Basildon Borough Council has deployed Microsoft Dynamics CRM in a bid to drive down costs and become more efficient.
The council, which implemented the solution with the help of public sector CRM consultancy Optevia, selected Dynamics as part of its wider strategic ‘Customer Experience Programme', which aims to use new technology and software to improve interaction and services within the council.
James Dansey, Dynamics CRM implementation project manager at the council, said that the strategic goal in the project was to improve the customer experience.
"In turn this will drive the costs of our operation down. By making use of improved customer insight, we can make smarter decisions on how to improve our services and put the customer at the heart of service delivery. We see Dynamics CRM as being a key enabler of change, and the catalyst for the realisation of significant efficiency savings," he explained.
Dansey said the council's previous CRM system could not scale up to support the planned expansion of its customer service centre.
"It offered very limited integration with other systems and provided limited customer insight and business intelligence. Coupled with changing infrastructure requirements, we thought it was time to look for a better way," he said.
Every year, the customer service centre handles about 680,000 telephone calls, 84,000 face to face visits and its website receives more than three million page views. But enquires had been handled by individual departments, with each department using different systems.
Dansey said that the council realised that up to 80 per cent of customer contact could be resolved without technical advice, or any interaction with an individual department.
"We want to shift that 80 per cent to be handled by our customer service centre and therefore we need the systems and a technical partner that will enable us to do that - in Optevia we have both," he said.
The first phase of the project has seen 13 services go live including special collection requests, abandoned vehicles reporting, missed bin collection reporting and street cleaning requests. The next phase will integrate Dynamics CRM with a web portal that will be used to process customer requests online.
"Dynamics CRM will enable us to be more proactive with our strategic customer-centric approach. It will give us better analysis and reporting, as well as a single view of our customers across all contact points and channels, in our customer service centre and online. In time, it will become the backbone of our customer relationship management and will be fully integrated into all of our front-line services," Dansey said.