Improving customer satisfaction and delivering immediate savings
Chief Executive tasked me to lead the organization-wide programme to improve customer service and to create and lead the multidisciplinary contact centre, website and Student Finance service involving 125 FTE with £4.2M budget.
At the end of the programme the ground-breaking service was deemed one of the Sunday Times’ UK Best 50 Contact Centres in 2008, was Highly Commended at the CCF European Call Centre Awards for ‘Best Centre for Customer Service’ in 2007 and Best County Council Website in 2007 (SOCITM), and won the Customer Contact Innovation Award in 2011.
The programme involved significant stakeholder management, process and performance improvement and programme and change management techniques. As a result of this radical initiative over 95% of customers were satisfied and productivity increased by over 80% in 6 months and the council saved almost £20 million.
Addressing morale, budget and performance difficulties
Parachuted in by a Chief Executive to lead a Highways and Countryside Service covering 10,000 acres of countryside estate, 6000km of roads and 3,032 acres of smallholdings with 100 tenants, over 300FTE and an annual budget of £90M. I led a multi-disciplinary team to design and deliver an improvement programme resulting in:
- A new contract with a partner who delivered reactive, routine and planned road maintenance that saved 22% in costs and successfully transferred risk to the private sector and set new behavioural standards for joint working.
- Doubled the level of staff morale in 6 months through extensive engagement and visible, honest leadership.
- New financial and programme management working to address an annual £3 M capital under spend and significant under delivery, transformed into on-time, on-budget performance within 9 months.
- A new Street lighting PFI to replace 79,000 street lights over 5 years and then maintain them, worth almost £300M over 25 years. Winner of International Green Solutions Award and CIPS Supply Management Award, Best Public Procurement 2010
Increase use of libraries and deliver savings
Faced with the challenges of austerity and a library service that wasn’t meeting the needs of its residents a London council chose to transform its library service. The improvement programme touched on every part of the service. Despite an ongoing national decline in use of libraries, the programme achieved a 10% increase in library usage within 1 year; a 6% increase in customer satisfaction and over £1M pa savings.
The redesigned service won awards from the National Reading Agency for the 6 Book Challenge (targeted at adults with very low literacy) and the Summer Reading Challenge.
At the heart of the change was a fortnightly performance meeting to look at the latest customer and performance data in detail and to plan and deliver a raft of individually small changes but collectively significant – building a relentless focus on our residents and a shared commitment and momentum for change.