Service Re-Design: Win-Win!
A service re-design in which everyone wins.
Business Take-aways: Reduced costs of service provision, reduced resourcing for each client, and a service better suited to the needs of the client.
Situation Change: A community services provider had to review how to deliver their services following the covid-19 ‘lockdown’, where social interaction was curtailed for all but essential needs.
Their normal mode of operation was regular 2-weekly face to face meeting between mentor and client. But these face to face meetings were no longer possible in the current situation. The clients could be typified and vulnerable young people between the ages of 15 and 24; those trying to understand how to live in an adult world.
The solution developed was to communicate directly mentor-client using social media – WhatsApp, Facetime, Zoom etc. Initially the mentors were reluctant to use these channels, due to caution of actually using these channels, and the fear that their meetings would be less productive in terms of understanding and relating to the client’s needs. On the other hand the clients, already familiar with social media, didn’t see it as a problem and welcomed the more informal approach. Meetings could be held weekly, or even more frequently using social media, and gave better accessibility for the client (they could contact their mentor for quick responses between meetings).
For the Clients – a more suitable method of contact, better outcomes from the meetings, more accessibility to the mentor - increasing the positive impact on them.
For the Service provider - Immediate: Costs were reduced dramatically. Travel costs were diminished, and travel time removed. Long-term: Following the undoing of the lockdown the meeting format changed to monthly face to face meetings, but with weekly social media meetings. The outcome of this was a 50% reduction in travel costs and time, and more importantly reduction in the time allocated to each meeting.
These monthly face to face contacts could now be 1 hour rather than the 2 hours previously; as an outcome of the more frequent contact, its informality and the greater rapport developed with the client.
A reduction of 50% of time allocated to face to face meetings. Overall a reduction from 4 hours down to 2 ½ hours per client per month, as the social media calls became shorter.