skills development for staff and customers

A useful tool in considering digital strategy development is the Go On /Dot Everyone Basic Digital Skills definition.

There are five basic digital skills defined, each with aspects relating to safety, actions for individuals and actions for organisations.

  • "Managing information: Find, manage and store digital information and content
  • Communicating: Communicate, interact, collaborate, share and connect with others
  • Transacting: Purchase and sell goods and services; organise your finances; register for and use digital government services
  • Problem-solving: Increase independence and confidence by solving problems using digital tools and finding solutions
  • Creating: Engage with communities and create basic digital content”.

In terms of digital inclusion, the actions for organisations in this basic skills definition include:

  • “quickly understanding which products and services work based on online feedback”;
  • “maintaining customer and client relationships”; and
  • the “use of social media to engage with customers”, “creating communities around services”.

customer skills

For housing organisations seeking to use digital technologies to engage with customers and have customers engage with them (and each other) they would have to develop staff skills so that they became comfortable in using digital skills for routine transactions and able to support customers having difficulty with them.

Registered social landlords tend to have as customers many vulnerable and excluded people who are less likely because of cost and skills barriers to be able to participate in what is now normal for most people; a connected life.

Whether or not the digital strategy of a housing organisation will include addressing customer skills development needs will depend on its assessment of customer skills.

Increasing use of mobile devices as a means of accessing the Internet has led to wider digital inclusion, mostly social in nature.

The August 2015 Ofcom Communications Market Report: Scotland shows that 6 in 10 Scots own a smartphone, half own a tablet, that Internet access through mobile phones is beginning to catch up with broadband access and that 27% of Internet users in Scotland are likely to name a tablet as their most important device, 27% a laptop and only 8% a desktop computer.

The report notes that “there are six activities undertaken by a majority of internet users in Scotland. These are sending and receiving email (86%), general surfing or browsing (84%), purchasing goods or services (73%), banking (64%), using social networking sites (57%), and TV/ video viewing (55%). The first two of these activities had been undertaken in the previous week by a majority of internet users in Scotland”.

managing information: find, manage and store digital information and content

Safety:

  • Identify and assess accurate sources of information;
  • use security tools when browsing the web; and
  • regularly update and run virus checking software; manage parental controls

Actions for individuals:

  • Use a search engine to find the information you need;
  • Search for deals on comparison websites;
  • Bookmark useful websites and services you use often; and
  • Store data on a device or in the cloud.

communicating: communicate, interact, collaborate, share and connect with others

 Safety

  • Understand how to manage identities; and
  • protect yourself from scams; use the right security/privacy settings (including parental controls)

Actions for individuals

  • Keep in touch using email, instant messaging, video calls and social media;
  • Post on forums to connect with communities; and
  • Leave feedback on shopping websites and services providers about purchases or experiences

transacting: purchase and sell goods and services; organise your finances; register for and use digital government services

Safety:

  • Use secure websites for financial transactions;
  • protect your personal data; and
  • respect the privacy of others/third parties

Actions for individuals:

  • Complete a Universal Credit application;
  • Order shopping;
  • Book travel;
  • Manage a bank account; and
  • Understand and use marketplaces to buy and sell

problem-solving: increase independence and confidence by solving problems using digital tools and finding solutions

Safety

  • Use accurate sources of support; and
  • avoid malicious websites, scams and pop-up windows.

Actions for individuals

  • Teach yourself simple tasks using video lessons; and 
  • Use feedback from other internet users to solve common problems.
  • Access support services such as ‘live chat’

creating: engage with communities and create basic digital content

Safety:

  • Be aware of copyright;
  • protect your personal data; and
  • respect the privacy of others/third parties

Actions for individuals

  • Create a social media post;
  • Create a text document (e.g. CV);
  • Create and share a photo album; and
  • Create and share feedback using shopping websites.

 

staff skills

For staff, the skills set required will depend on their roles, but will include the skills required to interact with both back-end systems and the customer interface,. both to support customers to use it and to act on their behalf if there are barriers including refusal to engage with digital technologies.

The basic digital skills definition for organisations is defined by Go On as including: 

managing information: find, manage and store digital information and content

  • Store digital information on suppliers and customers
  • Search for new suppliers to find the best deals
  • Use simple analytics to understand who uses your website and when
  • Discover potential growth opportunities for your business

communicating: communicate, interact, collaborate, share and connect with others

  • Maintain customer and client relationships
  • Use social media to promote your business and connect with new customers
  • Improve your customer service by providing accessible product information and answers to FAQs

transacting: purchase and sell goods and services; organise your finances; register for and use digital government services

  • Maximise your selling potential through a website
  • Apply for government business permits and licences and save time
  • Manage invoices and accounts
  • Receive payments or donations

problem-solving: increase independence and confidence by solving problems using digital tools and finding solutions

  • Save on business travel and be more efficient by using video conferencing
  • Quickly understand which products and services work based on online feedback
  • Use simple analytics to understand who uses your website and when
  • Get quick, effective solutions to problems from safe, accurate sources

creating: engage with communities and create basic digital content

  • Create content (pictures, logos, text) to promote your organisation and reach customers
  • Create communities around your services and products using social media to engage with customers
  • Create help resources and guides for employees for improved employee skill levels

The strategy developed will include considering the skills required for different groups of staff to engage with digital technologies as part of the business model.

Modified 6/27/2016 by Craig Green