Wednesday, 21 November 2007

A single number for government services

Building on the success of the 311 in New York it makes good sense in the UK to have a single number for all non emergency calls. And so it became "a manifesto pledge at the 2005 election - vandalism, abandoned vehicles, noisy neighbours? If you have a problem call 101.
This promise, to introduce a new non-emergency number, was for people to use to report anti-social behaviour and other problems in their area that do not always warrant a 999 call"

The service has also been a success, quoting the BBC again "In the Northumbria area the 101 number has received over 150,000 calls since its launch. A Home Office survey also found that 84% of those that had used it were satisfied with the service. "

Unfortunately the Home Office seems to see the 101 number from the perspective of reducing 999 calls and has tried to build a business case from that perspective rather than the holistic impact of having a single number to call for all public services. By restricting the service to calls about anti-social behavior, it has both reduced it's usefulness and weakened it's business case. A Transformed Government approach would start from what the citizen wants, a single number for everything bar emergencies and configure the public sector to respond.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Customer / Citizen Centricity

I had a car accident on Friday, and the behaviour of the call centre was a good example of customer centricity, with one phone call to:

  • Collect all the information needed
  • Arrange for my car to be repaired (and provide a courtesy car)
  • Brief me on what to tell the other driver
  • Give me someone to call if anything went wrong

The accident was a stupid error, but the behaviour of my insurer took as much pain away as was possible, i.e. they took my problem and managed it on my behalf.