Hull turns to Civica for contact centre overhaul
Deal will target further self service developments to support City of Culture 2017 programme in the latest of a series of agreements signed between the company and authority
Hull City Council is set to further expand an existing outsourcing partnership it has for a number of key services in order to include contact centre functions as support for its status as the UK City of Culture next year.
The authority has awarded Civica a five year agreement to try and improve efficiency in its operations and support wider digital transformation objectives. The cost of the contract has not been provided.
The new contract will see Civica responding to an average 70,000 calls to the council’s contact centre a month, alongside providing telephony infrastructure and supporting aims to encourage uptake of online self-service options. An estimated 90 employees of the council will join Civica via TUPE.
The company is also expected to support efforts to adapt to the changing methods used to communicate between the authority and the public, with a focus on service efficiency and cost saving.
With the contract commencing from December 1, the council’s contact centre functions are expected to continue to be provided 24 hours a day from within the city, along with an out-of-hours function for core council services.
At present the contact centre handles 70% of enquiries going through the council. This includes handling issues such as tax, benefits, waste management and highways maintenance. It will also deal with tickets sales and other queries regarding the Hull Culture and Leisure arms-length company in charge of events for the UK City of Culture programme.
Councillor Helena Spencer said the contract represented a means of supporting the city’s cultural status in 2017 with higher quality services for citizens that can better meet their preferred contact channel requirements.
“The new contact centre partnership extends the existing relationship between the two organisations. Civica is already delivering outsourced revenues and benefits services, debt recovery and financial assessments for Hull City Council following a 7-year agreement designed to drive service performance and save the council £5m, which saw approximately 230 employees transfer to Civica in 2015,” she said.
“Due to this partnership, Hull City Council has secured over £1m in additional revenue through improved council tax administration and reduced administration costs without redundancy. “
Earlier this year, Hull City Council launched what it called a Customer Enablement Programme that sought to find the best way to move forward with aims to make further savings and efficiencies in its operations. The process, supported by PWC, saw the council outlining a business case to modernise its customer contact functions and better meet user needs by integrating different systems across its operations and stepping up self-service options.
The programme has sought to replace the council’s CRM system and legacy Oracle technology.
Earlier this year, the authority announced it was entering into an agreement with Civica to adopt a software solution to overhaul its coroner's office functions that focused on integration and automation of key services.
It followed an announcement in September 2015 that the same company was its preferred partner for a seven year contract overseeing revenues and benefits services, as well as functions such as debt collection.
Additional reporting by Alan Mo.