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Upper Umhlanga Security Trust

A community brought together through security-related needs find something for everyone in their new digital community.

A melting pot of needs

When the Upper Umhlanga Security Trust (UUST) first engaged us, their requirements were mainly around reducing the frustration from some members on the 'noise' or chatter they didn't wish to see, whilst still allowing the more chatty members to connect with each other regularly and on different areas of interest.

Members joined the UUST out of their need for an added level of home security. The expectation of most members from the previously WhatsApp-based group chat was to only see discussions related to break-ins or petty theft, car-jackings or suspicious behaviour within the neighbourhood.

Some members felt that the whole community needed to be aware if a pet went missing, or discuss municipal matters related to loadshedding, water shortages or refuse collection - however, others didn't.

And a few more convivial members of the neighbourhood wanted to share stories with each other of the Umhlanga of yester-years, adding a different layer of value to the community.

The Security Trust's primary concern was to be of service to their members by providing a reliable security function on a daily basis. And, in order to do that, they found it important to respect the personality of the diverse community they served.

Our mission with the UUST was therefore to:

  • Give structure to the emergency-related engagement, thereby bringing about comfort and predictability to otherwise stressful situations;

  • Enable members to decide how and what content they'd like to receive;

  • Create new spaces for connection and common purpose;

  • Create a trusted space where members could find ways to be of service to each other; and

  • Create opportunities for moments of delight.

Security enhancements

The community members were won over by the improvements to emergency-related requirements. Some of the key measures implemented include:

  • A dedicated Emergency chat group that was only to be used for actual crisis situations, such as crime or medical assistance.

  • A 'Panic' button that, in the event of urgent no-questions-asked help needed at a premises straight away, sent a message to first responders.

  • A separate Guard Check-in chat group, where members could be notified at shift-changes and be made aware of which guard was available at any given time.

Redefining service delivery for the Age of Always-On

Whilst staying true to their mission to offer proactive security to its membership, UUST was able to enhance their level of service value to their members. They could either facilitate issues on behalf of the community or, by simply creating fit-for-purpose groups, the members were able to self-service and assist each other. Some of the key channels in use are:

  • Routing of Municipal queries i.e. water, refuse & electricity.

  • Black bags, taxis, streetlights.

  • Endorsements for service providers.

  • IT Support via Tech Talk conversation.

Human connection

The platform empowered UUST to make solid improvements in their objective to nurture a stronger sense of community and participation.

Feedback from our Community Owner

Hayden Conradie – Community Administrator had this to share:

Our UUST app gives a customised experience that suits the dynamics of our community. As an example, our main chat group used to be inundated by a friendly group of members who constantly sent messages to our Guards whenever they came on shift, to greet & wish them well.  The community as a whole were extremely irritated by this but could not mute the group in case of missing out on important topics up for discussion. A 'Greet the Guard' group was introduced and the problem was instantly solved. Members of the community can now greet the guards without disturbing the entire community.

Feedback from the community:

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