Are you clear about how social networking can deliver value and reduce cost for your organisation? If not, you may not be benefiting to the full.
Having a customer service strategy is something that most customer-facing organisations accept as a necessity - but how far does it go in terms of specifically identifying the role of the web, the role of social networking, and taking account of access from smartphones? Currently few councils address these issues either in their strategies or in the practical reality of their websites.
Achieving channel shift is what the council website is all about - about moving customer contacts and transactions from more expensive options (telephone, face to face contact, letter) to less expensive options (self-service on the web, self-service through automatic voice recognition systems, and through the use of SMS on mobile phones) - effectively by moving from services which require staff to be involved to those which do not.
We have well-developed frameworks to help you to develop a vision for how the website will help the council and its partners achieve their objectives, and to develop a strategy for the web. Based on a 20-point checklist, it takes you through a rigorous process for defining the web strategy in such a way as to ensure its alignment with the corporate vision and priorities, and with other key corporate strategies - the customer service strategy, information management strategy, ICT strategy, property and accommodation strategy.
We have the skills and the tools to help you achieve a website that delivers for your council - that is a website that gives real value in terms of the services it delivers to your customers and the savings it makes for the council. We cover all that is needed, summarised below:
The website is there to earn its keep - if you are going to spend an average of £50-£100k a year on keeping the website up to scratch (and if you're spending more, look very carefully at the costs), you need to be assured that you are achieving at least 5-10 times this in direct benefits and savings - in other words, the website should be saving you at least £1 million a year.
Most processes in councils have developed over the years for delivery by traditional means - by members of staff, using paper-based systems to deliver a service. These are inefficient and out-dated, error-prone, and not customer-friendly. They have no place in the council of the future.
The website is the kingpin of customer access to both information and services - whether it is for self-service by the customers themselves, or for use by staff in providing information or services to customers by phone or in face to face contact. All customer-facing services should be supported by the website.