Channel Shift in Public Services: Have we reached the tipping point?

According to the latest data available from SOCITM, two-thirds of customer contacts with local authorities are now online. This means that 400 million+ of customer contacts received by English local authorities each year are now coming in through online and digital channels.

Reducing the cost per customer contact is a major benefit of transitioning to online over face-to-face or telephone channels. A London local authority has recently implemented a Microsoft SharePoint transactional website that is contributing to a reduction in cost to the council by encouraging customers to use the website rather than phoning. The council is reducing customer transaction costs to around 7 pence online as opposed to £7 for a telephone caller. Read the full story here.

Improving satisfaction with the efficiency and convenience of online public services is another significant benefit that citizens are recognising. A Housing Association is using Microsoft Dynamics CRM to manage customer expectations that “when our residents connect with our contact centre, they want to resolve any issues as quickly as possible—preferably in a single transaction.” Read the full story here.

Increasing the reach of public services and enabling more people to benefit from services more quickly is another benefit of enabling more delivery via online and digital channels. A primary care trust is using Microsoft Lync Server to extend their e-clinic consultation capabilities and are rolling out an online counselling service that they anticipate will be used by 50 per cent of patients. Read the full story here.

The practical examples cited here are drawn from a local authority, housing association and a primary care trust. This demonstrates the growing enthusiasm of citizens to engage online across the full spectrum of public services that they consume.

Posted by Ian

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