One of the U.K.’s leading housing associations, Notting Hill Genesis owns and manages more than 119,000 homes across London and the southeast of England, and provides housing for nearly 170,000 people.
Notting Hill Genesis works to create and sustain a thriving community, and to ensure that customers have a safe and secure place to call home. Its existing website, however, wasn’t up to the job. The Genesis Housing website had been in use for as long as the organisation had been in existence, and wasn’t serving the current needs of their diverse customer base.
The Notting Hill Genesis website had grown organically over time, and while it contained relevant content for residents, it wasn’t easy to navigate. Notting Hill Genesis wanted to provide a quick, easy way for residents to report repair requests that would mirror the experience of calling a staff member, while relieving some of the pressure on the contact centre.
To best serve their customers, the Notting Hill Genesis Association determined that residents should be heavily involved in the design of the new site, and that the planned content and features came directly from research conducted with real users. The organisation wants to deliver a superlative user experiences for the association’s residents; so it asked London agency Manifesto to conduct extensive user research before designing and building a website.
Manifesto kicked off the redesign journey with a user research stage. This consisted of two workshops with residents, a resident survey which garnered more than 800 responses, and site visits to the contact centre and care and support teams. The aim was to determine the needs and preferences of multiple kinds of user, to design journeys which would help them access required information quickly and easily.
Drupal was a natural choice for the Notting Hill Genesis website. As the organization has to serve a variety of complex use cases, such as reporting repair requests across the organisation’s thousands of properties, its platform requires additional functionality. Drupal’s open, modular nature makes it easy to deliver advanced functionality in a secure and reliable way. In partnership with Acquia, Notting Hill Genesis’ new website is built on Acquia Cloud. This means that no matter the spikes in demand from residents at critical times, the site would always be operational.
An innovative new feature for requesting repairs uses a conversational interface to help guide tenants towards the actions that will get them help fastest. Condensing thousands of decision-tree options down into a simple conversation with a human-like assistant, the "report a repair" feature attempts to mirror the experience of the contact centre, and helps tenants get fast access to the information they need. The hope is that the new feature will not only improve the efficiency of the contact centre, but also reduce customer waiting times.
In partnership with Manifesto, Acquia helped Notting Hill Genesis bring digital experiences into the social housing sector, which are in line with customer expectations for the first time.
- The new site was built in less than 11 weeks with Drupal 8.
- In the first four months of operation, the new site saw more than 300,000 page views.
- Due to the large number of interactions with the "report a repair" form, between November 2017 and February 2018 an estimated 11,467 calls to the contact centre were prevented as a result of the new website.
- An average of 2,866 user enquiries per month that the website is now able to answer quickly and efficiently.
- Accessibility compliance with the 2010 Equality Act.