The Digital Log Book was originally developed in 2012 with Birmingham City Council (BCC)as part of their DWP funded pilot into Universal Credits. As a social landlord with 64,000 properties, BCC needed a technical solution to help get people on-line, set up a digital identity and once there to transact on-line with the council, supporting Birmingham’s channel shift aspirations.
The overall aim of the project was to channel shift people from face-to-face and telephone to online using a digital-by-default approach and to help them to self-serve. To improve the customer journey for new housing tenants by introducing letting suites (a one stop shop for all housing issues) and providing them with their own personalised portal – a Digital Log Book– that would help them to manage and sustain their tenancy. This included helping them to improve their financial capabilities, sign-posting, helping with employment tools and access to jobs, providing housing information and digital skills.
BCC needed to identify the level of interventions required to help customers sustain and manage their finances and improve digital literacy and financial capability by using a digital by default approach. By using customer insight data with nudging and behavioural strategies BCC reviewed customer behaviours and changed business processes and reviewed the whole customer journey for new housing tenants in order to get them to transact on-line and to encourage customers to use digital by providing them with their own digital personalised portal their Digital Log Book.
The Digital Log Book was designed as a generic standard for all social landlords to use as tenants move and needed a solution enabling them to take their digital identity and information with them. As such, when a tenants moves to a new landlords or local authority they are asked whether they have a Digital Log Book and if they do their application is streamlined through the housing process. This makes it easier for the customer and more efficient for the landlord, in this instance.
Through various iterations the Digital Log Book grew beyond just Universal Credits and Birmingham’s initial objectives. More and more services were made available to customers through the Digital Log Book, depending on who they were and what their needs and requirements were. These services now include financial support, budgeting and advice, housing information and details of your rented home, energy monitoring and smart metering, education and employment and health and wellbeing.
In Birmingham alone there are now 17 external service providers providing their services through the Digital Log Book ranging from Citizens Advice, AgeUK, Shelter through to the fire service.