Customers see ‘The Council’ as one function and may not recognise the various tiers of Local Authority, or service areas within an authority, when calling their Council. Customer expectations are that their calls are answered quickly and dealt with at the first point of contact. However, often a customer may call the wrong authority (e.g. District instead of Parish or County) or may call the contact centre instead of a specific department. This involves the customer speaking to an advisor and potentially being diverted to another service area, to another authority or being given contact details for a different authority.
With an increase in financial constraints Authorities’ resources are increasingly limited and when extra demands are placed on the customer services teams e.g. during controversial planning applications or the roll out of new services; it would be prudent to share the workload with other service areas or Authorities when required in order to maintain business continuity.
We would like to research and test voice recognition and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology as ways to provide a seamless customer experience, ensuring calls are dealt with at the first point of contact and to also make better use of available resources.
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