Improvements to customer service cuts down on contact

Improvement in customer care by the council’s Roads and Amenity service has decreased the number of times residents have had to phone or contact the council via the website or social media.

Members of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee heard on Thursday 6 June that a positive approach to getting things right, first time, over the past two years is steadily making improvements.

Improvements have focused on keeping customers informed by pro-actively giving them information they need to know, making better use of technology, changing procedures and improving ways of handling enquiries when they do come in.

One simple, but effective, change was to ask residents in Helensburgh to tie a waste bin liner on their bin when they wanted to order more. This meant the order could be fulfilled instantly, while crews were on their rounds, saving both the customer and the council time and ultimately, money.

Contacts made because of circumstances that could have been avoided dropped by 3,259 between 2016/17 and 2018/19. Examples of this type of contact include equipment failure, not providing information and not providing a service.

Phone calls from the public are at their lowest level since 2013 and down 7,786 since 2016/17. The number of digital contacts reduced from 27,768 in 2016/17 to 23,193 in 2018/19.

New initiatives include providing briefings to elected members and investing in customer service staff to work with technical teams to provide quick consistent answers to enquiries.

A new central control Hub makes best use of available technology to manage assets, programme and plan work and control budgets. As a centre of operations, it gathers information which helps keep customers informed.

Councillor Roddy McCuish, Policy Lead for Roads and Amenity Services, said: “Roads and Amenity Services cover everything from roads and piers, to bin collections and grass cutting, parking and dog fouling – and much more. These are services that touch everyone’s lives on a daily basis, so we expect that people will get in touch.

“This report demonstrates we are getting better at giving people the information they need and we are getting things right, first time. There are more plans in place to improve other areas of the service. What we can assure everyone is that it is a priority to continue to improve the service that we provide.

“I would remind everyone that you can sign up to receive updates via the council’s Keep in the Loop service at:”

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