What does digital transformation mean for young parents planning a dream renovation?

by Joseph Taylor - Consultant, Government Sector
| minutes read

Hundreds of painful customer journeys were identified and reimagined as part of Broxbourne Borough Council’s ambitious digital transformation. In the next of our #DigitalCouncils series, we meet a young couple who are planning a home renovation and are looking for some planning advice.  What is the difference in their citizen experience pre and post Sopra Steria’s game-changing programme?

The vision for Broxbourne Borough Council’s transformation was clear and far-reaching impacting all of the Council’s 30 service areas and 500 employees to establish a customer-centric organisation with new digital infrastructure and offerings as well as supporting people to work in new ways

Throughout the process, our joint team had a constant obsession with doing the right thing for the customer and we believe this is why Broxbourne has seen such success. For instance, post-implementation we saw a 69 percent increase in take up of the Council’s new digital services.

Elliot’s story*

We can bring this to life with Elliot’s story. Elliot and his husband are busy new parents. Elliot has an intense job in the City of London and his partner works shifts. They recently moved further out of the city to Broxbourne to put down roots and create a long-term home with their first child, Lola.

They settled on a ‘do-er upper’ and are ready to begin renovations including their dream kitchen extension. But Elliot has no idea where to start.

Elliot searches the internet and is confronted with hundreds of pages of conflicting planning advice. It’s really hard to work out what he needs to do. He can see there is something called a ‘Planning Portal’ but all he really wants today is advice.

His attempts to speak to someone include a 30-minute wait on the phone, a conversation with a flustered member of staff who can only speak in person and a wasted day of annual leave after which he is no clearer on his next steps.

Behind the scenes, colleagues are working in silos with out-of-date systems and clunky processes.

But, fast forward to today and what would Elliot experience now?

Elliot searches ‘planning advice Broxbourne’ on his laptop and immediately lands on new, clear and accurate planning information. He clicks on the ‘I would like informal planning advice’ link and completes a simple form. He can then make a phone call appointment with one click and can even upload some rough sketches of his proposed extension.

When the appointment time comes, his phone rings right on time. He has a helpful and productive 10-minute chat with the Planning Officer who has reviewed his information in advance and gives him great tailored advice on what to do next.

Elliot is happy with this experience and can now commission an architect to start drawing up formal plans for him to submit his application. His dream home will soon be a reality!

Elliot is one of the Borough of Broxbourne’s 100,000 residents who are benefitting from these innovative digital services. The Council’s new state of the art digital platform supports its website, digital services and customer management system. So far, 159 digital services have been redesigned, all with the customer at the heart of design which are also delivering efficiencies for staff as well.

Our team truly believes that if this approach is replicated by other local authorities, it could create a more efficient, responsive generation of public services.

Visit https://www.soprasteria.co.uk/digitalcouncils to meet more Broxbourne residents and hear how #digitalcouncils are improving their lives.

*The story, all names, characters and incidents portrayed in Elliot’s story are fictitious. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings and products is intended or should be inferred. 



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