(Service Director (Customer Services)) To consider the attached report.
The Service Director for Customer Services, R Pavey updated the Committee on the progress of the Customer Service Programme which included the Civic Offices Reception;Corporate Contact Centre (CCC);Systems and Digital Development; and Customer Satisfaction.
The CCC had continued to evolve and grow as more services were integrated, achieving resolution of customer enquiries at the first point of contact. Furthermore, other areas such as Housing and Revenues and Benefits would be process mapped and included at a later date. The call volumes had increased from 81,000 in 2017/18 to 118,000 in 2018/19 and resolution at first contact had increased from 27% to 35%, which was a strong incentive to move more types of service contact into the CCC. The appointment of a new Customer Service Manager would provide the capacity to allow the integration process to accelerate.
In addition to this Member Services had moved to the Customer team. This would ensure a sole contact point that was resilient and focussed, to support members with timely responses to queries and with the digital journey and paperless agendas.
The major piece of work on Systems and Digital Developmenthad been the launch of the new website in early January 2019. The focus of the new website had been transactional, to encourage customers to self-serve and help the Council achieve back-office efficiencies. The move to the new website had been accelerated due to security concerns around the former website’s platform and unfortunately there were some elements that were incomplete although key transactions were functioning as expected. Customers feedback had helped to prioritise and develop the new website further and a new quarterly report on the Customer Excellence would be presented to the Stronger Communities Select Committee.
Finally, Customer Satisfaction was the key indicator for the Council’s performance, demonstrating how well the Council had put the customer at the heart of everything it did. A new feedback process called Govmetric had been installed, which allowed the customers to provide feedback on each contact with the Council via telephone and e-mail through the CCC and website visit. Currently the website had received disappointing reports but many of the issues had been rectified and key themes that emerged had received devoted resources to resolve those issues. The feedback and customer satisfaction data would form part of the quarterly report to the Stronger Communities Select Committee.
The Service Director for Customer Services advised that the Civic Offices Reception and systems and digital development remained key aspects going forward to achieve Customer Excellence. The Key Performance Indicators on Customer Satisfaction and Resolution at First Point of Contact would assist members in assessing the Councils success in achieving Customer Excellence. Regarding Behaviour and Insight work, this information would enable the Council to future-proof its services by meeting changing customer needs. The work would involve gathering and analysing data, to really understand the customers and the changing trends within that base. There were also opportunities with potential partners to see what may exist for joint provision to improve the whole customer experience.
In addition, the Customer team was also involved in the work of the Digital Innovation Zone which was led by EFDC and involved other public and private sector partners. The Customer team had embarked on a project with a charity called Citizens Online, which was aimed at increasing the digital skills of residents to assist with access to services, employability skills and help reduce poverty and social isolation and would be monitored through the Stronger Communities Select Committee.
The Committee commented on the quality of the feedback received from users on the Council website. The Service Director for Customer Services advised that users were able to leave feedback if they wished and it would enable resources to be deployed to these areas for improvement. Customer satisfaction. Other concerns centred around contacting officers directly via the telephone system which did not always work. The Service Director for Customer Services advised that there was a ‘Members Enquiry Form’ that could be emailed in the query and it would be looked after by the Customer Serves Team. Likewise, the Contact Centre would assist with putting the Customer/Member in touch with the relevant department or an officer, creating a consistent service and within a service timeframe. The Committee also asked that a member’s satisfaction survey be provided, which the Service Director agreed.
That the detailed Customer Programme in 2018/19 and the future direction for 2019/20 be noted.