Top marks for Wokingham client care centre in ‘quiz’By Alice Murphy
February 09, 2009
The new call centre at Wokingham Borough Council has passed the customer care test.
Wokingham Times reporters quizzed the service by posing as householders and rang in with a series of questions about bin days and roadworks, and complaints about vehicles defying lorry bans.
Operators were informative, clued up and answered queries in good time during the exercise.
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Queries on items such as bin collections, road closures and potholes are now being fielded by the new call centre Wokingham Direct launched by Wokingham Borough Council last week.
Councillor Rob Stanton, who leads the Wokingham Direct project, said he was delighted staff had passed the test “with flying colours”.
He added: “The staff had their first test major test with the heavy snows, and the resulting school closures and disruption to waste services, and I believe they coped excellently.”
The customer contact centre will deal with letters, phone calls, emails and faxes on issues like roads, waste and recycling.
It will expand over the next 18 months to deal with all enquiries.
Cllr Stanton said: “The new customer service centre will eventually provide a one-stop shop for all enquiries to the council, whether it’s by email, letter, fax or phone, making it much easier for our residents to get in touch with us and find out the answer to their question at the first point of contact.
“There are going to be times when teething problems get the better of us, but I’m sure that our customers will bear with us while the new centre beds in.
“We’re not saying that it will be able to answer all enquiries overnight, that would be impossible, but are saying that in 18 months time the vast majority of questions will be answered by the Wokingham Direct team with specialists providing responses to more complex queries.”
The £2 million centre has been launched to save money in the long-term and has resulted in some staff redundancies.
Householder Ray Stagles, who lives in Wokingham, called the council about some newspapers which had blown into the road during recycling collection.
He said: “I contacted the customer service centre and spoke to one of the staff, Bill Christie, who advised me that the matter would be rectified within a day or two.
“I was delighted to find that it was in fact done within 24 hours.”