Transforming customer services

By on 05/01/2010 in Factsheets

Birmingham customer services - the need for transformation

[Updated 27 September 2011]

- At present there are 28 Neighbourhood Offices

- Just 11 per cent of citizens use Neighbourhood Offices

- The proposals would see 13 new Customer Service Centres (five of which would be multi service in partnership with other public sector agencies), along with a further nine neighbourhood offices (part-time opening, appointment only)

- Revenue savings of £2.3million are projected - equivalent to just under one per cent of all Council Tax across the city

- The booking of appointments, Council Tax and Housing Benefits collectively make up almost 75 per cent of enquiries dealt with by Neighbourhood Offices

- Phone calls made to four Neighbourhood Offices were transferred to the Contact Centre in summer 2008. During the pilot 60 per cent of queries were resolved solely over the phone, while 40 per cent of enquires led to an appointment being booked over the phone (which would have previously required an in-person visit to a Neighbourhood Office)

- The 2009 benchmark volume of enquiries at approx 785,000 per year is projected to drop to 233,000

- In 2008-09 there were 498,339 Major Enquiries (where a customer sees an officer for an interview)

- In 2008-09 there were 285,168 Reception Enquiries (dealt with at the reception point only)

- In 2008-09, Benefit Service and Housing enquiries accounted for 100,541 of Reception Enquiries

- Major Enquiries cover 155 different services, and approximately 60 per cent related to Housing and Council Tax Benefits

- On average a customer visits a Neighbourhood Office four times for a claim

- It is forecast 80 per cent of reception/minor enquiries will switch to the phone, as customers are able to book appointments by phone and resolve simple queries that way

- It is forecast 75 per cent of new claims/change in circumstances will switch to being done by phone

- It is forecast 75 per cent of remaining follow-up queries will be dealt with by phone

- Quicker end to processing of payments will reduce follow-up interviews and enquiries by 50 per cent

- The e-Benefits system (currently run at six Neighbourhood Offices) is moving away from old-fashioned form filling. It is anticipated to lead to faster process of payments (As of October, the e-Bens software is taking an average of 10 days to process claims and changes, compared to 13 days using the old system - a 25 per cent improvement in performance).

- Current headcount is 244.6 FTE (full time equivalent) posts. It is projected that this will reduce by 60.7 FTEs, during phase one of the modernisation programme.

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