Abstracts: October 23rd, 2012

Soctim estimates that some 66 per cent of contacts to local councils are online. This amounts to some 388m website visits.

Details are published in ‘Channel shift: grasping the opportunity’. The report emphasizes that for some councils, per head volumes will be much higher and it urges all councils to work out their own score for this key variable. This process will highlight the scope for savings on the cost of handling initial enquiries and provide evidence for a business case for a ‘digital by default’ strategy. The aim is that 80% of public services should be delivered online.

The largest category of online users are customers who are seeking information. They account for 53 per cent of the total. This suggests that considerable channel shift could be achieved for minimal cost, by just by improving the information content of websites.

Socitm estimates potential savings from ‘front office’ channel shift across all English councils at between £134m and £421m, depending on the scale of reduction achieved in the total of phone calls and face-to-face contacts, and the cost base used.

Channel shift: grasping the opportunity is published by Soctim and can be downloaded here.