer.

Send us your thoughts

If you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to get in touch

Send us your thoughts