Draft minutes

Visit to Contact Centre, Customer Experience Task Group - Friday, 6 March 2020 10.00 am

Proposed venue: Contact Centre, County Hall

Contact: Clive Mentzel, Scrutiny Officer 

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    Witnesses (those present varied throughout the day):

    Marie Snelling, Director of Transformation

    Sue Grizzelle, Head of Customer Services

    Sarah Bogunovic, Customer Relations and Service Improvement Manager

    Louise Halloway, Web and Digital Services Manager

    Rachel Bearman, Contact Centre IT Projects/Systems Lead

    Claire Thomas, Contact Centre Social Care Operations Manager

    Rik Jackson, Digital Project Lead, Customer Services

    Dr Lisa Bursill, Assistant Director, Early Help & Hubs, Children’s Services


    Key points raised during the discussion:

    1. It was agreed that the scope of the review should focus on future aspirations, plans and direction of travel for Customer Services and the Customer Experience programme, rather than usual operational or business aspects.
    2. It was emphasised that it was a review of the Customer Experience program within Transformation, rather than the operational Customer Service function.
    3. It was clarified that the review focused on Customer Experience through a ‘two-way’ lens: how customers interacted with Surrey County Council through Customer Services, and the ways the Council (including, but not limited to, by Customer Services) interacted with residents (such as through the Residents’ Survey).
    4. A former Cabinet Member indicated that his experience was that, as a Cabinet Member, he was much more informed than as an ordinary member. As a result, he felt that consideration should be given to improving the general knowledge of Members; in this instance in relation to all aspects of the Customer Experience.
    5. This could be achieved through Councillor Training, in particular around the ways in which residents could interact with the Council, but also through information sharing and more regular formal and informal interaction with the customer Contact Centre.
    6. Officers explained that learning and improvement was ongoing and largely iterative.
    7. The model of customer interaction being used was considered to be the most efficient and effective because it focused on enabling those residents that could self-serve to do so and channelled customer enquiries through a ‘single front door’, in this way freeing up capacity and resources for those residents with significant and complex needs.
    8. A primary focus for the Council’s website was ease of access, with significant work being done to test improvements and changes with various user groups. It was suggested that Members be included as a user group.
    9. Good connections with the wider business across Council departments was central to the success of the Contact Centre and it was worth considering the existence of any blockages and how these might be dealt with.
    10. The highways digital experience, which had recently undergone a significant re-design, was considered to be very positive.
    11. Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) was being incorporated into the single front door model, in the form of an ‘Extended Local Offer’, which would result in freeing up capacity within the service. Lessons learned from setting up the Children’s Single Point of Access (C-SPA) would be applied. The possibility of Surrey Fire and Rescue Services being incorporated into Customer Services was also being explored.
    12. It was important to take into account how a customer’s first contact experience could shape how they  ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.