“What Works”: iNetwork Innovation Awards 2015
Title: Smarter Service Delivery
Organisation(s): Carlisle City Council
Author: Jill Gillespie
Service area*1*: 993. ICT Website, 853. Accessibility of Website, 653. Customer Satisfaction surveys
Description of project
Smarter Service Delivery (SSD) is an innovative project run within Carlisle City Council. The project focuses on making improvements to the way customers access our services. We want to make digital services so good that people want to use them.
Digital is not the only option. We are very aware that online isn’t always the best place for everyone to access our services. Customers will still be able to access services via other channels. Whichever channel they choose SSD will ensure that the service they receive is efficient, effective and above all customer centric.
We have created a blog on the new site to share good practice with colleagues and the general public nationally: http://www.carlisle.gov.uk/ssd_project/What-is-Happening. Users can leave feedback on what we can improve and what we can add.
We are working with other City Council projects such as City Centre WiFi. We have put self-serve kiosks into Community Centres, Contact Centre and Tourist Information Centre so that users can access our services if they do not have a device.
What makes this initiative remarkable?
We haven’t just built a website! We used technology, customer journey workshops, lean approach and process mapping to produce state-of-the-art digital service delivery. We followed the journey right from a service request to the service being delivered. It was certainly quite a journey in some cases! What we didn’t want was to have an attractive website which is nice to use but only produces an e-mail in the back office. Our services are truly digitally integrated which is producing savings and efficiencies. Although the site has only been live since 28th September, the technology and integration was used on the old site for a while. The introduction of online Council Tax accounts, for example, means that information customers give us goes through the website and is submitted into the back office system as a work item. This cuts out scanning, indexing, etc equalling a saving for the authority. Customers are encouraged to sign up for their own “My Account”. Their details are then stored for future use and they will see records of their transactions. The site was built entirely in-house which means we have minimised costs and retained control of changes. The team used open source CMS to allow greater flexibility
What has the project achieved?
• Launching a new responsive website with 27 new end to end online transactions currently available.
• Launching 6 new mini sites at the same time.
• Developing My Account with 7000 customers currently signed up allowing full integration to service requests.
• Increase in fully online transactions from 19% to 31% in the first week and growing.
• Responsive to various devices and smooth operation on various operating systems.
• 1000 online waste requests completed in first 3 months of introduction. Zero to 28% of queries now taken online.
• 90% of Direct Debit’s for Council Tax now online.
• Entire project delivered in-house minimising costs and retaining control. Services working across the authority together with a mutual aim.
• Dedicated site for open data and planning policy.
• Online blog sharing good practice nationally.
• Using inbuilt analytics for intelligent monitoring and use of data.
• Providing services online has enabled us to reduce resources where appropriate.