06/12/2023 - Permalink

Customer services outbound calls boost, following trial changes to opening hours

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Since Shropshire Council introduced new opening times for their customer services centre on an initial three-month trial period, advisers have been able to talk to over 3,000 older, vulnerable residents about a range of issues, raising awareness of the support that is available, and directly referring over 300 to appropriate help.  

In August 2023 the council introduced new opening times which saw the customer services centre open from 9am to 3pm from Tuesdays to Fridays, and an extended opening time until 6pm on Mondays on a trial basis.    

As the trial period comes to an end, the decision has been made to end the extended Mondays hours, closing at 3pm instead, in line with the rest of the week. This reflects the busiest hours of the day, with a minimal number of calls being made to the centre after 3pm. 

Customers are able to access a growing number of services online, at any time of day, and a new voice-automated call answering system launching this week means that enquiries about waste bins and recycling can be processed automatically, without being answered by a customer services adviser. 

Robert Macey, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture and digital, said:- 

“The revised customer services centre opening hours have been a huge success, creating more time for our advisers to reach people who might otherwise not be aware of the support that is available to them, particularly over the winter months. 

“This initiative was started during the pandemic and continued as part of our cost of living campaign last year, helping thousands of Shropshire residents to access funding and community support when it is most needed. 

“The last three months have shown us the value of focusing our resources on our most vulnerable residents, and we are confident that ending the extended Mondays opening times will allow us to expand on this. 

“More services than ever before can now be reached online, and the innovative technology being developed by waste management services works like a virtual assistant, meaning that these requests will be completed over the phone 24/7.  

“We are working hard to expand this technology into other service areas, so that people without Internet access can still find the information they need outside of our customer service centre opening times.” 

Shropshire Council’s customer services centre will be open 9am-3pm Mondays-Fridays from Monday 11 December 2023. 

See the services available online here: Do it online | Shropshire Council