BLOG: Transformation and quick wins: making an impact in Customer Service
Cllr Ruth Bennett, Cabinet Member for Finances, Resources and Transformation, explains how we’re meeting the challenge of providing better customers services whilst reducing call volumes
The Customer Service Team’s core ambition is to making sure that we provide a convenient online service for those that can do things for themselves, so that we can concentrate our efforts and resources on those more vulnerable or digitally excluded residents who really need personal one-to-one help.
As part of this, the team have set themselves a target to reduce call volumes by nearly 25 per cent over the course of a year. It’s a challenging aim, but it’s so important for both the council and our residents.
Finding new ways of doing this is at the heart of the Customer Service team’s new approach to transformation. It all started with the task of identifying the most common customer journeys and then streamlining workflows.
This huge task involved looking at around 1,000 customer journeys to see where the queries associated with them could be resolved at first contact (such as when someone visits a web page to make an initial inquiry). From this, the team then identified the top ten most used services and worked with them closely to identify how they could design ways to resolve more queries at first contact (meaning there would be much less need for calls to the Contact Centre).
For each of these services, workshops have been held where the services discussed together the current way enquiries are handled, what a better solution would be, and how they might make it happen. Each service has since had an action plan which involved both “quick wins” and “transformational” changes.
The quick wins involved small changes to a process which would be simple to introduce, whilst the transformational changes were things that may include procurement of a new ICT system, for example.
One great example of this process is beginning to positively impact is in Revenues and Benefits. The Contact Centre was receiving lots of calls from people who were struggling to understand the details of their Council Tax bill, which we are legally unable to change. By introducing the quick win of the “understanding your council tax bill” section on the website, the Contact Centre has already seen a reduction of calls related to this enquiry.
It’s just the start of a much bigger journey to ensure we’re meeting the needs of our residents both now and for years to come.