Blog: Customer Interviews Lewisham Homes

Housing Repairs

Customer Interviews in Lewisham Homes

By Fernanda Aguilera

Last Friday morning, we went to Lewisham Homes Face To Face Office in the Old Town Hall where Fiona was waiting for us to help us recruit some council tenants and leaseholders to carry out customer interviews.

It is very helpful when the authority (in this case Lewisham Homes) helps and provides vouchers to attract more customers to the interviews. We offered “love 2 shop” vouchers of £10 value for 20 mins of their time.

In the morning, we conducted 5 interviews, which 4 of them were with tenants and 1 with a leaseholder.

We asked some questions about their reporting repairs experience (all of the repairs were reported by phone and none of them had gone online to do this) and their normal online behaviour.

We found some great insights which were:

– Most of them report their repairs by phone but they pay their council taxes or rent online.

-Most of them do online shopping mainly food shopping; main preferred brands are Sainsbury’s, Iceland and Ebay.

-They said that they don’t report repairs online because of trust issues; they prefer to talk to someone as they feel that their problems will be solved faster.

At the end of the interview, we asked them if they could do a quick online user test.

The customers accessed an online repair system that uses the dropdown design that some authorities are using, and which is similar to the one that we are proposing in our prototype. We asked them to use their own devices (mobile) to perform the task.

The aim of the test was to measure the usability of the design and navigation that we are considering in our prototype in order for us to understand potential problems and what we could improve.

We only tested the diagnostic step of the process.

Our findings:

-When asked to report a leak in the bathroom, the user immediately identified her leak as a mayor leak, which was considered as an emergency in the process. We should be very careful on the vocabulary we use to try to identify emergencies, as the user will always think that their problem is an emergency.

-When asked to report a window that doesn’t close in the bathroom, the user completed the task without any issue. In this case the task was more specific.

-All of the participants found the process very easy to use and straightforward.

-When asked what they would expect to come after they diagnose the repair, they said that they would expect to be able to select the appointment and receive a confirmation.

-All said that they need to receive a confirmation for them to validate that the appointment or the repair was reported successfully.

-They said that they don’t have a preference if they receive the confirmation of the appointment by email or text.

This customer feedback is really helpful for us to ensure we are designing the best product for users.

We have designed an ideal online journey for online housing repairs using all the research we have gathered over the last couple of months. Here is the user flow diagram.

We wanted to get a feel for how this would actually work rather than just mapping a flow on a diagram so we turned this into clickable wireframes.

Feel free to play around with this and give us feedback and comments.

(Please note; we have only designed the flow, not the content and diagnosis options).