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You Said We Did - Customer Services

Customers remain at the heart of everything we do. While we are working on our vision to improve lives and create opportunity - putting the customer first is how we are making this happen. Recently, we are developing services based on suggestions from residents. Below are some specific projects where we kept customers in mind.

We have received feedback in regard to some of the services that we offer. Below you will find documents that include the suggestions made to us and what we have done as a result of this.

Revising the Special Collections Form

Here, customers gave feedback about our online special collections form. The report below gives details on customer comments and any changes / tests we made to the form because of this feedback.

Speaking with Customer Panels

During a discussion with residents, we learnt about issues with the telephone Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. Inside the report are issues with the existing system plus how we can resolve them.

Listening to Customers

We publish up to date information on our performance below. Publishing this information helps us be open and honest about customer experiences.

Other Improvements Made

  • After analysing user data and customer feedback about our e-services Council Tax online portal, Customer Services worked with the Revenues and Benefits team to launch a new and improved version.Residents who sign up to e-Services will now be able  to use e-Services for:
    • Council Tax
    • Housing Benefit
    • Business Rates purposes
    • Check balances
    • Receive updates
    • Change to paperless billing
    • Apply for discounts and refunds with more to come.
  • Customer Support - During the coronavirus pandemic, Basildon council has made every effort to support residents in any way. Customer Services are listening to residents concerns every day, and are working with our network of charities, partner organisations and contacts to provide relevant support. All Customer Service advisors have access to a wide range of services to help vulnerable residents and those in need.
  • Position in Queue Messaging -When calling Customer Services, you told us you would like to know where you are in a queue. To help you manage your time, we trialled this on our Revenues and Benefits telephone line. After a successful run, this has now been introduced to all telephone options accessible on our mail telephone line. Now, you will be updated if you are second or higher in the queue once every minute until your call is answered. Plus - this has been introduced to our Repairs line. Now, callers can estimate how long you will be waiting to speak to an advisor. This means you have the choice to wait on hold, or simply log their repair online
  • Essential Living Fund - You told us another organisation was asking residents to contact Basildon Council with queries relating to the Essential Living Fund (which is assessed via a link on the Southend Council website).  Contact was made with the organisation and the full contact details for the Essential Living Fund were provided to them for circulation so residents in the future will be given details for the administrators of this fund directly.
  • Freedom Of Information Publication Scheme - You told us that an email address referenced within this document accessed via our website was not working.  An up to date version has been uploaded to our website.
  • Council Tax Reduction - A complaint was received that you needed help completing what is an online-only application form for Council Tax Reduction. We have made arrangements for assistance to be provided to those who require a little more help.
  • BACS Details - You told us that a high street bank continued to advertise our old Bank Account number when setting up BACS  rather than the current account number. Whilst we could not confirm this was the case, we reached out to the bank in question to ensure our correct bank details are being advertised.
  • Lunch Time Call Queues - You told us you were waiting for longer to get your Council Tax / Benefit call answered over the lunch time period. We changed our lunch rota for advisors answering calls for these services so between 13:00 - 13:30 there are no lunch breaks which means more of your calls can be answered within our target of 2 minutes. We also introduced a new shift pattern to ensure maximum cover between 12:00 - 14:30.

For further details on our commitment to customer service you can visit our webpage on Putting the Customer First.

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