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Wolverhampton begins channel shift with tip permits



Council plans to push customers towards Goss self-service platform in bid to find savings

The City of Wolverhampton has completed the first step in its digital transformation programme with the delivery of a service for booking tip permits online.

In the two months after launching the service it has reportedly achieved a return on the investment, laid the ground for savings of £25,000 per year and achieved a 65% channel shift in prompting people to book the permits digitally.

The council is now planning to move applications for blue badge parking permits and booking of bulky waste collections online, followed by bookings for pest control and street collections.

It is aiming to create savings of £1.5 million through a shift to digital self-service by 2018.

Wolverhampton has used the Self-Service Platform from Goss Interactive as the basis for the channel shift. It provides a customer portal and is plugged into the council's content management system, which was also provided by the company.

Booking to workflow

The platform enables a customer to fill in a form to book a permit, simultaneously creating an account. This launches an intelligent workflow process within the platform, which is also integrated into the council's SMS system to provide updates to the customer.

It has removed the need for rekeying data for further service requests, as users can log in to the MyAccount element of the platform, one of its key features.

The council is providing support for people who are not internet users by providing an assisted service by telephone. Its call centre staff create a customer's account and can update their details and make bookings while on the phone.

Paul O’Rourke, performance manager at Wolverhampton, said: “We would usually get around 700 calls per month at this time of year regarding tip permits. By making this service available through online self-service, we’ve achieved 65% channel shift, removed administration tasks, improved recycling centre management and delivered a 24/7 service with SMS reminders for customers. We achieved return on investment in less than two months.”

Five-year blueprint

The council's head of customer service, Sue Handy, said it has a blueprint for moving other services online, and over the next five years plans to create a single point of contact for anyone with whom it has dealings.

“Everything will be done through the contact centre so all of the services will be together in one place,” she said. “We’re looking to digitalise as much as we possibly can.

“We will have a new customer engagement platform and working together with Goss, we will work towards getting the majority of our services and functions online. Then it’s a process of educating, supporting and enabling people to do things online.”

Image by Julieanne Savage, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons


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