Services and info at a touch

Older people living in two midlands extra care schemes are among the first to try out information kiosks in their schemes. Housing 21 residents living at Goldfield Court in Sandwell and Westhall Court in Birmingham will have a wide range of interactive and information services at the tip of their fingers during the six month trial.

Housing 21, a leading provider of housing and care services, is working with Experience Technologies on the project, which will enable those residents who are unfamiliar with digital technology to easily request services or access helpful information.

Royston Betts, Head of Commercial Development for Housing 21 said: “We’re very excited about the potential for the information kiosks in terms of increasing customer engagement. For many older people navigating modern technologies can be a major barrier. But these touch screen kiosks overcome that through a series of logical steps that are easy to use and make sense. No computer skills are needed and users can also talk into it or record a video if they wish.

“The key outcome for us is to improve the ability for customers to communicate with us and to be able to do this however and whenever they want.”

Users will be able to find out information on their courts and the local community, such as social activities, restaurant menus, local weather etc. They will also be able to find out about services offered by local businesses and print out discount vouchers, access cinema and theatre listings, feedback any complaints or compliments, report a non-urgent repair, link to BBC news and sports pages and email information to personal accounts.

One of the first to use the new facility is Brenda Stephenson of Goldfield Court, who said: “I don't have a computer but I think this is a really good idea. It has lots of information. As I don't have a car I am interested in finding out about court events happening here."

The trial follows on from Housing 21’s customer conference last September when delegates had the opportunity to try out a kiosk. Feedback at that time was very positive with customers indicating they would be interested in seeing these on their courts in the future.

The trial at Goldfield Court, which began yesterday and Westhall Court, which will start next week, will allow Housing 21 to monitor the kiosk usage and assess the feasibility of a later wider roll out.