15 February 2018
Raising Council Tax? Be Contactable to Your Residents
Your council and residents made it through the busy Christmas period but the next key time is coming up: The distribution of Council Tax Demands. Receiving this piece of paper can cause many residents concern, resulting in a high volume of enquiries inundating your call centre in such a small amount of time.
It has been reported that councils will be able to increase core bills from 2% as it currently stands to 3% in April. For councils that are funding social care this will be added to the 3% “precept”, meaning that council tax could be rising to 5.99% in some wards without residents having a say.
The increase could help to provide additional funding to Police and “help relieve pressure on local services.” However, it can place more stress on households that are already financially stretched.
Residents can become frustrated about the increase without their votes; therefore those who are low-income earners or live in badly-funded areas may wish to speak to their council about this extra liability being placed on them. Irritated residents can become more aggravated if they are placed in a telephone queue or have to wait for an email response before they can speak to a representative.
Providing an Easier Option
Live chat is popular amongst residents as they can instantly speak with a representative in real time via text based messages. The communication channel is gaining traction within UK local authorities and is cost effective, as many councils have implemented live chat for under £5000 a year, therefore not reliant on any lengthy tender process.
To ensure councils are within budget, they may have to make cuts across the organisation including staff. This can increase the pressure on existing employees to maintain the level and quality of service. However realistically, as one representative can only handle one phone call or email enquiry at a time, this results in productivity decreasing, if they continue in this manner.
Representatives can handle multiple chats at any one time when using a live chat system, allowing councils to cover gaps in staffing whilst maintaining or even increasing their efficiency and productivity.
Staffing levels are not the only resource that live chat can save, it can also reduce time spent involved in a task and therefore improve efficiency. Documents and information that residents require can now be sent directly in chat. This can include providing navigation instructions for the website or sending specific forms. Representatives can also optimise their time whilst the visitor is typing their response to look up their customer records or reply to another resident in chat.
The Proof is in the Pudding
“Great product and great support service. We have found working with Click4Assistance a delight. The product has all the functionality we need and it is great value for money. The support received from the team has been brilliant and fast.”
-Project Manager, London Borough of Waltham Forest
“An excellent service – The service we have received from Click4Assistance has been excellent, with frequent contact and support and always somebody on the end of the ’phone willing to help. The implementation of the system was quick and simple, following a free trial period which helped us get up to speed with the operational management of Live Chat. Now in place, our Customer Service Representatives enjoy the added variety to their role and overall feedback from our customers has been excellent.”
-Contact Centre Manager, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council
Over to you – if you would like more information on how to add live chat to website to benefit your organisation in time for receiving mass enquiries regarding council tax, arrange a personal demonstration with our local authority co-ordinator by calling 01268 524628 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.