Abstracts: January 15th, 2007

This report from the Society of IT Management explores the experience of dealing with local government by phone from a citizen’s perspective. The research used ‘mystery shopping’ to sample the experience of making
different enquires to councils by phone. The degree of integration between
the telephone and the website channels was also explored.

The report reveals that many councils are missing opportunities to encourage
enquirers to make use of information provided on their website. Only 21%
use their out-of-hours message to refer callers there. Some researcher’s
calls were passed around different departments or even referred to different
organisations only to find that valuable information on the council’s
website had not been mentioned by council staff handling the enquiries.

The evidence suggests that, although there are many examples of good
practice, they depend on individually well-run services. There is little
evidence that local authorities have a fully-integrated view of customer
service across their activities.

The report is available from SOCTIM at www.socitm.gov.uk The cost is 150.00 pounds.