Exeter unveils channel shift strategy

Exeter City Council is set to approve a channel shift strategy which it says could save almost £1m over the next six years.

Councillors will next week vote on plans to spend £1.29m on a new customer portal along with another £108,000 on a voice activated telephone directory to answer customer calls.

Services will gradually be moved onto the new portal over the six year life of the business case, a report to councillors said, with the aim of producing net savings of £991,776.

It said: “Many commercial organisations and even some local authorities have begun to accelerate the removal of face to face and even telephone contact.

“However, this council’s approach aims to respond to an understanding of the needs of our customers”.

It said the approach would be to improve existing channels while understanding the needs of customers.

The first stage of the process will be to support service areas to redesign services so they are easy for customers to use online.

The report said: “Our aim to encourage self service will not be successful if customers have an unsatisfactory experience as they are likely revert to traditional methods of contact.”

It said that help would be available to encourage over 65s to use computers in libraries to access council services.

And the council said that “as more people use the online service there will be a corresponding reduction in the staff resources for those areas, and both front and back office staff will be affected”.

The council cited  figures from Socitm that show on average, a face-to-face enquiry costs £7.40, a telephone enquiry £2.90, and a web enquiry around £0.32. 

Colin Marrs

Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
Subscribe to our newsletter