Workstream 1: build new resident services which are online by default, with extra help for those who need it

People expect services to be online and available on any device. Accessing simple council services online should be as easy as ordering from Amazon.

People should be able to pay using a range of online payment options, just like in their everyday lives. They should experience seamless services from us, with the opportunity to give feedback on the channels of their choice. This will reduce failure demand on our customer service teams and business areas, and improve our resident, visitor and business experience of us. 

The intended outcomes of this workstream are that:

  • most of our residents choose and prefer to interact with us online (at least two thirds, not including complex case work) 
  • people get what they want first time in 80% of our interactions with residents, whether for information or transactional services, without needing help 

  • users rate our online services ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ more than 85% of the time 

  • users understand our website and associated information, meaning they do not have to contact us if we have put the information online 

  • residents can easily participate in democratic processes online 

  • residents trust our online presence, relying on consistent design and content to know they are interacting with us and only us. 

To do this we will

  • build a suite of new digital services in a data-driven priority order, focusing on currently poor areas of resident experience, high-volume services, and highly manual process  

  • deliver a series of service-by-service transformation programmes enabled by technology 

  • transform the work of our customer services team, reducing their administrative burden and focusing them on supporting the digitally excluded and particularly vulnerable 

  • explore different channels for customer services, including chat and text 

  • design and deliver an assistive technology care strategy (to be published at a later date), to help our more vulnerable and older residents achieve the best possible quality of life

  • implement a best-of-breed contact centre and telephony system, ensuring residents can contact and hear from the council reliably and consistently 

  • integrate our social media queries and communication into customer services 

  • consider working across the borough with existing community groups and charities to put digital enablement and skills out where people can find them more easily - this will also help more of our residents use new online services

  • carry out user research and continuous feedback with residents to understand what they need from us and create a prioritised backlog of work and associated roadmap 

  • put payments online for all payable services, making the council cashless for all but the most vulnerable  

  • consolidate and redesign our websites, making them clearer and more accessible. We will introduce consistent, mobile-first design patterns, iterating based on user needs

  • carry out a full review across our many websites, stripping out underused content and redesigning all content around resident need 

  • introduce peer-led service standards assessments, using the experience of our friends in other councils to help make our services better

  • experiment with new technologies and channels where sensible, to help us offer better services - such as chat, machine learning and process automation

  • renew our online consultation platform to help users to get their voices heard and enable us to respond to what residents and businesses need from us

  • transform how we develop digital services, moving from outsourced ‘big IT’ to small, cross-functional teams using agile ways of working and frequently releasing new features through modern, cloud-based platforms wherever possible 

  • carry out a comprehensive review of all current digital services, technologies and platforms across the council, giving us the solid data we need to prioritise our work.