The London boroughs of Newham, Havering and Waltham Forest are using a customer services sharing strategy that is helping them to automate online self-service and go ‘digital by default‘, enabling them to save money and reduce waiting times.
The councils of these boroughs are all facing similar challenges in resolving the high cost of face-to-face meetings, which can cost up to £18 per meeting, and fulfilling the requirements of customers who speaks over 200 languages.
They have thus joined forces to deliver an ICT sharing programme that will reduce on-going support costs and share the costs of development and shared service options. An integral part of this initiative is to improve customer services; handle more enquiries at the first point of contact; introduce channel shifting (moving services from more expensive options like telephone and face to face meetings to less expensive options like self-service on the web and on mobile phones); reduce the costs of service delivery and improve communications to citizens, businesses and staff.
To this end they are using VisionWare’s MultiVue, a Master Data Management solution, which aggregates data from multiple systems such as benefits, education and libraries to provide a single view of customer identity information, using a customer relationship management software package. This allows staff to very quickly search for citizens and access their services via the council’s own websites and make online enquiries.
Since launching the customer access programme in the spring of 2011, MultiVue has helped Newham to bank £12.2m savings. Other benefits include reduced queues at reception and on the telephone because it takes one-tenth the time to find a customer on the database than it did before.
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