Civica, a global leader in software for public services, has extended its partnership with Enfield Council. Civica will continue to provide specialist contact centre solutions for the Council, dealing with 95% of incoming calls at the first point of contact. The new, two-year contract will help Enfield further improve local services and support its wider digital transformation.
The contract builds on the initial partnership formed in 2017 to provide flexible resource for revenues and benefits processing, business rates collection, Single Person Discount reviews and Adult Social Care financial assessments. Working together, Civica and Enfield have been able to maximise enquiry resolution at first point of contact for council tax and benefits related calls, vastly reducing call waiting times for residents.
Through a combination of new collection initiatives, including improvements to the telephony service, Enfield increased its Council Tax collection rate in 2019/20 to 98%, boosting income by around £1.2m.
Built on the foundation of Civica’s cloud-enabled software platform for managing revenues and benefits, the company manages calls for the full cycle of Council Tax collection from initial billing, changes in circumstances, discount and exemptions through to recovery and enforcement enquiries. Civica also handles all types of Housing Benefit calls including enquiries on eligibility, evidence, appeals and overpayments. During COVID-19, all processes were moved to remote working with no disruption to services.
A continued aim of the partnership is to better understand reasons for customer contact in order to improve service delivery. Each enquiry type is logged and reported to Enfield on a monthly basis. This data insight helps identify process inefficiencies, such as issues with citizen communications and helps the Council to improve services.
Geoff Waterton, Head of Collection services at Enfield Council commented: ‘It’s difficult to understate the challenges local government has faced with a decade of austerity followed by the Coronavirus pandemic. Maintaining up-to-date benefits, council tax and business rate processing and easy, quick access to specialist telephone advice and support has been essential to sustain tenancies, maximise revenues, mitigate the impact of welfare reform, and manage the increasing demands of Universal Credit and reducing arrears.
“During this period, Civica has provided flexible, professional and consistent services, which have helped Enfield achieve excellent collection performance alongside outstanding benefit services.
“Civica is able to support and work in partnership with us to overcome increases in workload caused by Government and legislative changes, resulting in very little impact to our resident services. Enfield used to rely heavily on temporary agency staff to support services but using Civica has eliminated the need for expensive agency staffing. The level of staff turnover and excellent management and training of staff has also provided excellent quality services.”
Paul Mason, Divisional Managing Director, Managed Services added: “We’re delighted to continue supporting Enfield with its citizen interactions, helping to support smooth running of the Council’s revenues and benefits service. As an experienced provider of specialist contact centre solutions in the public sector, we will continue to assist our customers to improve the digital experience for citizens and employees.”
A long-standing Civica customer, Enfield uses Civica’s cloud enabled OPENRevenues software, as well as democracy and engagement solutions including electoral software, Cx Housing and fleet and delivery management solutions.
Civica has an extensive track record of providing specialist managed solutions to a number of major organisations, including Hull City Council, East Kent Services Partnership and Network Rail. The company has plans to further grow its Hull-based contact centre with future job creation and expanded services for public sector organisations throughout the UK.