Increasingly governmental authorities are embracing and adopting the mobile platform as a strategic, self service and highly cost effective customer channel. My Council Services provides an unparalleled service with a unique set of capabilities. The platform provides a rapid implementation and low risk approach without the need for a lengthy and costly IT project. It enables Local Authorities to establish an effective mobile channel that customers will want to use and that will save your organisation’s resources.
My Council Services Platform is being used across more than 230 UK Local Authorities as part of our free to use service; receiving fully formatted service reports from their customers via our mobile applications and via our citizen web portal. And, 80+ authorities are now opting to subscribe to our value added premium services.
“We have a back office system in the Council that holds all the data and we need to make that available to customers so they can log on, see their account and transact with us: apply for things, pay for things, any kind of online transaction. We want them to be able to see all the details of their account in one place and do everything they need to do in that same place. The revenues and benefits project was a building block moving towards giving customers a single view of the council.
The key benefits of a system like this are firstly that once people are signed up they’re not calling us so much, and secondly that they can print their documents off online rather than us having to post them out, which obviously saves us a considerable amount of time and money.
One of the main benefits of this platform is that it is very customer friendly in the way it looks and feels. We’ve had a lot of feedback from customers saying that they like the interface, it’s nice and clean-looking. It’s very simple, easy to navigate. That’s worked really well.” – Senior Project Manager, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
“Previous attempts to take the Allerdale workforce mobile had not been successful. Now, My Council Services technology along with effective business process reengineering means that we have been able to successfully achieve this objective.
Third party contractors deliver a range of services on behalf of the Council, including the removal of litter and animal waste. Under the old working methods some jobs could take an extended period of time to be handled between the citizen, council and contractor. Using the My Council Services technology means that the time taken from a customer reporting an issue to it being deployed to a contractor for is reduced to minutes.
For example, our planning officers previously worked using paper-based systems. Now they can go to a property and capture all of their required information on a tablet device and create a report. There’s no longer a need for these staff to go back to their offices to write up their work reports, as it is all available for them to complete on their mobile devices whilst deployed out in the field.” -Tiffanie Blair, Business Analyst
“This project has given us the opportunity to review all our processes and procedures and look at how we might do things differently. It’s been great as we’ve been able to look at doing things differently and the system gives us the flexibility and the tools we need to implement new, more efficient ways of working.The staff like it even though it has been a big change for them.
We have involved them every step of the way, we’ve used their views and feedback to help us carry out reviews in order to develop the service forms so they are not only user but customer friendly. I personally think it’s a much simpler system to use than our old system. The biggest benefit is we can just develop a quick form and tweak it ourselves at a moments notice. We don’t have to create a job request or wait for IT.
The system, for me, is the key thing for my staff. Other councils have their staff dip in and out of different systems but that doesn’t work for Swale. We want one system and we need it to do everything that our staff need to be able to do including integration with 3rd party systems.” – Carol Sargeant, Customer Service Manager & Transformation Lead for Digital and Customer Focus
“I think we’ve probably got a saving of about 2 FTE which certainly covers the cost of the project but we’re expecting going forward that we will be able to make even greater savings from workforce optimisation.
The customer experience now has a beginning and an end which means that I get fewer phone calls and the contact centre gets fewer phone calls. For me it has been a great success that our web team has been able to create a lot of the forms that we require and we can tinker with those forms ourselves to get exactly what we need.
We’re getting nearly 50% of our fly tipping reporting being done online now. Reporting abandoned vehicles we’re getting nearly 80% done online. From a channel shift perspective that really is the sort of thing we want to see. It’s shown a healthy increase and I think a lot of that is down to the fact that we have got a better way of customers being able to report incidents to us.” -John Edwards, Maidstone Borough Council Street Scene and Waste Officer
“We had an existing in house tool we used that was very cumbersome and all based on programming language so when we tried to change something it was very difficult. With My Council Services we found it very simple to design and arrange all the forms. My colleagues and I actually built and designed all the forms ourselves.
One of the things I noticed as soon as we had the product was the potential of the contact centre module. I played around with it and thought that it really fitted the bill and so we’ve quickly developed it.
It’s a real game changer for us – customers can actually track the progress of their own enquiries regardless of how they contact us. We’ve never been able to achieve that before and we’re really starting to see the results of it. It’s not something that we’ve ever thought we’d be able to achieve so from my point of view it’s a big step forward. -Linda King, Customer Services Manager
“Using My Council Services reduces the number of routine calls to our contact centre and so has freed up our advisors to be able to work with the customers most in need of personal interaction. It’s definitely the way we want to go – to give customers more options to contact us. At the end of the day hopefully we will see some efficiency savings but at the moment it’s a tool to help us deal with our more vulnerable customers.
My Council Services enables better quality information to be collected about issues. There’s a huge benefit to receiving a map and a picture when something such as an abandoned vehicle is being reported. Rather than someone trying to describe it over the phone – instead we can show the actual location and see what the customer is looking at, making it much easier for our operatives to deal with.
A spin of benefit of this project has been that it has enabled us to take a step back and look at all our processes, taking the time to really look at what other Councils have done and make sure that we implement best practice with our processes.” -Nicola Everett, Revenues Systems Manager
As you review the range, and steadily growing number, of our clients it will become apparent that the mobile channel presents a valuable and unmatched opportunity for public service organisations to engage with their customers across the many different delivery functions that public sector organisation have to fulfill. This is true regardless of the social demographic backdrop, economic factors and other contextual complexities.