Co-designing the Hume Community Housing Customer Experience Strategy

  • 2021

  • Design Strategy

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How might we transform Hume’s service-delivery model to reimagine and redesign how their customers experience community housing?

ThinkPlace worked with Hume to co-design the future experience of customers and employees through the development of a Customer Experience Strategy. We took a unique, human-centred approach to collaboratively design strategic, practical change.

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  • "All you want to do is scream, but you're homeless, you don't even have anywhere to go to scream" - customer Every Australian deserves safe, stable accommodation. Hume Community Housing exists to improve housing security and reduce homelessness, providing homes and services to more than 9,000 customers across NSW. In response to rapid growth, a complete organisational redesign and trends in their customer satisfaction results, Hume recognised an opportunity to have a bold rethink of how they deliver services. Hume engaged ThinkPlace to help reimagine and redesign their service delivery model to deliver a sector leading customer and employee experience.

  • We spoke with 52 regional and metro customers and employees - listening to stories with empathy, building a robust evidence base to inform the Strategy. We co-designed ideas for positive change, such as reimagining the lease signing event, to reframe it as a moment of celebration where customers are given a tour of their new home and connected with peers, helping customers feel a sense of pride in their home and a sense of confidence that Hume understand their needs. It works to address stigma and perceptions of community housing, giving customers an equal, if not better, experience as private renters.

  • "I feel like I'm getting another chance at life. I'm going to be okay because I have a roof over my head" - customer The Strategy paints a picture of a future where customers feel supported, informed and confident about how Hume can help as they search for a home. A future where customers feel empowered with up-to-date, accessible and reliable information; a service that is personalised and meets them where they are. It is a future where customers feel like valuable members of connected communities and Hume can predict and proactively address evolving customer needs.

  • We established a Core Design Team representing a broad cross-section of skills and experience and aligned with the Four Voices of Design (intent, expertise, experience and design). The team acted as a guiding light, working to ensure Hume's customers felt empowered to make decisions, felt heard and cared for and were treated with the same levels of dignity and respect as customers in the private rental market. We designed a CX Maturity Model tailored to the community housing context, taking into account the unique service delivery requirements of vulnerable people. Conducting the assessment helped focus our efforts to inform the strategy and improve Hume's CX Maturity. The Strategy is supported by an Operations Plan that outlines a 4-year roadmap including key actions, expected outcomes, roles and responsibilities, quick wins and critical success points. A learn by doing approach was employed to build HCD capability within Hume and the final Strategy was developed using co-design principles. As such, it received support and endorsement from Hume relatively quickly. The organisation has committed to the second phase of the project. A blended ThinkPlace and Hume team will adopt an agile sprint model to rapidly try new and innovative ideas in a de-risked environment.