On January 24th 2014, we’re hosting Firmstep’s Delivering Channel Shift Success event in Edinburgh, focusing on the key deliverables from Scotland’s Digital Future Strategy and sharing how over a third of UK Local Authorities are achieving success with their Channel Shift programmes using Firmstep solutions.
As well as covering the key factors behind successful channel shift, such as community engagement and migrating from legacy CRM systems to single platforms, the session will feature a keynote from Ian Parker, Director of Business Tranformation at South Ribble Borough Council.
Ian will explain how his council has applied the Firmstep Customer Experience Platform to all aspects of the council, the impact this has had on services, and how it is helping them to achieve bankable savings of at least £500,000.
Click here for more details, and to register for this event.
Burnley Borough Council has realised significant cost savings and is driving channel shift with Firmstep’s Customer Experience Platform, which is replacing its existing CRM and web content management systems.
Using the platform, Burnley is offering a growing range of online services through its Your Burnley self-service portal, giving residents a secure, easy-to-use method for accessing local services, personal information and transactions from PCs and mobile devices. The portal works together with the Council’s new website, which launched earlier in 2013.
Sharon Hargraves, Head of Customer & IT services at Burnley Borough Council, said: “The solutions available on the Firmstep Platform have made us more efficient in both our front and back office functions, helping us to make significant ongoing cost savings and giving us the opportunity to improve the way we deliver services to local residents.”
The full story is on Digital by Default News.
On Wednesday December 4th, we will be hosting FormFest 2013, our first ever hack-a-thon. AchieveForms developers from a range of organisations will be joining the Firmstep team in our London office to get hands-on with our new, faster, simpler AchieveForms.
Participants will also become part of a limited group of beta testers that get to provide input on the first release of the new version.
The agenda for the day is simple - we will form into groups with different projects. Anyone can propose a project. At the end of the day, each group will present their results and the best solution will be crowned the winner.
If you’d like to come, please send your details, including t-shirt size and dietary requirements to email@example.com or better yet, fill out this form.
Next Thursday, 28th November, we’re hosting a webinar with a difference. Representatives from two local authorities will be presenting on how they have successfully transformed citizen services. They will share their insights into how they achieved success, offer their experience and advice on best practice, and answer your questions live.
Karey Barnshaw, manager of customer engagement for North Kesteven Borough Council will talk about the success of their fully automated, online green waste project, and how they are building on this success via G-CLOUD procurement to move away from a traditional CRM and fundamentally transform the way the council engages with citizens.
Ian Parker, head of customer services, revenues and IT for South Ribble Borough Council will discuss how the council has applied the Firmstep Customer Experience Platform to all aspects of the council for many years. He will talk about the significant impact the platform has had on its business and customer service and how they’re now on track to achieve bankable savings of at least £500,000.
Register now to hear how these organisations are enjoying real benefits and savings.
With G-Cloud 4 (G4) going live, our complete range of online customer service and engagement solutions are available to purchase and deploy from CloudStore’s Software as a Service (SaaS) category.
The Firmstep Platform has unique integration capabilities, enabling it to link to any council back-office system and giving easy, open access to data with no need for complex programming or system changes. This helps councils and local authorities to quickly roll out online solutions that meet customer service expectations and successfully achieve channel shift.
A new survey by UKAuthority for the Department for Communities and Local Government has shown that 3 in 5 councils have realised savings from using digital technologies to improve services and save money.
The survey, ‘Local Digital Today’, asked 200 senior local authority and supplier decision-makers how councils are adapting to new technology. 60.4% reported that they had realised at least some technology-linked savings from their deployments. While just 16% were able to put a value on these savings, the average saving was £1.5 million.
The survey also found that 91% of respondents agreed that new online service would “help my organisation to deliver better for less.”
The report, on UKAuthority.com, makes an interesting read.
Following last weeks’ post about how councils can measure the success of their channel shift programmes, here are two detailed customer examples showing how two councils have approached the issue.
They’re in the latest article from our CEO Brett Husbands, showing how Harrow Council and North Kesteven District Council benchmarked the performance of critical online services that use Firmstep solutions, to help them expand the take-up of those services. The article is on The Information Daily.
We’ve posted before about how councils can approach channel shift, to successfully move their services online. As our recent blog entry showed using data from Socitm’s Website Performance Monitor, it’s often easier to move a service to the council website, than it is to measure its actual use by public.
As the Government’s digital strategy document put it, “we need to deliver services so good that people prefer to use them.” So how do you measure the long-term adoption of services to establish which ones citizens are actively choosing, and which deliver the maximum benefit from being moved online? What are the parameters that should be measured to track the adoption of services? The Government’s Service Design Manual gives useful yardsticks for this:
- Comparing tasks carried out in 2 different ways, e.g. number of registration requests completed online, compared with offline channels
- Determining the user transaction costs through each channel
- Setting the right metrics for measuring digital take-up
The latest article from Firmstep CEO, Brett Husbands looks at these issues, and shows how two English councils approached channel shift of key services. Both have generated big savings, and one is being used to create the revenue to drive a service in the most efficient way. Click here to read it.
Socitm’s Website Performance Service is a great source for data on the uptake of online services. It shows that in August 2013, 43 million visits were made to UK council websites, compared with 27.6 million in August the previous year – an increase of nearly 56%.
Yet while more people were using council websites for transactions (making applications or payments, or reporting incidents), failed website visits also increased to over 23% in August 2013, compared with 17% in the same month in 2012. As such, it’s perhaps no surprise that visitor satisfaction with these sites averaged at just over 27% in the 12 months to August 2013.
While it’s good that more people are using online council services, the increase in services failing to deliver the desired outcome for users puts their longer-term adoption at risk. This in turn means that councils – and citizens – may not realise the benefits of channel shift. It’s worth exploring why these failures happened, and if they resulted from a problem with the website (for example, a broken link, or integration problem). It’s only by driving the longer-term adoption of services that channel shift will become truly sticky and deliver maximum benefit.
New research has shown that a majority (54%) of councils still view automated phone systems as the main channel of interaction with citizens, and just over a quarter (27%) view the council’s website as fulfilling this role. The research, published by our integration partner NDL in its ninth annual integration and efficiency report, also shows that this will shift dramatically in the next 3 years, with almost 70% saying the majority of interactions with the public will be via the council’s website by then.
75% of respondents view online transactions as the main focus for maintaining or improving service delivery in the face of ongoing budget cuts. However, lack of integration between the web and back-end systems is seen as a barrier to delivering services by almost 90% of senior council IT personnel surveyed.
A third of councils still integrate less than 10% of CRM services with back-office systems, it found, and 81% of councils integrate less than half of services. More than 70% of councils say re-keying data gathered by CRM systems is ‘common practice’.