New research has questioned the efficiency of council customer care facilities, discovering that under 10 per cent of customer processes were integrated within back-office CIM systems. The research, which questioned 260 senior IT staff at councils across the United Kingdom, highlighted the lack of synergy between customer contact processes and associated applications.
Despite this lack of integration, the study highlighted the growing demand for a conjoined approach to CIM with staff, with 92 per cent of respondents saying a more integrated approach would help improve the management of customer enquiries for local authorities. Indeed, 50 per cent of those taking part in the survey said that at least 75 per cent of the data received via website forms had to be manually re-keyed into a database because a data management platform was not in place. Of those questioned, 95 per cent said that the quality and efficiency of service had increased through an integrated CIM approach.
The cost of customer enquiries to local authorities was highlighted earlier this year with a survey from public sector IT managers’ association Socitm. The study discovered that face-to-face meetings cost £8.62, while £2.83 was the average cost by phone. Enquiries made via a website cost, on average, 15p per visit.
This news highlights the need for local authorities to invest in a CIM platform capable of dealing with mass volumes of customer enquiries. The cost-saving implications of these systems, particularly when considered alongside the need for councils to cut budgets, ensure authorities can continue to provide a high level of service within operating budgets.
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