Stoke City Council partnered with JADU Spacecraft to replace its ‘failing’ website and within a year, the reimagined and redesigned stoke.gov.uk was awarded ‘most improved’ site of its kind by independent auditor Sitemorse (jumping from one to three stars out of four in Socitm ratings).
The council didn’t stop there and soon turned its focus to its digital services and enabling effective self-service for its citizens. It now uses JADU Continuum CXM (Customer Experience Management) to ensure citizens are kept fully up-to-date with the progress of their cases.
Here we catch-up with Jon Barker, Strategic Manager, Stoke-on-Trent on one service that has seen particularly well received; Pest Control!
Pest Control was recently mentioned as an interesting example of a service that has been improved as part of the move to the JADU platform, please can you tell us about it?
Jon: Sure. So, all of our services have now been moved to the JADU platform and we’ve just switched off our legacy system. Pest Control is a nice example of how the platform really adds transparency to citizens and the council.
The Pest Control service used to be manual at Stoke; a customer would ring the contact centre to book an appointment, a representative would gather information and then process the case using paper.
Jobs would be handed to pest control technicians to action and customers given a day to wait in between nine and three, which wasn’t ideal and we’d have people calling up asking for specific times that we weren’t able to give.
And how has this changed?
Jon: Now JADU Continuum XFP eforms capture the required details, accounting for a number of variables that are key to the service.
Different routes are opened-up depending on the nature of the service request so that manual admin is no longer required. For example, if the customer is a council tenant, then payment is not requested. If rats are reported, then customers are asked whether boxes have already been put down. If fleas, cockroaches or bedbugs are the problem, then charges are made by the room and processed accordingly, and so on.
The point is that the process is tailored to the type of pest being reported.
Once the customer and issue has been identified, a pest control technician allocates jobs for the day to the team.
The operatives are equipped with commercially available tablets that are fitted protective covers. They go into JADU Continuum CXM where they can see a dashboard detailing their jobs. Everything is ready for them and they no longer have to carry paper around if the customer has provided us with an email to send them updates. The tablets run off the 4G. In the past we looked at separate mobile solutions and had to think about how to cache the information, but with the prevalence of 4G these days, there just isn’t a need.
When a technician is allocated, the customer gets an email to notify them. They also get notifications that the technician is ‘Attending Today’ and when they’re ‘On Route’. Customers can check the status at any time in their MyAccount, meaning they do not have to chase for updates.
So, greater transparency for residents?
Jon: Yes, but there’s also greater oversight for the council too. For example, as there should only be one case ‘On Route’ at a time, the council is able to accurately account for the location of the team, an important safety consideration for lone workers.
Another key feature is that when technicians get to the job, they use a drop down menu on the tablets to list the poisons placed in the property. The information is emailed to the customer. Having this information is important if a medical professional requests it. Previously, the technician would have had to write the information down by hand.
The new Pest Control service has been well received by users and internally. The efficiency gains have helped reduce waiting times; we’re currently operating at around a week’s wait, whereas we’ve had two-three week waits in the past.
It’s a good illustration of the approach we’re taking - enabled by the JADU Continuum platform across services.