Orchard Self-Service

A web-based self-service solution for social housing tenants

Measuring Success

Every project has a unique story. However, success should always be measurable. Here are the stats and facts that sets this project apart.

Concept to delivery in 9 months

Optimised internal workflow

Reduced support call volume

Setting the Scene

Orchard specialises in providing highly effective business and technical solutions to the social housing sector, improving processes for housing associations while making tenants’ lives easier at the same time.

Orchard Digital Self-Service aims to reduce unnecessary support calls by giving tenants the ability to access account information, make payments, request repairs and more, on mobile, tablet and desktop devices.

The existing Digital Self-Service platform was not working to its full potential. Poor overall UX and device responsiveness meant that tenants reverted to phone calls to housing associations. This was not only an issue of accessibility and user experience but also one of commercial impact for housing associations - and they looked to KOMODO for a solution.

PROJECT TRACK

Refinement

Products on the Refinement Track come in all shapes and sizes. You’ve got a product, people are using it and it’s currently not on fire. However, competition is rife, your market is teaming with would-be substitutes and alternatives. You’ve had the realisation that there’s work to be done. You know good isn’t great.

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3 TRAITS

We’ve Got You

We apply understanding, creativity and intelligence to deliver strong digital product design ROI.

  • - 01 UNDERSTANDING
  • - 02 CREATIVITY
  • - 03 INTELLIGENCE

Understanding

Better customer experiences win.

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Trust the Process

Our 5-Step process is core to all we do. Working through each project, we apply each step to maximise our output and bring a proven process to our work. All steps are configured to meet your teams’ individual needs and objectives. Here’s a sample of each step in action.

UNDERSTAND

Figuring Out The User Experience

Poor UX, lack of accessibility and mobile responsiveness resulted in low adoption rates for Digital Self-Service. Tenants wanted a better online experience to match the increasingly mobile world. So, Orchard needed to update the solution for housing associations and their tenants.

That’s why we took time to understand the existing product without taking it off the marketplace.

As a product used by thousands of tenants UK-wide, the new tool had to be functional from day one. Not just functional, but better than before. We were wanting people to change their behaviours and use Self-Service rather than pick up the phone, to do this we needed to make sure the product was intuitive and responsive at every juncture.

Define

Time Is Money

When we inherit existing systems, we are careful to take things back to basics - our process questions everything. With a digital product like Self-Service, we rethink how it’s presented to people, what can it do and how can we do it?

Taking the term ‘solution’ back to its very core we need to define: how does this product solve a problem for its user? And what does that look like in the real world?

Time is money - while Self-Service would make a significant difference to the daily lives of tenants across the country, it also has commercial benefits to housing associations, saving them time managing calls on simple issues. For us, it was about shifting people to a channel that is a better option for them.

Ideate

Finding Opportunity

Research showed us that most tenants manage their finances on mobile, so great mobile UX was paramount for this product’s success.

While the product’s backend would stay largely the same, the presentation layer would change drastically. We needed solutions that improved the UX and UI to drive adoption.

For example, it was clear that promoting accessibility to all types of users was a great opportunity for improving the product. It’s about creating a better experience for ALL tenants, giving them the ability to manage their housing queries on their chosen device at a time that suits them.

Create

Structuring Delivery

As with other projects, we worked on the Self-Service solution through several routine sprint planning sessions and sprint retrospectives.

We work with our clients, not for them. Having already successfully delivered Orchard’s Income Analytics platforms, KOMODO again easily fed into the organisation’s practises, acting as an extension to the existing technical team.

This involved working closely with relevant stakeholders at Orchard, including the CTO, Head of Product, and a suite of senior developers. Our collaboration here allowed us to work well together and actively support areas that could be improved or optimised.

Reflect

The Outcome

From concept to design and delivery, it took nine months for us to bring the new-and-improved Self-Service to market. Smoothly replacing the existing product, KOMODO’s build was fully responsive and consistent across the board. Causing a minimal impact on the service during the transition.

The Self-Service Product empowers people to manage their own outcomes, creating a more positive overall experience. Meanwhile, housing associations saved time and money fielding unnecessary calls. For Orchard, the Self-Service platform is a key product and one that many housing associations couldn’t do without.

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