1.0          PURPOSE OF REPORT

To update the overview and scrutiny committee following the presentation made by the Assistant Director of Customer, Revenue and Benefits in June on the progress made in the customer service function following vesting day.

2.0          CONTEXT


The presentation to Committee in June highlighted some of the challenges faced by customer service post vesting day. It highlighted the level of vacancies, increase seasonal call demand, impact on new website layout and unforeseen telephony issues which impacted on performance.  Whilst there have been ongoing challenges as described, it was acknowledged that staff within Customer Services have been working hard to provide a high quality and professional service to all North Yorkshire residents.


It was accepted that the customer experience across these channels was not perfect and there was improvement work that could be done in the short term and further improvement could be realised as the organisation moved into convergence through transformation.


3.0          KEY ISSUES

Recruitment into vacant posts across the function:

The customer service function has worked closely with the HR recruitment team, to create a consistent approach to recruitment across all areas.  A working group has been formed with members across all areas to focus on talent attraction and campaigns, short listing criteria and the interview process.

All vacancies have now been filled in Harrogate, Northallerton, Hambleton, Craven and Richmond.

Recruitment campaigns are currently underway in Scarborough and Selby to back fill leavers.

4.0          PERFORMANCE:


Performance of the Customer service function following vesting day has seen as significant improvement over the last 4 months.



No of Calls

% of calls Answered

Average time to answer call

Average time to abandon call




2 min 51 sec

1 min 8sec




2 min 9 sec

37 sec




1 min 49 sec

29 sec




1 min 37 sec

26 sec


Customers calls are now being answered on average, 1 min 14 seconds quicker in July than they were in April.


In April the percentage of calls being answered was 80.92%. However, in July there is a significant increase of calls being answered now sitting at 90.15%.


The patience of our customers has declined with customer only willing to wait on average 26 seconds prior to abandoning their call.


5.0          PROGRESS UPDATE

A joint consistent approach to recruitment across all teams has resulted in vacancies being filled.

All Customer contact centres are now able to take calls for other legacy areas. This has provided more resilience across North Yorkshire.

Work continues to be undertaken on the new website to make it more accessible and improve the customer’s experience.

Performance continues to improve month on month with shorter waiting times for customers.

Performance will improve further as new members of the team complete training and start to take calls from customers.

6.0          FUTURE PLANS


Development of a Customer Experience/ Excellence framework to ensure a customer centric approach is adopted across the organisation.


Continue to build on the progress made to date by working as one team and sharing demand across all centres to further improve performance.


Develop customer insight and performance data to enable the service to be more intelligence led to support the organisation to prioritise where customer experience needs to be improved.


Prepared by Margaret Wallace

Service Area Customer, Revenues and Benefits

Date 23rd August 2023