Test Valley Borough Council
Test Valley Borough Council is located in western Hampshire and covers the towns of Andover, Romsey and Stockbridge. It has a population of approximately 120,000 people with a large proportion of residents living in Andover or Romsey, though there is still a sizeable minority living in the rural areas of the borough. In the past there have been issues with poor quality broadband access. However, Hampshire County Council is currently leading a project to install superfast broadband to at least 95% of Hampshire by 2019 with the remaining 5% to follow. This has led to a particular focus on getting rural villages online. As a result, internet use in the area is increasing, making it a good time for Test Valley to focus on channel shift and develop use of its online channels.
The decision to adopt My Council Services was driven by a number of considerations.
1. Ease of use for both customers and staff – It was critical that whatever solution the Council implemented should be simple to use, both for clients and also for Council sta . The Council’s services need to adapt and respond to change and so it was important to have a system which enabled staff to adjust existing processes and to set up new ones quickly and easily. Customers also needed to nd the system easy and intuitive to use.
2. Growing demand for Test Valley Borough Council’s services – A number of new neighbourhoods have been built in Test Valley over the past few years, resulting in more residents moving in to the area. As a result, this has placed a greater demand on the Council’s services.
3. Encourage customers to use self-service options wherever possible – With the increasing demand on the Council’s Customer Services team, the Council saw an opportunity to encourage channel shift by offering customers a range of self-service processes online. The aim was to enable people to help themselves wherever possible, thus freeing up the Customer Services team to focus on more vulnerable customers, more complex enquiries and those less able to help themselves.
4. Speed and flexibility – A strong driver for this project was the requirement for a flexible system that would give staff the ability to change processes quickly and easily.
The results of implementing My Council Services
The My Council Services pilot was successful. Test Valley Borough Council found that the My Council Services system was quick and easy for the advisors to use. They were able to deal with phone calls much more quickly and could get up and running on the new system with only a minimal amount of training. In most cases advisors were able to start using the new system after less than an hour’s training.
During the trial more than 2,000 service requests were processed using My Council Services, around 9% of which came from the public website or the app, showing that customers were starting to make use of the new system. Feedback from the staff was extremely positive and some Councillors also began using the system and reported that they liked it very much.
As a result of the success of the pilot, the decision was taken to continue using My Council Services after the end of the pilot period and to start publicising it more widely as well as to extend the number of processes to be managed through My Council.