First new Customer Service Centre set for Newtown

By on 17/07/2009 in News

Plans to transform the existing Neighbourhood Office in Newtown into Birmingham's first state-of-the-art Customer Service Centre are due to be considered by  Cabinet Committee Property on July 24.

The proposals for Newtown would see the existing office converted as part of the Customer First Business Transformation Programme - which is seeking to revolutionise the quality of council services offered to Birmingham's citizens. 

As well as looking and feeling radically different to today's Neighbourhood Office, the new Customer Service Centre's floor space will be three times bigger than at present, consolidating services currently offered at the existing Newtown Office and one at Birchfield. It is also anticipated that a limited pre-booked appointment service will continue to be offered from the Birchfield site.

Project leaders have worked closely with customers and staff to shape the proposals which see face-to-face interaction continue to be a cornerstone of the services that are offered at the site.

Additionally, the traditional methods of dealing with queries are set to be complemented by simple access to a range of other communications channels such as self-service kiosks, internet-enabled PCs and free public access telephones that will allow users to call the council Contact Centre.

Cllr Paul Tilsley, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “As technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, it is essential that we embrace the opportunities that it provides to enhance the level of customer satisfaction that we have.

“Our existing Neighbourhood Offices have been great assets for the city over many years but if you visit some of them it is common to see huge queues of people outside that are waiting just to get an appointment with a member of staff inside. The new telephone appointment booking service, where customers can make an appointment from the comfort of their own home, will be welcomed.

“Now is the time to take the concept onto the next level - for the benefit of not only citizens, but the staff who work in them. The modern, fresh Customer Service Centres will play a big part in our quest for customer service excellence and help us become recognised as a true leader in the field.”

It is anticipated that work on the new Customer Service Centre will start in September of this year, with a target opening date of January 2010. While the revamp takes place, services currently offered at Newtown will be available at Aston Library and Neighbourhood offices in Birchfield, Ladywood and Small Heath.


Notes to editors

1. Business Transformation is Birmingham City Council's ambitious nine-strand programme which aims to modernise and enhance services delivered across the whole authority to citizens. It is projected that the programme will realise benefits of around £1.5billion over the ten years to 2016.

2. Service Birmingham is a strategic partnership between Birmingham City Council and Capita which will support a transformation in the way the council works; improving services and contributing to its efficiency agenda. This strategic partnership forms part of the council’s objective to find better and more innovative ways of delivering services for the benefit of employees and citizens. The principle of this joint venture focuses on the provision of cost effective, sector leading, ICT services and in supporting the council in achieving its business transformation objectives.

3. Customer First is one of nine programmes which make up Birmingham City Council's ambitious Business Transformation programme, and will help deliver a range of improvements giving residents world-class standards of customer service. As part of the wider package, Customer First will provide simpler and easier ways of accessing council services, a single '0121' telephone number to access all council services, and a brand new user-friendly city council web site personalised for customers. First-time resolution for 80 per cent of enquiries and an increase in customer satisfaction from 59 to 85 per cent are key drivers behind the programme.

For further information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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