Council doubles online contacts in three years

A local authority in Wales has increased the proportion of residents accessing its services via the internet from 25% to 53% in the space of three years, saving more than £500,000.

Newport City Council said the spike in take-up had followed a “sustained campaign” to bring about behavioural change, including a customer-focused redesign and redevelopment of its website based on areas accessed most frequently.
The authority said that in 2012, 75% of transactions were conducted face-to-face or via other mediated channels, with the remaining 25% through self-service. It set a target of increasing online self-service levels to 45% by 2017.
A council spokeswoman said the target had been reached and exceeded two years early with the aid of new customer-insight research that allowed it to better target residents’ suitability to migrate to online access, automated phone lines and self-service payment machines.
“The council took the innovative approach of profiling and segmenting each household across the city based on their likelihood and preference to self-serve and access information online,” she said.
‘This information was then uploaded to each individual address within the council’s management system and a screen ‘pop up’ message for city contact staff to target those most likely to self-serve when they rang the contact centre.
“Another element to raise awareness was the use of an integrated communications campaign.”
She added that funding had also been sourced to address skills shortages among residents, including training more than 50 frontline staff to help residents at council premises where public computers can be accessed.
A Local Government Association report on the use of technology to transform local public services last year put the cost of a face-to-face customer-services visit at £8.62. A call-centre transaction cost £2.83, while the cost of an online transaction was just 15p.
The figures were based on Socitm research produced in 2012.

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Your email address will not be published.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