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Giving residents 24/7 access to council services in Salford

Posted: 30 November 2016

Salford Council want to provide and promote a quicker, easier, better online way to council services and in light of this, have introduced an Intelligent Information Provision concept. This concept is designed to use data they have in existing systems to allow them to gain insight into customer needs and where possible encourage them to go online. As an example, they have information in two data sets; CRM and the use of a profiling product. Both of these data sets are underpinned and connected by the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN).

Salford City Council will be able to provide a quicker, easier, better online way to access council services whilst also saving money, due to a new initiative around data linking. While the council has offered online services for many years, there are still many people the using telephone or requesting face-to-face meetings despite evidence that customers would use digital solutions if they were the best route available.

By introducing an Intelligent Information Provision' concept, data in existing systems is utilised in order to gain insight into customer needs. For instance, the information in two data sets the council's CRM and its profiling product have just been underpinned and connected by the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) from the corporate address dataset.

CRM is used within Salford's contact centres and provides information on where customers live, the type of calls and how and when they make them. Staff use a profiling database which categorises residents in many ways such as by demographics, abilities, age, skills, employment status etc. It is a detailed product with around 60 different profile types. The data in these two data sets is now linked through the UPRN and the types of contacts are shown alongside the customer's profile and location. The council will use this combined data to push the right information to customers through the website to encourage more self-service through on-line transactions.

As the UPRN was already incorporated into several other council systems, the work required to undertake this was minimal. Integrating the profiling product and CRM with the location information enabled by the UPRN will allow customers to self-serve for a number of new queries across all council services. This will be achieved by informing those digitally skills customers that they can self-serve through new on-line interfaces.

John Gibbons, Authority Address Custodian said; "The system is designed around residents' skills and needs with increased customer satisfaction a driving force to the changes. It means that information can be delivered much quicker to self-sufficient customers who are able to access council services at a time that suits them. It's quicker, easier and better' (our delivery aim) for residents to get services through the website which not only frees up staff time to deal with more complex queries but saves the council money too, while increasing customer satisfaction."

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