Understanding the impact of Universal Credit on customers’ lives

19th September 2017

We recently announced our partnership with customer experience insight consultancy, Deliberata and The Institute of Customer Service, for a special piece of research. We’re coming together for a sector-led project with the aim to better understand the effect that Universal Credit will have on customers’ lives and how they’re handling the changeover.

The objective of this project is to produce a piece of customer research to give the sector a strong evidence base of Universal Credit focussed facts and perceptions from tenants.  This would act as a starting point from which individual landlords can develop their own solutions.  The overall aim is to have a bank of robust data, and also deep insight into how the customer views the changes and how we fit into their picture. In turn, having this knowledge base will help tenants keep up with their rent payments by better understanding their lifestyles and wants and needs.

This announcement coincided with a first of its kind ‘Sharing the Credit’ event hosted by us here at RHP. Key sector thought leaders in this field, ranging from Customer Support Managers through to Income Collectors, came to hear more about the project and to share ideas. Tangible outcomes to already come out of the event include prioritising the insight the sector is looking for over the course of the project.

It was fantastic to see so many people join us at our Sharing the Credit event and to hear their great ideas. What is currently urgently needed is a detailed picture of the key challenges that face customers who either receive Universal Credit or are about to. When we fully understand the customer’s needs and concerns we’re able to know how to help them and this project will be crucial for that. In the process, we hope to help as many organisations and landlords as possible with sharing the knowledge captured from this research.”

Universal Credit represents the biggest change to the welfare system since its creation and will reach more than one in four working-age households once it is fully implemented. The next step of this project is to build on the qualitative research which has already started and have evidenced based solutions by the time Universal Credit is fully rolled out.

Dr Tom Wormald from Deliberata said: “If social landlords are to ensure that Universal Credit works for both them and their residents, they will need to get to know and understand tenants like never before. This is a completely new set of insight and data challenges in a highly complex area of both business management and social policy. Our collaborative approach means the whole sector can come together with one voice to develop a shared resource, achieving more collectively than any single landlord could manage on its own.”

If you’d like to find out more about this project and how you can get involved please email Maria.DosSantos@rhp.org.uk. There will also be an informal follow-up session at the Institute of Customer Service’s office in London Bridge from 2-5pm on 29th September 2017. The session will be a chance to hear more about the proposal, to meet the Deliberata team and find out how your organisation can be involved. Drop sue.hopson@icsmail.co.uk an email for more information. 

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