Aware of a number of issues with the IVR system used by their contact centre, Ashford Council approached the Smarter Digital Services team so that they could work together on improving the service received by customers calling the Council as well as reduce avoidable interactions with customer service advisors (CSAs). Ashford Council were also keen to reduce the number of call backs the CSAs had to make due to the IVR, which offered customers the option of requesting a call back if the waiting time to speak to someone was too long.
By analysing call centre data, the Smarter Digital Services team was able to find that 45% of calls were transferred to CSAs whilst only 21% of calls were resolved directly. At the same time, transcripts for the IVR system highlighted complex and lengthy user journeys, with 107 endpoints across four commonly used areas (eg. benefits)
From their analysis, Smarter Digital Services created a number of recommendations centred around simplifying interactions for the customer and shifting the responsibility for providing information away from CSAs and towards the IVR systems itself through voice recordings at key junctures. To support these efficiencies, some behaviour changed would also be necessary, particularly around consistent timeframes for feedback.
Based on these recommendations, a new much simpler and easier to use IVR system was designed by the Smarter Digital Services team. This will be implemented in the near future, once it has been rigorously tested with users. Results will be monitored thereafter in order to measure the project's impact over its whole lifespan.
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