How are councils engaging citizens with online building control services? Idox responds to Better Connected report

Socitm’s Better Connected programme has released its latest survey results, which evaluated the digital performance of 353 council websites across the UK, specifically focusing on tasks relating to building control.

The survey found that 34% of Scottish sites and 43% of sites in the rest of the UK (the systems are slightly different), to be good or very good for the task 'apply for building control'.

Responding to the results, Chris Kendall, Digital Strategy Owner at Idox said:

“Idox’s support of the Better Connected programme is all about putting the citizen back at the heart of public service delivery. We acknowledge that at a time of great digital change, councils need to know how and why they can transform their services for the better with the help of digital technologies.”

Better Connected made a series of recommendations in a corresponding report to help councils improve the customer experience of completing building control tasks online.

Advice is geared around simplifying and streamlining the customer journey wherever possible, reducing advertising and ‘hard sell’ space and making information clear and concise with instructions and online FAQs to an audience that expect to find answers to their questions 24/7.

Kendall added: “Our current work here in the area of building control has not just been about analysing how councils support the submission of applications, it’s about identifying and understanding where we can partner with those councils to make the whole submission process easier for their customers and for themselves. Providing enhanced customer journeys not only offers better citizen engagement that meets the growing expectations of internet users, it recognises time, resource and cost-savings for the council itself. Armed with industry and technology knowledge, we’re aiming for mutually-beneficial digital transformation.”

Idox’s partnership with Better Connected will support an ongoing programme of work aimed at identifying and developing online best practice in key areas of local government.

This commitment to accelerating digital transformation is supported by a host of digital products, including solutions such as online application service iApply and new role-based app suite OnSite, all aimed at creating enhanced customer journeys and council savings.

The results of the building control/standards surveys are available to view online. Individual councils can find their results from the council index page here.

The ‘all council’ reports can be accessed by following the links from: Better Connected.  

The next Idox-sponsored survey will focus on Licensing. Results are expected in the spring.