Understanding the true Customer Experience through Service Design

Using the true customer experience to explore operational housing service design shines the light on customer-driven improvements.

About the project

Despite its commitment to providing safe and affordable housing, Incommunities recognised the need to improve the overall experience for its customers. With a desire to take a fundamental look at their core housing management services, including ASB, Income Collection, and their main housing policies, Incommunities wanted to explore how they could better support the diverse needs of their customers through effective service design. It was essential for the organisation to build a greater understanding of how their services interacted, key challenges to delivery, and the subsequent influences on customer satisfaction.

Engaging extensively with frontline colleagues as well as diverse customer groups, Altair conducted a detailed discovery exercise to gain insights into the experiences and challenges faced by colleagues and customers alike, using these insights to provide Incommunities with core findings that represented the greatest impacts on customer experience and service delivery. Working collaboratively with frontline officers and those with lived experience, we were able to effectively develop a new structure and service design for the management and resolution of anti-social behaviour, alongside detailed customer journey maps across their highest transaction services within repairs, income collection, and complaints.

Incommunities faced the challenge of increasing demand on their services, from a diverse and often complex customer base. Their services had developed organically over the years, resulting in duplication, lack of clarity, and often, without the customer experience in mind. Altair’s expertise allowed us to offer practical and innovative solutions to enhance service design and delivery, improve communication, and move the focus to a truly customer-centric offer.


The project achieved three main successes:

  • It provided Incommunities with a holistic view of their end-to-end services, allowing them to see the opportunities, value-add, and waste in their existing services across customer experience, processes, organisational design, people, culture, technology, and data.
  • A new model for the delivery and management of ASB was developed, informed by customer demand and experience – with significant opportunity for value-added services, and reduction of process waste.
  • It allowed frontline colleagues to understand how their role can, and most likely will, impact the experience a customer has through their service.
Altair’s collaborative and comprehensive approach helped us to gain deep insights into the needs and experience of our customers. The review delivered by Altair allowed us to take a holistic and methodical view of some of our core housing services, revealing inefficiencies and areas for improvement that we hadn’t previously considered. Altair’s expertise and commitment to understanding unique challenges facing the social housing sector has enabled us to take important strides forward in designing the future of our services. They demonstrated a genuine passion for making a positive impact in the social housing sector, and their professionalism, expertise, and dedication have been commendable throughout the project
Janey Carey, Exec Director - Customer & Communities

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