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Council’s call centre is a top performer

Posted on Nov 03 2010
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Wokingham Borough Council’s Wokingham Direct call centre rose 16 places in the ‘Top 50 Call Centres for Customer Service’ this year, going from 29th in 2009 to 13th place this year.
Wokingham Direct also reached eighth place for email communications in research for the top 50, beating other call centres from the public services sector and big firms such as American Express and Serif.
It is also the top council for telephone communications.
Wokingham Direct launched in January 2009 with a £2 million investment over three years to help save staff time and money.
Staff handle queries from the public on wide variety of issues, from waste collection to potholes.
The study on call centres was commissioned by the UK’s Top 50 Call Centres for Customer Service, a programme organised by Call Centre Focus magazine, to raise customer service standards in the call centre industry.
The research consisted of 18,500 mystery shopping enquiries to more than 50 of the UK’s leading call centres, across five sectors – retail and distribution, financial services and insurance, utilities, public services, and entertainment, leisure and travel. 
Sarah Barrow, Wokingham Direct manager, said:  “Over the past year a lot of effort has been made to ensure our customers feel valued and that we offer an even better service to our customers.
“We looked at last year’s report and paid a lot of attention to the areas which identified room for improvement. The whole team is committed to delivering excellent customer services and it is great that the hard work has paid off.
“It is fantastic to be recognised against some of the best performing contact centres in the UK and to be the top performing council for both telephone and email communication is a real achievement for the team. 
“This was an intense benchmarking exercise which saw the council measured against not only other organisations in the public sector but the private sector too, including many multi-national companies.
“However, we are not complacent.  We will continue to use the feedback from the mystery shopping to make further improvements to the service and also for the development of our staff.”
The study saw the council receive 200 calls and 100 emails from mystery shopping enquiries over a three month period earlier this year.
Councillor Liz Siggery, the council’s executive member for corporate services, said: “I’m delighted Wokingham Direct has received this national recognition for its dedication to delivering an outstanding customer experience.
“The mystery shopping exercise provides us with the chance to find out what we are doing right, what we need to improve, and how we compare with other leading contact centres, not only in the public sector but in private industry too.
“This information is invaluable as we move forward to improve the service we offer our customers even further.” 
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