Call to up­grade coun­cil’s phone sys­tem

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - NEWS -

An Aberdeen­shire coun­cil­lor has called for the speedy in­tro­duc­tion of a sched­uled new phone sys­tem to tackle the vol­ume of unan­swered queries to the lo­cal author­ity.

East Gar­i­och Lib-Dem mem­ber Fer­gus Hood made the ap­peal af­ter it was re­vealed that out of 24,324 calls made to Aberdeen­shire Coun­cil’s con­tact cen­tre in Oc­to­ber last year, around 10,000 went unan­swered.

While he ac­cepted that the han­dling of 14,000 queries with an av­er­age wait­ing time of be­tween four and six min­utes was good, he stressed it was not good enough.

For the pe­riod April to Oc­to­ber, 63,899 calls from 161,189 made went unan­swered.

The de­tails emerged at

“63,899 calls from 161,189 made went unan­swered ”

a meet­ing of the coun­cil’s busi­ness ser­vices com­mit­tee which agreed to the de­vel­op­ment of a scru­tiny pro­gramme which will be­gin with a re­view of its cus­tomer ser­vices net­work.

Dur­ing dis­cus­sions, Mr Hood said: “In terms of the con­tact cen­tre, they do an ex­cel­lent job, how­ever they could be bet­ter sup­ported by the up­grade in the tele­phone sys­tem in re­la­tion to the num­ber of unan­swered calls.”

He said any­thing the coun­cil can do as part of the planned up­grade sys­tem to re­duce the num­ber of unan­swered calls would be “very much wel­comed by res­i­dents”.

He stressed that when the phone sys­tem is up­graded, more calls should be an­swered “ei­ther au­to­mat­i­cally or by some other means”.

Coun­cil­lors agreed that the con­tact cen­tre needed to be fit for pur­pose to pro­vide the best pos­si­ble ser­vice to clients.

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