6.1 The main ways customers interact with RPID are by telephone or personal contact with their local RPID office. As part of the Scottish Government's digital agenda, the Futures Programme seeks to encourage more use of online services. As is shown in Chapter 3, respondents found the RPID staff they came into contact with to be both knowledgeable and helpful. While this is positive endorsement of RPID's staff, it may also act as a barrier to using online services, especially where there are other barriers to moving online. Knowing that helpful members of staff are on hand at their local office means that RPID customers might have little incentive to use the online service, particularly in light of customers' reported problems with the complicated nature of the applications process.
6.2 In terms of the overall service offered by RPID, the availability and quality of information emerges as a persistent issue. Large minorities of respondents reported encountering problems with the clarity and ease of finding information about schemes, also with the ease of filling in application forms, and the quantity and clarity of guidance for the filling-in of forms. Improving in these areas could also help to draw more customers in to using the RPO system. Most customers were happy with RPO itself, but only 57% of users said that they found the RPO site easy to navigate, therefore it may be necessary to improve the way the website works in order for customers to use the site with more confidence.
6.3 When it comes to the potential for RPID to offer a greater variety of online services, it was found that those who were least likely to think such new services would be useful were a significant minority of people in the 65-and-over age bracket and were more likely to be users of the paper SAF system. However, while it may be impossible to encourage all customers in this group, the proportion of people in this age group who are willing to use online services suggests that there may be the potential to draw at least some of them in to using online services.
Email: Angela Morgan
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