Council contact centre improves service level


Council contact centre improves service level

Arif Mohamed

A new contact centre has meant fewer abandoned service calls and a better service for Lancaster City Council and its citizens.

The council established its contact centre after research among 1,000 local residents revealed that more than 80% would prefer to contact the council by telephone and wanted to have their queries dealt with at the first point of contact.

The contact centre went live in September after a three-month pilot. It is based on Macfarlane Telesystems' open architecture servers, which run Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Callplus, which is Macfarlane's telephony system.

Callplus includes an automatic call distribution facility, call recording software, management information software, and interactive voice response software. The contact centre also uses Intel Dialogic computer telephony hardware.

The system uses Lagan Frontline for its customer relationship management software, which was integrated into Callplus in less than a day, according to Lancaster City Council.

In September, Lancaster City Concil evaluated the pilot, and the council's cabinet decided to extend the contact centre to allow citizens to call the customer service centre about a wider range of council services in the future.

Lancaster's customer service centre currently employs five full-time staff and handles up to 300 calls a day, on matters such as domestic bins, fly tipping, street cleanliness, abandoned vehicles and litter.

Jane Allder, head of information systems at Lancaster City Council, said the contact centre had raised service levels for local citizens.


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