A new online service for residents

Every year 170,000 repairs are reported, predominantly by phone call, by the 25,000 social housing residents and leaseholders in Hackney Council. For the Repairs Contact Centre, who is responsible for coordinating the resolution of repairs, the large volume of calls represents a significant challenge for what is a crucial part of the Council’s infrastructure. For residents, reliance on an offline communication channel means they are bound to the working hours of the Contact Centre to report and follow up on their repair requests.

dxw digital partnered with Hackney to build the Report a Repair service, completing development from alpha through to beta. The online service allows residents to report the repairs they need on their homes. They can also book appointment slots for the resolution of more simple repair types for a time that suits them.

Alpha and beta

In alpha, dxw digital worked with the Repairs Contact Centre, other relevant internal staff, and residents to understand and validate the user needs of a new online service. Based on this work, a prototype service was developed and tested with users. This became Hackney Council’s first digital service to successfully pass the Local Government Digital Service Standard assessment.

In beta, dxw digital developed and launched Report a Repair and made it available to real users. The early data showed that 30% of repairs reported in the online service did not require a call to the Repairs Contact Centre with residents successfully booking their own appointments. After user testing and detailed analysis of the data, the service was iterated and improved further. This raised the number of residents able to book their own appointment to 55%, accounting for another 25% decrease in the number of online reported repairs needing a call. That’s fewer calls, more resident booked appointments and less pressure on the call centre.

As part of beta, dxw digital wanted to make it easier to understand the ongoing performance of Report a Repair. Pulling data from the service, we helped create Hackney’s first real-time performance dashboard. The dashboard shows how many repairs are being reported and what type of repairs are coming through. This allows for live monitoring of the service, helping guide the team responsible for Report a Repair in understanding what future improvements and changes are needed.

Report a Repair is now ready to be rolled out more widely across the Council, where it will continue to reduce the call burden on the Repairs Contact Centre and provide residents with a convenient digital channel for reporting their repairs.