Agenda item

Customer Access Strategy / Contact Centre Expansion

Update by Customer Services Manager.


The Customer Services Manager explained that some re-wording was needed before the strategy was circulated to Service Managers.  The main aim of the strategy was to improve the internet and make it more interactive. 


The Contact Centre extension had been completed and two additional desks had been purchased.  Options were being investigated for the telephony system which would allow greater flexibility for mobile working, etc.  A health check was needed for the Lagan system to determine whether an upgrade to version 7 was needed and if it was upgraded, whether it would work with the current telephony system.  The health check would require the release of funds.


The Senior Accountant Capital and Treasury was concerned that there had been no formal report provided in support of the funding request and that the health check might not be eligible as capital.


The ICT Manager explained that discussions were taking place with Norfolk County Council, to determine the potential for shared telephony with them.  Once the outcome of those talks was known a report could be prepared.


The Chairman asked the officers to provide the necessary documents for the next meeting when a decision would be taken.<1>


A Member asked about the volume of calls being received as he felt there should be a policy concerning direct dialled numbers.


The Customer Services Manager confirmed that information was available from BT which would be presented to the next meeting.<2>


In response to a question about the outcomes of the Customer Contact Centre trial she reported that take-up at Swaffham had been disappointing and as a result she intended to introduce a direct phone line in place of the officer at that Centre on Fridays as turnout had been so low. 


Watton did not need any further hours, but Attleborough was busy on all four days and having a Housing representative at the office had proved successful.


There had been no further progress on potential shared service with Norfolk Constabulary as they were currently looking for internal efficiencies.


Information from the Contact Centre was being fed to the Performance Team but the Policy and Performance Manager was concerned that only limited areas of data were being captured.  Where issues had been identified, action had been taken to address them, but to fully understand the needs of customers more information was required.  Lagan held more data, but at present it could not be accessed.


The Customer Services Manager said that they were currently investigating a Survey which was able to target specific groups and gave traffic light outcomes.  It could be used for Customer Service Excellence Accreditation purposes, and could also be utilised by other service areas.


A Member asked if there was any way to assess the impact that the changes to Planning and Building Control, including upgrades to the Ocella system, would have on the number of calls handled by the Contact Centre.  It was confirmed that benchmarking information should be available.


Finally the Chairman asked what the latest position was in relation to providing additional telephone lines.  The ICT Manager explained that although this could be done they were investigating ways of encouraging self-service use of the internet first, thereby reducing telephone demand.