Merton’s new contact centre are answering 80% of all calls to the main switchboard within 15 rings, according to statistics compiled at the end of it s first month of operation (May 2003).
The contact centre was put in place following feedback from residents, which showed over two 3rds wanted a single point of contact by telephone.
The new system allows the Council to monitor how many calls they are receiving, how long residents have waited and how many calls are abandoned. The previous system only offered an engaged tone to residents, where as the new system lets callers know how they are placed in a queue.
As a result the Council acknowledges the variances that exist in waiting times during peaks and troughs in the service but can now analyse the data and respond accordingly putting in place strategies to deal with them. Further details will be relayed to residents soon about the improvements being made to the service.
In particular, difficulties were experienced recently as a result of a large number of Council Tax demands being dispatched. This had a knock-on effect on the level of service offered to ALL the residents attempting to telephone the Contact Centre.
Sean Cunniffe, newly appointed Merton Link Manager said:
“We apologise to the residents of Merton for the difficulties being experienced over the last week. Evidence suggests that there was a particular reason for this and forward plans are now in place to deal with these matters in the future. While it has been frustrating to residents the new system has proved that we can monitor fluctuations and put in place measures to deal with it.”
“Residents should expect periods of higher than expected demand but the Council is committed to monitoring these times and acting effectively to deal with them.”