News

The SDS blog

We provide support and guidance, external challenge, sharing good practice, industry knowledge and practical insights as well as being a valuable resource for councils on the next stage of their digital journey.

Digital solutions Research Understanding your users

Chatbot Customer Frustrations

Chatbots are capable of supporting key service areas. In particular, they are aimed at high-contact areas with repetitive enquiry types. Also, chatbots can improve the user experience by providing a seamless journey The key requirements for a chatbot in local...
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Research Understanding your users

Housing advice website customer journey analysis

Sevenoaks District Council requested an analysis of their housing advice web pages with an emphasis on improving how customers reach specific housing forms. We created personas to illustrate the customer journey for a customer who would be homeless tonight and a person who could be homeless in 56 days.
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Digital solutions Research

Local Market Management and Booking System Best Practice Research

Gravesham Borough Council recognised an opportunity to improve market traders experience by implementing a market management and booking system for Gravesend Borough Market. SDS completed a best practice research project on their behalf.
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Digital solutions Service design Understanding your users

Service redesign using the customer journey

Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council (TMBC) are redesigning processes by capturing the customer journey. This is to gain a clear understanding of the end-to-end steps to provide services to residents.
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Training

Usability Testing Training

Smarter Digital Services hold a series of workshops every year, and on request, to share our knowledge and help local authorities be more efficient and customer focused. A popular training session that we have been delivering is usability testing. Continuously...
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Digital solutions Service design

IVR messaging for new waste service

We are assisting Tunbridge Wells Borough Council with IVR messaging for their new waste service which will be starting at the end of September. As the calls to the Council will be substantially higher during the initial period, SDS have been asked to assist with IVR messaging, scripting and routing.
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Website redesign

Redesigned SDS Website

This summer we decided to redesign our website and freshen up its look and feel. Why not visit the website and let us know what you think: http://smarterdigital.info
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Digital solutions Training

Google Analytics Training

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council have a new waste contract with some key changes happening at the end of September. The TWBC Communications Team asked SDS for some Google Analytics training to enable them to understand the traffic through the TWBC website.
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Understanding your users

Tandridge Usability Testing Online Waste Forms

SDS have completed the user testing of Tandridge District Council’s new online waste forms prior to going live. The user test focused on the ‘Report It’ function leading to online waste reporting forms including fly-tipping, dead animals, assisted waste collections and missed bin collections. We spent a day user testing on a laptop and mobile phone with six volunteer residents.
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Digital solutions Research

Skype for Business Research and Focus Groups with Stakeholders

SDS have reached the half-way point in the Skype for Business project for Mid Kent Services. The key aim of the project is to capture and analyse feedback from staff and other data sources to assess how well the partnership is utilising Skype for Business and what more can be done to maximise the benefits the service can provide teams.
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Digital solutions Research

Telephone Contact Centre Best Practice Research and Workshop

SDS carried out research into contact centre best practices and alternative customer service channels as well as a review of Gravesham Borough Council’s IVR telephone system. The research involved a comparison of IVR menus with other councils, a list of top hints and tips, demand management good practice and case studies of IVRs from the public and private sector. SDS also included examples of channel shift.
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Understanding your users

Website content analysis user testing

Dartford Borough Council wanted to gain user perspectives about their website. SDS tested the website with live users for ease of navigation, user-friendliness, the language and tone as well as the look and feel of the website. SDS engaged with 5 service areas, Enforcement and Regulatory, Waste, Housing, Planning and Environmental Health.
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Understanding your users

Housing Register – User Research

The SDS team have been working with the Local Government Association (LGA) in order to deliver six workshops (ranging from user research and user testing to developing a comms plan) to benefit five of their partners who have received funding to deliver digital housing and homelessness services to their residents, like the project delivered across Kent in 2017.
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Understanding your users

Web pages and forms user testing

SDS were asked by three partner authorities in Cambridge (Cambridge City Council, South Cambs District Council and Hungtindonshire District Council) to test the most used web pages and forms on their websites to explore how users interact with the website and complete a specific task. This was to see how long it took for users to complete a transaction and whether they did so successfully.
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Understanding your users

Council letters user testing

In order to improve communications with residents and reduce avoidable contact, SDS were asked by Tandridge District Council to usability test 6 of their existing revenues and benefits letters with users. During the usability test, SDS suggested an alternative for each letter in order to gain insightful and constructive user feedback for both the existing and alternative letters.
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Understanding your users

Customer Account user testing

In October, SDS conducted a day of user testing at Sevenoaks District Council, exploring residents’ views of their website and My account function. This involved residents attempting to complete various scenarios leading them to either set up an account or login to an existing account.
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Digital solutions

LGA Case Study – Digital Housing

The Local Government Association (LGA) have published a case study of work Smarter Digital Services undertook for Kent Homechoice to deliver the online housing pre-assessment form, full application form and homelessness triage tool.
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Understanding your users

Focus Groups in Tandridge

Tandridge District Council (TDC) invited Smarter Digital Services to deliver a series of Focus Groups with residents to capture the voice of the customer and gain a better understanding of customers priority needs when contacting, interacting and transacting digitally with the council.
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Training

LGA Digital Housing Programme

The homelessness triage tool has been updated to comply with the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, and is now being used by all local authorities in Kent.
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Understanding your users

HEF cover letter user testing

After attending our Behaviour Change workshop in May, Maidstone Borough Council put what they had learnt into practice by redesigning their Household Enquiry Form cover letter. SDS were asked to deliver user testing with 7 residents to review the letter and give recommendations for any further improvements based on residents' feedback.
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