Fewer snags for contact centre customers

Article image - Fewer snags for contact centre customers The Customer Contact Centre team has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from residents.

Newcastle City Council residents are showing their appreciation for the improved services and reduced wait times at the council’s Customer Contact Centre.

A complaint about sausages too thick for a caller’s liking and a plea to identify a scary insect were among the unusual calls fielded by Newcastle City Council’s Customer Contact Centre (CCC) last year.
Of 120,000 calls fielded by the team of Customer Service Officers (CSOs), 22 per cent concerned development and building matters, 19 per cent were about waste and 16 per cent related to Council rates.
The versatile team of 25 full-time employees also handled a number of less-routine inquiries and went out of their way on scores of occasions to lend assistance when needed.

From the beef with a butcher over fat snags and fear of a mysterious stick insect to finding a new home for a dog, CSOs did what they could within the law and reason to resolve complaints and meet requests.

The CSOs also helped a host of lost drivers get back on track in 2016, recommended dozens of restaurants and entertainment options, conducted research on behalf of callers still unfamiliar with Google and even helped free a woman trapped in an outdoor toilet.
“A bit over a year ago, we provided our Customer Contact Centre with new resources to make it a one-stop shop for customers,” said Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes.

“Face-to-face service at the City Administration Centre (CAC) is now supported by a modern contact centre as a single point of contact. This means better service and improved responsiveness for our customers.

“I’m delighted to say that they have reduced average phone waiting times from three minutes to 30 seconds and now resolve more than 70 per cent of calls at first contact.”

Good will from customers toward the team suggests the new service levels have been appreciated.

“I wanted to pass on feedback that what you do in the call centre is so appreciated,” one customer, named Karen, told a CSO recently.

“Being able to ring up and actually talk to someone and explain problems to someone who is so nice and patient is great – you have the patience of saints.

Another customer called Sam said he was dubious the contact centre would be any different when it was first announced, but that he had been won over.

“You have given great service over the past year,” he told a CSO late last year. “I appreciate that there’s always a calm voice on the other end of the phone.”