Islington Council and its digital customer journey management (Case study)

Councils are increasingly facing a diverse and complex set of pressures – cuts in funding, rising demand for services and economic growth challenges. Local authorities have responded decisively – but further spending cuts are hampering many councils from being able to effectively deliver their services.

Local authorities need to transform themselves to respond to the pressures they face and create a future proofed solution with strategic investments.

Islington borough sits in the heart of London and has a population of 200,000 residents. It provides a range of services based across a number of departments including council tax, parking, housing, children and families, births, deaths, marriages and citizenship, planning and building control, social care and health, transport and roads plus advisory services and more.

The challenges
Islington Council needed to relocate a number of disparate face-to-face services into one building. Given that it offers a range of services all with different needs for both the residents and the staff, which require personalised confidential meetings, a comprehensive solution was required to synchronise room bookings with appointments made.

“We need to move customers online for easy requirements and provide meeting options for services where confidentiality is key in a public environment,” says Andrew Younger, Customer Operations Manager at Islington Council. “Footfall was hard to manage and accurately report on, nearly all of our customers are ‘casual callers’ or drop-ins and we didn’t want to include staff in our data.”

The solution
Islington Council opted for a customer journey management solution from Qmatic with modular flexibility, activating the ’appointments’ capability to manage meetings. It now has a user-configurable touchscreen kiosk and ticket printer for customers to self-serve on their arrival. Integrated media screens display entertaining content and information for customers in the centre. Plus, audio announcements have been installed informing customers where to go for their meeting. The council is also able to access customised reporting.

The results
Islington is now able to ‘channel shift’ customers to a number of online services leading to a dramatic improvement in the number of self-service operations that local residents can now undertake themselves.

However, for those residents and employees that need to conduct face-to-face meetings with Council staff there has been a marked improvement in their waiting time. The new operation is now able to manage the footfall in the building, with those attending meetings logging in and then being routed to the appropriate waiting area dependent on which Department they are seeing.

Residents are now notified of their place in a virtual queue via interactive media display screens placed in the reception areas. As a result the right Islington team member will see the right person at the right time ensuring that no matter what the query, the person with the best skills fit will be available.

For residents it means improved decision making based on need and experience, being able to talk to the person best suited to their individual need. For the Council it means it can reduce the friction so often generated in residents frustrated with waiting times. In addition the capability the Council now has in terms of room bookings has vastly improved the use of existing space as well as reducing waiting times.

Younger concluded: “Managing multiple customer service options in a high footfall environment has become easy with our Qmatic solution. We can route customers to various virtual queues for service and meet them with the best trained staff for their needs. The integration with room booking makes a better customer and staff experience.”

Related reading