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Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

Checking in on the digital checkup – what did we learn? Part 2

In Part 1 of this blog, we looked at what insights we gained from a year of running a digital checkup and offering support calls. In this post, we look at what we learned about how this worked as a service. 

Just over a year ago, we went live with a beta version of our online digital checkup. Initially it was a simple survey, with a link offering further contact. 

There are two main parts to the survey. There’s an online self-assessment, which asks questions across 4 key areas and gives respondents a score for each area. Secondly, people who complete the self-assessment can book a free support phone call to discuss their result. As more and more people have engaged with the checkup, we’ve gone through several iterations of the service. What have we learned about providing this service? 

Self assessments don’t tell the whole story – but they are a great conversation starter 

When we set up our digital checkup, we guessed that a self-assessment might not give perfectly consistent results. That’s why we added the follow-up calls to provide more support, and to help us gain more insight. In practice we found that some CEOs and Directors were optimistic about their current level of digital capability, while staff closer to the day-to-day work were often a bit more critical. A few organisations got several members of their staff team to complete the digital checkup, then compared their results and had a discussion. 

Keeping the survey brief and accessible added value 

Another key goal we had in mind when planning the digital checkup was to ensure it was accessible and easy to complete for non-specialists. This is because small and medium-sized charities don’t usually have dedicated digital or technology teams. And while CEOs and Directors might be digitally curious, we didn’t want to put them off with unfamiliar terminology. Because we were able to offer an in-depth discussion as part of our support offer, we were able to keep the initial assessment simple and get into more depth later on. 

Small refinements based on user needs made a big difference 

While we haven’t changed the core content of the survey very much, we have made a few tweaks in response to user needs. We’ve been able to do this in an agile way because our support calls allowed us to talk to live users and gain insights quickly. 

  • In July, we made a big improvement for users who were asking ‘I want to book a support call now’. We added an automated call booking system (a embed) which let users choose and book their own time for a phone call. This increased the number of people arranging calls, but kept it easy to manage. 
  • Another common user question was ‘What does my organisation’s score mean in comparison to others?’ In November, we started displaying the checkup results as a radar plot. This helped people quickly see which areas they were weak on, and helped them set their result in the context of similarly-sized organisations. 

What are we planning to do next? 

  • We’re now supplementing the initial one-to-one chat with a further call about six weeks later, to help charities translate resources on offer into a more tangible road map for their organisation. 
  • We’ve introduced a live chat session on the results page, to see if users prefer this mode of communication. So far, takeup is low, but we will experiment with this channel in future. 
  • We’re planning to encourage more organisations to get several of their team members to complete the checkup, as this seems to encourage good discussions within the organisation about their ambition for digital. 
Last modified on 22 January 2020