From random queries about it being too hot in the shops, or rodents on the rampage stealing belongings, to the much-expected questions such as bin collections, it’s all in day’s work for Sefton Council’s Contact Centre who are celebrating their 15th birthday.
The Contact Centre is the first point of contact for Sefton residents and handle very difficult situations as well as the very varied weird, wonderful and rewarding enquiries that range from help with benefits to support with Council Tax payments, street cleaning, to social care enquiries and much more.
As the Contact Centre celebrates their 15th birthday, the team has been reflecting on successes and how much has changed in the ways in which residents and visitors communicate with the local authority.
Gone are the days of simply a phone call. The continued rise of digital communications now sees the small but extremely busy team at the contact centre answer many queries by email, webchat and social media messages. In the last year alone, the team at the centre has answered over 425,000 calls, 2,500 webchats, 19,000 emails and 27,000 social media messages.
But one thing has not changed for the team over the last 15 years – they always put the customer at the heart of everything they do.
Cllr Paulette Lapin, Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services
“It’s said that you never have a second chance to make a first impression, which is so true for the fantastic staff in our contact centre, who have a very important role to play as a first point of contact and the eyes, ears and voice of Sefton Council.
“I wish them a big happy birthday and I look forward to watching the team evolve in line with the needs of our communities and how they want to communicate with us in the future.”
Lisa Conway, Contact Centre Manager said:
“Time has really flown since we established the service and it has been good to reflect on how far we have come, but also think of the challenges as we continue to adapt to the ever-changing needs of customers and the evolving digital landscape.
“When you speak to that helpful voice on the phone or on social media, you do not see the meticulous planning that takes place ahead of each day, week, month, year. Something as simple as a change in the weather or a bank holiday can influence the kinds of calls the team finds answers to. For instance, after bank holidays, it is normal to receive lots of social care enquiries as people worry about isolated loved ones.
“The team needs to be alert and flexible and I’m proud to be part of a dynamic team that gives a warm welcome to residents while resolving their issues. The role can be very challenging but also very rewarding – ultimately we are making a difference for residents no matter what their enquiry.”
Join the celebrations on social media and look out for some of the memories the Contact Centre are sharing on the Council’s Twitter feed throughout the rest of May.
If you have any queries for Sefton Council, you can visit the Sefton Council website, call 0345 140 0845 or visit Twitter @seftoncouncil or Facebook /onesefton