‘Channel shift strategy’ will encourage more people to contact Fenland council online

Fenland District Council

Fenland District Council - Credit: Archant

Pushing more people to use on-line services rather than personal contact is the aim of a report to Fenland councillors this week.

A report by Geoff Kent, Fenland council’s head of customer services, entitled ‘channel shift strategy’ explains the aim is to save money and make the council accessible 24/7.

It points out the website already has a ‘wealth’ of information about council services with many on-line forms as well as more personalised access to planning, benefits and Council Tax.

Mr Kent’s report explains ‘channel shift’ is about changing the way customers interact with the council and is “setting our stall out” with regards to how www.fenland.gov.uk will become the central pillar of customer engagement for the council.

The report uses a whole host of ‘council speak’ terminology to explain that Fenland cannot offer a 24/7 face to face or telephone enquiries service but can offer that via the website.

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But Mr Kent also points out that ‘channel shifting’ is not about removing existing access channels (ways of contacting the council) but is about complimenting them and making the web the first place to go for information, to report issues, apply for services and pay for them.

He said: “The objective is to create an omni-channel experience - the experience of contacting us is the same high quality, excellent customer focused offer regardless of whether customers visit us, phone, email, write or use our website.”

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He also points out that implementing the channel shift strategy will help the council make savings in its Fenland @ your service hubs and shops, but these are not outlined in the main report.

Councillors are being asked to adopt the strategy at Thursday’s Cabinet meeting.

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