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?