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Bonkers Blog October 2014

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18 October (Part 2) - Contacting the council. It can only get worse

When cabinet member Gareth Bacon spoke of his front line savings he specifically mentioned the service provided by the council’s Contact Centre. He plans to reduce it. Is there a lot of scope for making it worse?

This was the experience of a reader when he called 020 8303 7777 this week.

• The voice recognition system correctly identified the department and I was connected to it.
• No one answered and a machine asked me to provide a name or ‘box number’ if I wished to leave a message.
• Being a first time caller I was unable to do either!
• While pondering what to do the machine told me that if I did not supply the information my call would be terminated.
• After three more attempts later in the day I eventually spoke to someone in the right department.
• The following week I needed to visit the Civic Centre but required to confirm someone would be there to see me.
• The telephone system correctly identified the department, no answer then voice mail!
• I needed to speak to someone then and leaving a message seemed pointless with an appointment time imminent.
• I made another call and ignored the voice recognition system.
• I was connected to the receptionist who connected me to the required department.
• No one answered.
• I rang the receptionist again and asked for the specific person I had spoken to before.
• After connection the voice mail informed me the person did not work on that particular day.
• Success was finally achieved when I told the receptionist I would settle for speaking to any person in the department.

The reader concludes: What a way to run a business. Surely it cannot be too difficult to revert callers back to reception after a mail box option failure? Why are the general enquiry numbers of a department not covered?


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