Recognising the digital benefits and expectations of their service users, we began working alongside the Council to undertake an incremental digital transformation programme across a number of key services to make them more flexible, convenient for users and affordable for the Council.
Digitising the Council’s parking permit service was one of the projects within the transformation programme. Our digital specialists team worked with the Council to deliver an online parking permit application and renewal service, which continued to support those without online access or digital capability.
Previously, when residents needed to apply or renew their parking permit they had to phone the Council or arrange face to face meetings, costing the Council between £5 and £15 per transaction.
The Council was already introducing e-forms for parking applications and renewals to their website. However, an end-to-end review of the customer journey was needed to ensure people used the online facilities, customers had a better experience and the Council could maximise the operational benefits. Download the full case study.
Customer journey mapping
We initially focused on reviewing the steps a customer takes when applying for or renewing their parking permit. This helped to identify ‘pain points’ for customers and areas that could be improved to increase digital uptake and the customer experience.
We held cross-functional customer journey mapping sessions with representatives from the web, parking and customer service teams to understand how customers were interacting with the service, and how they would in future. Customer personas were developed to better understand the different types of users to ensure their needs were catered for.
Small changes make a big difference
When making a permit application, we found that a customer needed to provide specific information and have access to printing facilities to complete the e-form. However, customers weren’t made aware of this before completing the form. As a result, there was a trend towards customers abandoning their online application in favour of completing the transaction over the phone or face to face. By understanding this issue, we amended the online content up-font to increase more digital transactions being completed.
Using this insight, we designed an improved end-to-end customer journey for parking permit applications, encouraged digital uptake to reduce telephone and face to face interactions, but also protected people who were unable to get online.
Call routing and IVR changes
The role of automated switchboards and customer advisers are crucial customer touchpoints when encouraging people to use the online facilities. We designed and implemented a new interactive voice routing (IVR) script, which played automated messages that encouraged digital uptake, ahead of being put through to an adviser. Telephone-based support was also prioritised for vulnerable residents.
Customer service advisers encouraged residents still using traditional, offline methods to self-serve online. If customers were unable to get online, they were offered face-to-face assisted support by customer advisers at the Gateway, Southampton City Council’s one-stop-shop, equipped with online and scanning facilities. This allowed customers to learn how to self-serve and increased the number of residents able to benefit from the online parking application and renewal process.
Reviewing and digitally optimising the customer journey has delivered a range of benefits for Southampton. This includes:
I enjoyed working with a great team from Capita to re-design the parking permit application and renewals process. Cross functional workshops saw representatives from many areas working together putting the Customer at the heart to streamline processes, provide an online option whilst reducing the cost to serve. Overall a great success that puts Southampton First and at the forefront of Digital change.
Richard Alderson, Service Manager Parking and Itchen Bridge, Southampton City Council
We want to improve outcomes for our residents, whilst prioritising our resources so they are used where they are most needed. So, we are delivering more services online, working with communities to help them to do more for themselves, and exploring new and innovative ways of delivering services in the city.
Southampton City Council
We are investing in the community to create jobs, raise the aspirations of young people and grow the local economy.Southampton City Council
Prior to the current e-form, an initial referral would take, on average, 2 hours to process. With the Umbraco form, an initial referral takes approximately 1 hour to process. This includes saving, printing and copying all attachments.West Sussex Council Officer, Special Needs Assessment team
Through a dedicated CSR programme and working closely with the Council and local stakeholders the Partnership is making a real difference to the people of Southampton.Southampton and Capita Partnership