Making the most of AdviceAid

You’ve made the excellent decision to use AdviceAid to supercharge your housing advice. But are you making the most of the powerful tools at your disposal?

In this handy article, we will share what we have learned from some of the brilliant council’s that use AdviceAid.

But before we do, a brief reminder that AdviceAid has two modules:

  • SelfServ, which sits on your website and your customers access directly.
  • Compose, used by advisors to create and share advice with your customers.

1. Make AdviceAid easy to find online

How easy is it for your customers to find SelfServ advice on your website?

We recommend generating a contrasting button titled “Get Housing Advice” and placing it prominently on your website. Try utilising the page design to set the button or link apart from your other information pages, so it feels more like a service. Think through the steps a typical customer looking for housing advice would take once they land on your homepage.

2. Empower your whole team to be advice champions

Although your team will mostly use Compose, they are also the best advocates for SelfServ. Customers really welcome knowing advice is available to them 24-7 online. Did you know, that the advice sheets you create in Compose automatically include a link to SelfServ? Consider further opportunities to promote the service, such as:

  • Adding a line to your standard telephone script
  • Adding something like this to your email footer: Did you know you can access free housing advice online: URL

We strongly recommend making an introduction to AdviceAid part of your new starter induction. Sharing the video of the launch event team session is an easy way to do this. If you have a significant number of new staff, contact us to discuss a training session.

3. Tell your partners

Who are your citizens reaching out to when they need help and support? Consider providing a brief to partners so they can signpost AdviceAid on your website. Partners could be:

  • In the council: Children’s Services (especially Family Hubs / Children’s Centres); libraries, revenue and benefits; customer services; and specialist services such as refugee resettlement.
  • Statutory partners: GP surgeries; Job Centre Plus; Probation; schools; and NHS health and wellbeing hubs.
  • Voluntary and community: Citizen’s Advice, food banks, community centres, faith groups, early years settings; specialist support groups.

4. Marketing and promotion

There are several quick and easy ways to promote the housing advice on your website, many of which have been successfully tried and tested in other councils:

  • Social media posts: schedule campaigns (such as when you launch AdviceAid) or react to national or local events with a timely reminder. See this example from Central Bedfordshire.
  • A press release is a great way to get coverage in local newspapers and websites.
  • Create and print posters or leaflets which you can distribute through the partners listed above.
  • If your council produces a newsletter for residents, explore if you can include a feature in the next edition.

We can help

The above list is not exhaustive but hopefully inspires you with a few easy and low-cost options. We really want you to make the best of AdviceAid, so please let us help. We are available to talk through your promotion ideas and can even provide some example wording and logos should you wish to use them. Reach out using this contact form.