Skip navigation Home Page News and Events Help Complaints Legal Information Contact Us Top of Page

Agenda item

Customer Relations Management System (CRMS)

·         Update on progress against recommendations of the CRM Review - Report of the Director of Transformation and Partnerships

·         Update on the CRM system


The Board considered a report of the Director of Transformation and Partnerships that gave an update on progress made against the recommendations from the review of the Customer Relations Management System (for copy see file of Minutes).


The Head of Digital and Customer Services gave a detailed presentation that highlighted:


·         CRM Purpose

o   Priorities

o   Improved Choice

o   Customer Portal

o   Key Facts

o   Service Request Channel Transition

·         Customer Insight and Feedback

o   Customers

o   Management Dashboards

o   Customer Satisfaction – Contact

o   Customer Satisfaction – Service

·         Value for Money

o   Key Facts

o   Front Line Delivery

·         Members Portal

o   Overview

o   Interactive Dashboard


Councillor Batey was pleased with the way the system looked.  With regards to the statistics plotted she commented how many were due to the beast from the east rather than garden waste issues.  She asked what happened during bank holiday periods and when offices were closed.  She said that it was important for people to have out of hours contact and asked how this was managed.  The Head of Digital and Customer Services explained that this would depend on the way the indivdual services operated out of hours.  Neighbourhood Wardens, for example, worked much longer than office hours and complaints/issues could be reported directly to the warden when the offices were closed.  Usually during bank holidays and extended closures the public would be told when requests would be actioned.  There was also a texting service that could be used for those customers who had given their permission to contact them in this way.  He added that lessons had been learnt during the beast from the east as the weather changed so quickly that communications did not get out quickly enough.


Councillor Batey went on to ask if there was a minimum age for young people to use the system as she would like to offer an incentive for them to self report any issues.  She also asked if there was comparable information available on the database that could be shared. The Head of Digital and Customer Services would find out about the minimum age query and report back.  With regards to the shared database, he confirmed that this was available to Heads of Service and could be broken down by electoral division.


Councillor Adam pointed out that there wasn’t a huge decrease in the amount of people using the telephone system from October 2016 to July 2018, 48% to 37% and asked if there was a reason that people still used the telephone.  The Head of Digital and Customer Services said that customer feedback shows that some people preferred this method and felt that their issues would be dealt with more quickly than if they used online contact.  There were a small number of people who did not have access to enable them to utilise the online service.


Councillor Adam went on to say that he had been involved in the pilot of the Members portal and he asked if they would still receive an e-mail saying a complaint was closed when it wasn’t.  He also asked about the process when reporting on behalf of a resident.  The Head of Digital and Customer Services explained that there would be a lot more detail included in the notes about why a complaint had closed in future and in the e-mails sent.  When complaining on behalf of someone else, he went on to explain that the response would be sent to the resident and copied into the Members portal.


Councillor Turnbull enquired if there was an option to use an app on a mobile telephone, and was advised that there was a live app currently for students and one to go live regarding swimming.  The Head of Digital and Customer Services explained that all decisions were ‘data driven’, from what people wanted.  As most people only used the online forms once or twice a year then they probably would not want to use space up on their mobile for an app.  He added that the idea had not been dismissed and the service were moving toward making everything mobile enabled.


With regards to issues going straight to an operative, Councillor Bell was concerned that the employee would become overloaded with work.  It was confirmed that the Team Manager had visibility of requests.


Councillor Wilkes suggested that uploading photographs to the system should be considered as sometimes staff can’t find the right area being reported, especially if more than one complaint had been lodged in a particular area.  Having a photograph available would help the member of staff identify the area in question.  Councillor Wilkes went on to report the amount of times an error message was received when trying to log on to the County Council’s website.  He said that this was a repeat problem and asked if some of the logon features could be investigated especially when having to logon twice.  The Head of Digital and Customer Services explained that the Council Tax system was managed by a separate supplier hence having to logon twice.  However, he did recognise the interface issues.


Referring to amount of money spent on consultations, Councillor Tinsley asked how we gain permission to contact people whose details we already held.  He went on to ask about how we benchmarked against other authorities with the choice of contact available.  The Head of Digital and Customer Services said that it was difficult to compare as every Council has a different offer.  Durham County Council had a generous telephony service and face to face centres.  Comparing the offer available he went to report that ours was good.  With regards to data some residents had given us permission to use their information however this was only used for surveys at present.


The Chairman said that it would be interesting to see this information fed back through the regular customer feedback reports.  He also requested that information about access to computers for rural and deprived areas be fed back to committee.


Councillor Shield asked that when a complaint was received and follow up was required who decides to send to a particular team and was there a level of continuity.  He was advised that the service team made the decision about the appropriate person to deal with a complaint.  The Team Manager has an overall view and would make the decision before being sent to frontline staff.


Referring to duplicate complaints, Councillor Shield asked how the service could ensure that repeat complaints were linked.  The Head of Digital and Customer Services explained that this was a target area for the team to reduce avoidable contact and in future when a customer reported an issue it would be made obvious if a further complaint was received for the same area, e.g. by using a pin-drop on a map.


Going back to a point made by Councillor Wilkes about using photographs on the system, Councillor Batey added that this would be a welcome addition especially when reporting fly tipping.


Councillor Patterson welcomed the online portal and asked if the number of requests had increased overall.  The Head of Digital and Customer Services said that people were using the system more now that the online option was available.  The team were looking at the data and would track any changes.


The Chairman thanked the Members for their questions and comments and said that he would expect to see feedback within the customer feedback reports.


In summary, the Head of Strategy confirmed that the Members portal would be launched within the next few weeks.  The Head of Strategy confirmed that an update report could come back to committee.


Resolved: That the update be noted.

Supporting documents:


Democratic Services
Durham County Council
County Hall
County Durham
03000 269 714