The Power Of Proactive In Practice: Elmbridge & VoiceSage, Part I of II
We recently had the chance to catch up with one of our most interesting public sector VoiceSage clients, Elmbridge Borough Council in Surrey. Elmbridge’s Dawn Crewe was speaking at an industry event we supported, the Future of the Contact Centre conference, run by partners at Engage Business Media.
At the event we interviewed Dawn, who has a key role at Elmbridge as Head of Customer Service, to get some thoughts on her pioneering use of VoiceSage in a Citizen Relationship Management context. This is the first of two written versions of her answers to our questions, which are online as videos (two videos: 1 of 4 and 2 of 4) here.
What was the background to you starting to look at improving customer outreach?
We were a very high-performing council and were providing good quality services, but we didn’t really know what our customers thought of us, because each of our departments worked in silos. The challenge was to try and bring customer experience across the whole of the council together and centralise it in order to understand what our customers thought of their overall experience of dealing with the council, as opposed to their experience of dealing with individual departments.
So we had a vision that we wanted our customers who lived in Elmbridge to be engaged with the council, not with specific services within the council. That was our key driver: we were trying to create a big brand for customers who already enjoyed dealing with the council.
How did you solve these problems?
I worked jointly with the head of ICT on the programme. We looked at the marketplace, and the best technology for us was Microsoft Dynamics for our CRM. That was essential for us to be able to deliver this vision.
We also needed that immediate customer feedback, and we found that VoiceSage was the best in the marketplace at that time. They were very flexible in the way they understood what we wanted, and they worked really hard to give us what we required in order to make it as easy and cost efficient for us to be able to use their services.
How effective has transformation been at Elmbridge?
It has been a remarkable journey. We started off at a slow pace, because we were putting the building blocks of the technology, especially of the CRM, together, redesigning processes that make it easy for customers to work with others, whether online or by phone or visiting us.
It wasn’t until we started to get strong interactive live feedback from our customers that that stone started rolling quickly. Our customer experience feedback told us that we were being successful, but also we started to engage with people within the organisation who wanted more of what we were providing.
Our next step is to try and be more proactive in our contact to customers, so we are gauging their feedback by being more proactive rather than waiting for them to contact us.