Council calling

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 1 December 2004



(2004), "Council calling", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 53 No. 8.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Council calling

Maidstone Borough Council has completed the installation of a new customer centre based on Macfarlane CallPlus contact centre technology together with Northgate’s Front Office CRM software and RightNow’s knowledge management software. The contact centre currently has nine front office staff, who are handling around 7,500 calls per month. The Council plans to expand the number of personnel employed in the centre to around 20 by 2005.

The new contact centre has already had a dramatic effect on the quality of service delivered to citizens in the borough. Prior to the contact centre going live on April 1, 2004, calls to the Council’s housing benefit, environmental services and highways enquiry lines were handled by personnel spread throughout these various departments – and because there was no queuing system in place, as few as 40 per cent of incoming calls were being handled successfully. Not only were customers unhappy, but also council staff were getting dejected by the inadequacy of the systems in place.

This has now changed dramatically, with 88 per cent of housing benefit, 94 per cent of environmental services and 93 per cent of highways enquiry lines calls being handled successfully – and satisfaction among contact centre personnel considerably higher.

More details at

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