Customer relationship software is saving council £250,000 a year

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council is saving £250,000 a year after deploying a customer relationship management system across...

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council is saving £250,000 a year after deploying a customer relationship management system across just two service areas.

The Merseyside council measured the impact of the CRM implementation on revenues and benefits systems and bookings. It found the system had made a 20% saving by helping staff to avoid duplication of effort and reducing the need to respond to follow-up calls and visits.

The National Computing Centre and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance Accountancy helped the council measure the benefits of the CRM implementation by observing 30 separate processes before and after the system went live.

Knowsley Council, which serves a population of 154,000 people, resolves 93% of queries on the first contact with its One Stop Shop centres. The CRM system is making an annual saving of £110,000 in running revenue and benefits systems, and e-booking saves about £150,000.

Rod Matthews, the council’s head of ICT, said the approach had proved effective in convincing the council of the value of IT investment. "The finance director is suddenly switched on to this," he said. "Initially it was a leap of faith - it seemed like we would be doing more with more - but we have demonstrated we are achieving more with less."

Before the CRM implementation, staff in Knowsley’s contact centre had to toggle between back-office applications, including revenues and benefits, which were not designed for high volumes of customer enquiries.

The new system, supplied by Onyx Software, integrates back-office application data into a single interface. E-forms allow client data to be captured in a more comprehensive and accurate way, and the system creates electronic indexing for each record.

The system has also unified disparate booking systems, and Matthews believes more efficiency gains will follow as CRM technology is applied to internal council services such as HR.

Guide to CRM return on investment

A detailed description of Knowsley Council’s approach to CRM is to be published by the National CRM Programme, supported by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Part one includes a guide to return on investment for Knowsley’s CRM project, together with a pre-CRM and post-CRM benefits analysis. Part two is a proof of concept case study including a detailed cost-benefit analysis.

Rod Matthews, Knowsley’s head of ICT, contributes to the National CRM programme. "It is a way of helping other councils to avoid re-inventing the wheel," he said.

PDF documents of the studies will be available at www.crmnp.org.uk

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