New Forest District Council
About New Forest District Council
New Forest District Council is one of the the UK’s largest district councils, providing crucial services for 177,000 residents. The District Council’s corporate plan identifies its priorities as: managing its resources well; maintaining excellent performance in the delivery of services; and improving services to the customer. Additionally increased prominence has also been given to environmental sustainability and a determination to reduce the carbon footprint of the Council and the District.
Mobile channel requirements
When Abavus began talking with New Forest District Council in late 2011 Ken Connolly, New Forest’s Head of ICT, recognised the potential of developing an effective mobile channel in support of the wider corporate aims. With Ken as the overall sponsor for the project at New Forest, a phased approach was agreed. The mobile channel needed to deliver the following:
- To support effective channel shift enabling the movement of appropriate requests to a self service channel
- To enable the saving of resources through more efficient working
- To deliver two way integration with New Forest’s CRM system with automation of process being a central component
- To create the foundations of the mobile channel as a wider platform for customer engagement
The Abavus solution
Abavus worked in partnership with New Forest’s existing CRM platform provider to develop an integration approach using web services and a middleware layer. Within 8 weeks of the start of the project the integration was complete and a suite of locally branded mobile applications based on the My Council Services platform were available for download. Once a customer submits a report from the branded mobile applications or the web portal a case is automatically created in the CRM, mapped to the appropriate fields. This approach saves customer service agents significant time and, crucially, means that reports arrive in the CRM system with all the correct information attached. The agent can assign the report to the correct department within seconds and operational teams have all the details they need to deal with the report effectively and efficiently.
The results of the project
After the success of the initial project the implementation of My Council Services was extended to other areas of the Council, in particular the Leisure Services team who used it to develop an app which enables them to offer online booking and payment for classes and other sessions at all Council-run leisure facilities.
See how the New Forest app works