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Highland Council launches new customer portal



Local authority in northern Scotland emphasises mobile capabilities of platform used for redesigned service

Highland Council, the local authority covering the largest geographical area in the UK, has pushed out a new customer service portal designed to improve its performance on mobile devices.

It has used a platform provided by local government software specialist Firmstep, procured through the G-Cloud framework, and has integrated the portal with Scotland's Improvement Service's myaccount sign-in mechanism.

David Moreton, the council's project manager, said: "Our previous forms solution did not render effectively on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, and struggled with the more advanced forms we wanted to produce. This limited functionality was holding the council back from delivering wider channel shift and offering more services online.

"We needed a platform that would enable us to maximise customer engagement and improve our service offering across all channels, while also integrating with the myaccount service."

Quick additions

He said the Firmstep platform is mobile-friendly and provides the scope for extra services to be added more quickly.

Highland Council is aiming for at least 40% of its transactions with customers to be carried out online by April 2017.

The service launch as has been supported by the Improvement Service, which recently reported that in the year since its launch in April 2014 myaccount had attracted more than 41,000 subscribers and was taking on more at the rate of about 4,000 per month.

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