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Following the recent updated guidance from the UK Government, Totalmobile CEO Jim Darragh looks at how we can embrace this advice to deliver safe services that benefit us now and in the future.

 Like many, I intently listened to the updates and read the statements released by the UK Government outlining the updated guidance surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Obviously, the fight against this virus is far from over and we still need to adhere closely to lockdown measures to minimize the spread of coronavirus and protect our NHS. However, it’s also clear that we are starting to look towards the actions we need to take to enable us to relax restrictions and get many parts of our society up and running again.

The Next Step for In-Home Services

One of the updates that drew my attention was around considerations for providers of “in-home” services. The UK Government has suggested that when delivering these services in the future, providers should look at digital or remote alternatives to in-home work, while providing customers with guidance in advance if a physical visit is needed.

This is sensible guidance as the technology exists and is proven to drastically reduce unnecessary home visits and minimize transmission risk. In fact, since the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic began, we’ve had an almost unprecedented demand from our customers, who are turning towards technology to help them through this time. Organisation’s such as Leicester City Council, Fortem and MCP Property Services have deployed remote assistance technologies to help maintain high quality services and ensure the safety of their staff and customers.

These organisation’s are ahead of the curve and I believe their continued commitment to innovation is admirable. But today’s Government advise now means that this technology will need to quickly become commonplace as providers of services such as housing repairs, facilities management and inspection services look to adapt to a new world.

The Difference is Clear

There is encouragement for those organisations who are now looking to adopt technology to better support their customers remotely. Our experience has clearly demonstrated that not only can these solutions be rapidly deployed (often in a matter of hours!), but transformation and benefit realisation is almost immediate.

Using video based remote assistance technology enables support officers to thoroughly inspect and evaluate issues, helping determine the exact nature of a problem. Is it an emergency? Is a physical visit required?  Or can appropriate support be provided to the customer to empower them to resolve the issue themselves?

The improved engagement between customer and organisation, along with the introduction of a thorough triage process, protects staff and customers from unnecessary face to face interactions, minimizing the risk of virus transmission. The benefits experienced are also far wider ranging…

Early feedback from our customers has found that this technology will help increase first time fixes by 50%, remove 80% of inspection visits and resolve 10% of all visits remotely, without impacting upon safety or service levels. Genuinely transformational… not just in the face of COVID-19, but also in the future delivery of community-based services.

Coming Out the Other Side

Never in my lifetime have I experienced such severe disruption across all areas of life in such a short time. However, during this period of adversity, I have experienced a range of things that are truly inspirational. One of these is the work and commitment from our NHS and wider public services. Another is the attitude presented by a variety of organisations, to not just survive during this time, but to come out of this situation, stronger, more robust and ready to deliver better services to their customers than they ever have done before.

I believe the recent Government advise encourages us all to take this approach. To look towards a different way of doing things. To adopt technologies that not only protect our front line, but empowers them to deliver great services.

COVID-19 is the challenge that we are currently facing that will drive innovation over the upcoming weeks and months. But the changes we make now can lead to a positive transformation that not only enables us to advance past current lockdown measures, but also deliver significant long-term benefits for our organisations, staff and customers.

Learn more about how Totalmobile’s Remote Assistance solution can assist your organisation during this time, or please feel free to contact me or any of the Totalmobile team to discuss your current challenges and how we can help.