Agenda item

Customer Contact Centre - Single Benefit (Agenda item 11)

To receive an update.


The ICT Consultant explained that he was putting together a short review on a number of projects which would put the Contact Centre in a better light.  He highlighted what was being covered.


The Chairman knew that the Council was obligated to put everything on-line as it was cheaper but had concerns that not everyone had access to a computer which he considered not to be best value for customers.  With this in mind, he felt that the Customer Service Centres should be retained. 


The ICT Consultant stated that the Contact Centre was one of the best he had seen.  He would try and get better control over all channels (such as face to face, IT etc) and, with this in mind, further research would be carried out with the Council’s customers.


The Chairman said that an options paper was being prepared in relation to ICT.


One of the biggest issues at present was Member roll out and the Chairman asked if this was still within budget.  In response, the ICT Consultant explained that it would be close.  In terms of Member roll out, there was some order now in relation to out of hour’s service and they were happy with the service being provided. 


As far as the options paper was concerned, a draft was being prepared for the end of the month which would set out the pros and cons.  The ICT Consultant was having great difficulty in getting information from South Holland; however, Compass Point would be putting forward a proposal by the end of the week; this would be just one option, another option included building on the ARP Partnership.  Further discussion would be had with the Chief Executive about preferred options.  The Chairman asked if the Customer Contact Centre and the ICT options, once received, could be joined.  The ICT Consultant pointed out that this was not something his agency would normally cover; however, he would be reviewing the ICT in both authorities to gauge strengths and weaknesses as this would deliver cost benefits by merging the infrastructure; and with a single ICT Strategy, services and resources could be shared between authorities.


It was noted that Breckland Council’s Information and Security Policy had been updated.


A Member could recall when the Contact Centre first opened that the advice back then had been that it would sit well with ICT.  Members were informed that there were no synergies between the two; there were greater synergies between the Web and the Contact Centre; the Web, as a function, did not sit well with ICT. 


Referring to video conferencing, a Member asked if some of the Committee meetings, such as planning, could be streamed on the Web.  In response, the ICT Consultant stated that as far as he was aware this was not on the programme although he did know of some authorities who had bought such equipment which he could approach for further information.


With regard to Contact Centre footfall, a number of options were being considered, such as different opening hours and putting some calls through to the Service Centres to create greater productivity.


In response to a question about whether the One-Stop Bus was used in the towns, Members were informed that it was currently being trialled in the towns as it had not been popular in the villages.  The funding was due to run out in July/August 2011 so a decision would be required as to whether the Council carried on with the bus. 


The report was otherwise noted.