Issue - meetings

Operational Update on Customer Services

Meeting: 18/07/2022 - Customer Services Scrutiny Committee (Item 16)

16 Operational Update on Customer Services pdf icon PDF 4 MB


The Customer Services Manager gave a presentation to Members updating them on current service delivery; performance trends; customer contact preferences; planned service developments.  Customer Services worked on behalf of all other service areas in the Council as the first point of contact, with their service plan aligned to the Council Ambitions and Priorities.


Since the pandemic customer contact channels had changed with face to face contacts decreasing by 50%.  Use of email has doubled from around 4,000 to 8,000 and live chat (a new method on contact) was around 800-1,000 per month.  Where customers were coming direct to contact centres for face-to-face support they were now presenting with multiple issues which was resulting in longer transactions than usual.  This was now being monitored so processes could be adapted accordingly.  Digital contact had increased significantly with over 40% using online channels.  However, face-to-face contact was still required for those not comfortable or unable to use online contact.


Members were briefed on a number of recent achievements including:


  • Introduction of over-phone payments
  • Reinstatement of call-recording
  • Implementation of multi-channel telephony system – this could be tailored to employees skills and knowledge levels so that more experienced colleagues handled a more complex workload.  It was also possible to prioritise calls over email/live chat when call volumes were high.
  • Implementation of Sign Solutions for those with hearing difficulties.


One of the core future plans was implementation of Information Screens within Contact Centres.  It was hoped to develop a suite of promotional screens for each service area that could run on rotation.  In addition, officers were aiming to develop a real-time satisfaction solution to capture data for services was a high priority.  Furthermore, officers aimed to refine the approach to reducing avoidable contact, and develop and implement a call-back facility which should all maximise the efficiency and flexibility of the service.


A Q&A session followed with the following points raised:


Cllr Heffer – Access to a Contact Centre by Tibshelf residents was not easy and residents would benefit from a mobile centre or something closer, bus routes to South Normanton were a real problem.  Could we have something more locally based?


Pre-pandemic a community based advisor was being considered and Housing services now run such a service.  This has been raised previously.


Cllr Dixon – Could we develop a pop-up service that could go across the District to cover those areas not in proximity to a Centre?


We do try to do this at partnership events and events by Housing/ASB.


Cllr Joesbury – A presence at events is really good but not regular.  Could we have a mobile office like the old style mobile libraries?


This can be considered.


Cllr Bowler – there no longer seems to be advertising of available properties in Contact Centre windows – why not?


Advertising is now mostly online but a printout can still be done.  We can look in to this.


Cllr Bowler – does the call back facility give the customer a queue position?


This is something we  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16