This month saw the launch of a brand new website for United Utilities Property Searches.
The website, which went live on 15th February, is a response to research carried out by Lotus Research in February 2015. Feedback revealed that while clients said search results came back promptly, they also felt that the ordering and tracking process could be improved.
The research further showed that online property searches were at their peak in 2012, with 80 per cent of customers requesting searches via the website, but by 2015 had reduced to 70 per cent, with a concurrent increase in postal orders. This appears to be due, in part, to problems experienced with uploading digital plans, tracking orders that had been submitted, understanding the results, and the speed and basic nature of the site itself.
Working with teams from Mando and Wipro, the United Utilities Property Searches team set about improving the entire online service offering, from first point of contact through to the delivery of searches and ensuing communications.
Property Searches Operations Team Leader, Sue McManus, said, “With our new site we wanted to go further than simply addressing the issues raised. Some people told us that they found working out the boundaries of their property difficult, and other clients said they had problems uploading plans, so we decided to develop an online boundary tool that would combine these processes and make them as easy as possible.”
As well as a boundary tool that helps clients locate their property or plot (without having to upload a plan if they don’t want to), the new website offers:
a clearer, more detailed explanation of Property Searches services for domestic and commercial clients
a better system for submitting drawings and plans
a streamlined ordering process that clients can amend and update as they go along
improved clarification once orders have been submitted
- ease of contact with the Property Searches team after results have come back.
Property Searches Manager, Karen McCormack, added, “Lots of people involved in the research said that in spite of certain flaws with our old site, they liked our team when they had contact with us and were impressed with the efficiency of our turnaround of results. We’re still here, we haven’t changed – but we’re really proud of our new site and want it to make every property search our clients undertake much easier. But we don’t rest on our laurels! We welcome continued feedback from the people who use our service, so we can make sure it's a great tool and source of information for domestic and commercial clients alike.”