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Customers hold the key

The last year has certainly been a time of change on a global, national and personal level. The speed at which people have had to adapt has been phenomenal. In 2020 how we adopted technology was integral to our need to pivot to a remote yet connected world.

The last year has certainly been a time of change on a global, national and personal level. The speed at which people have had to adapt has been phenomenal. In 2020 how we adopted technology was integral to our need to pivot to a remote yet connected world.  According to McKinsey the adoption of technology has accelerated people and companies’ ways of operating by 3-4 years.

The pandemic has enforced the need for businesses to reinvent themselves and ways of working through digital transformation, whether it is Zoom/ Teams or Hangout meetings or use of collaborative tools to help us share information more effectively, one thing is sure some of the habits that have been created through the pandemic will be here to stay.

A Deloitte report on Tech Trends in 2021 talks about how emerging technologies are ‘reimagining how we organise, operate and strategise’.  Opening more opportunities to manage cybersecurity, biometric ID verification, big data, Machine Learning, AI, and where digital meets physical as expect personal and digital experiences to be more cohesive.

This changing landscape in which we live has made me reflect on what this means when we are looking to create products and solutions at ULS technology for our range of customers.

How do we help evaluate what is needed for our customers to succeed and thrive?

I have never really thought of myself as a technologist, albeit that I have worked in digital product management for over 20 years. What I do love is working to understand problems that face customers and how we can build technological solutions that will help make people’s lives easier.

So, it’s been a great opportunity to join ULS technology and create a team of people that have a similar mindset to take our current portfolio from strength to strength. We are fostering a mindset of customer-centred design. A practice that means we focus our attention on solving the problems that our customers have and see value in. The Product Management and Product Design teams have been holding workshops, 1-2-1 sessions, surveys, etc to unearth the challenges faced by conveyancers, estate agents, and movers to establish their pain points.

Then taking our hypothesis and creating experiments to establish results and make informed next decisions with prototypes to gain more insight and feedback. We have some interesting problems to solve and a team of people and technologies that will help drive that change. The team has a mix of backgrounds from domain expertise in conveyancing and home moving to product management and UX experience for major players in other industries. Diversity is something that we have actively sort after to ensure we are maximising our capabilities and techniques to keep focused on the customer needs.

From our research and experience, we know that there are key factors that are important that at a high level our customers from all areas call out

–         Time

–         Transparency

–         Transformation

Time is an asset and where and how time and energy is spent is important. Our has research shown that all people involved would like to reduce the time that is spent chasing and communicating indeed according to HomeOwners Alliance (HOA) report 55% of people would like to see an improved communication flow between all parties. In addition, we have identified where there are also lower-level admin tasks undertaken performed where we could apply Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence to reduce the repetitive tasks that are undertaken streamline ways of working.

Today, DigitalMove has already highly digitised the instructing and onboarding aspects of the process. We have built the form completing, searches, and starter pack steps, undertaking Digital ID verification and AML checks taking what could be a few days to complete to a few hours.  We have successfully managed and proceed with over 46K cases through DigitalMove.

Transparency is associated with time and communication. People want to have better visibility about what is going on at each stage of the process. Again, in the HOA report, 4 out of 10 customer wants the ability to have more upfront and transparent information about the home they are looking to buy. To create the highest level of transparency there is a need to further develop integration between our offering and the technologies used by Conveyancers, Estate Agents, etc.

DigitalMove has been designed to share with the customer how their case is progressing. We have built several integrations on key systems. As we expand this capability out, we will be working with customers to understand more about what they need and conveyancers on how we make that possible.

Transformation is where we are looking to challenge what is perceived as the norms of the moving process. In the HOA report they refer to 4 out of 10 customers wanting more upfront information so how can we make changes to look at ideas like customers being contract-ready before they have even found a buyer, actioning searches as soon as they make an offer so that they can speed up their wait time.

We have already built DigitalMove to enable the buyer to initiate and pay for searches as soon as they have instructed a conveyancer. This is a new feature that we are piloting with some key customers over the next few months before looking to roll out later this year.

We are excited in the Product and Design team to be able to be working on solving our customers’ problems and looking at the technologies utilise to created great solutions that our customers will truly value.

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