Q&A with Curo one of our BDF 2020 sponsors

We spoke to Paul Harris, the Executive Director of Customer Experience at Curo to find out more about what Curo do and how technology has helped them improve their service for their clients.

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Becky Rock-Evans

6th October 2020

Paul Harris

Tell us about Curo and what you do

We’re a housing association covering the West of England, with 13,000 homes. We’re a landlord and also offer support services for older and more vulnerable customers, and we also build new homes – for every three we build we sell two and use the profits to keep the third as an affordable home for a local family. 

Who do you offer your service to?

Generally our customers are not well served by the housing market and come to us to find a cheaper place to live; most of our homes are at social rent (60% of the market rate). We also have specialist schemes for young people, the homeless and people suffering from mental health problems. Our sheltered homes (nearly 2,000) provide safe and warm homes for older people, with a range of additional services to keep people independent.

How does Curo use technology?

We have a self-service platform (MyCuro) which allows people to book repairs, check their account and make payments, start complaints and anti-social behaviour cases and much more. This is then integrated with our housing management system. Many of our colleagues work out in the community and use mobile devices which are synched to the housing management system and our scheduling tool (for repairs jobs). We also have a comprehensive resident involvement platform which allows customers to engage with us digitally in a number of ways to help us improve our services.

Have you always had a technical element to your business or has being digital been Covid driven?

We launched MyCuro 18 months ago and now have nearly 6,000 registered users, so almost half of our homes. Covid has forced us to use other means of delivering some services, so for instance we have managed remote viewings for new lets and new homes, and we are trialling a video diagnostic tool which means we don’t need to come to your house to work out a problem.

How does being more digital allow you to deliver more services for the people who need it most?

Absolutely. If more people who are comfortable with digital (and we reckon about 25% of our customers are not) use MyCuro, we can spend more time dealing with the people who need more support, either on the phone or at their home. It’s a simple equation, and we know from recent research that customers using MyCuro are slightly more satisfied than those who use traditional channels.

Is there a way in which Curo will incorporate more technology into the company in the future? 

I hope so – there are more tools we are looking at, we want to digitise some of our processes (e.g. lettings), and we are interested in IoT/sensors which can help us prioritise investment in our homes.

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