How ser­vice is sup­posed to help res­i­dents

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Hang On A Minute . . . Or 10! -

In April, Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil in­tro­duced a ‘self ser­vice’ tele­phone fa­cil­ity for in­quires re­lat­ing to rev­enue, ben­e­fits, and the en­vi­ron­ment.

The coun­cil has said that within the first 15 weeks of the ser­vice go­ing live, 15,280 rev­enues and ben­e­fits calls were fully re­solved with­out a cus­tomer need­ing to speak to a mem­ber of staff, and 3,769 calls were re­solved by the coun­cil’s new en­vi­ron­men­tal ser­vices num­ber.

Res­i­dents were told about the new phone ser­vice when the coun­cil tax bills were sent out in March.

The coun­cil in­tro­duced the new sys­tem af­ter es­ti­mat­ing that a third of the peo­ple who called the coun­cil or the Ash­ford Gate­way Plus for ad­vice, could have had their query re­solved by us­ing the coun­cil web­site or this new phone fa­cil­ity.

As a di­rect re­sult of the use of this ser­vice and the new web­site, the coun­cil says that cus­tomer ser­vice staff are now free to take the more com­pli­cated calls, which the phone sys­tem trans­fers to the call cen­tre.

Cllr Neil Shorter, ABC’s port­fo­lio holder for re­source man­age­ment and con­trol, pic­tured, said: “This ser­vice ex­ists to an­swer the ques­tions we are most fre­quently asked.

“We know from the new web­site that peo­ple don’t have to speak to a mem­ber of staff as long as they get the an­swer to their ques­tion.

“Of course, clearly, we have to en­sure that we have staff on hand to deal with the more in-depth ques­tions that peo­ple have, which is why we have in­creased the num­ber of phone lines so that staff are on hand to take th­ese calls.

“But the self-ser­vice fa­cil­ity means peo­ple can get the in­for­ma­tion when­ever is a good time for them to make the call.”

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