Poole Borough Council Boosts Garden Waste Collection Service Sign-Ups with Firmstep’s AchieveForms
Published by PSN for Firmstep in Local Government and also in Bill Payments
Poole Borough Council has successfully automated its online application and payment process for new subscriptions to its Garden Waste Collection Service, using the AchieveForms intelligent forms solution from Firmstep.
The 2012 service has 22,000 active subscribers – around one in three households in Poole – with over 54% of those subscribers having signed up and paid for the service online. This exceeds the council’s original estimate of 30% when the service was announced in Autumn 2011. With an annual fee of £31, the service is intended to increase disposal of garden waste through more environmentally-friendly methods. The income generated has also enabled collections to be rolled out across the entire Borough.
Chris Owens, Head of Customer Services & Communications at Poole Borough Council said: “We are always looking for opportunities to maximise the use of technology we already have, to implement solutions that can improve service to the public and save time and money for the Council. With online applications for the Collection Service being taken 24/7, this helped to reduce and smooth overall demand for our contact centre and face-face service teams too.
“For all council services, the advisors in our contact centre use the same AchieveForms as our residents when they self-serve, so their feedback helps us to make the online process smooth and easy-to-use too. Firmstep’s AchieveForms is fundamental to the council’s multi-channel customer service strategy, and an example of our ongoing commitment to providing efficient and accessible services.”
Since 2010, the council has used the AchieveForms software as a like-for-like replacement for 140 of its existing online forms, helping to streamline web services. The use of AchieveForms for the council’s Garden Waste Collection Service is the latest in a series of applications using Firmstep solutions and is the council’s first dual integration with both the Capita payments scheme and its Lagan CRM system. The council now plans to extend the use of AchieveForms to enable citizens to book beach huts and tennis courts via the council website in 2013.
Poole Borough Council has been actively promoting its website, encouraging citizens to choose online channels to communicate with the council as part of its drive to increase channel shift. More residents now use the council’s website than all other methods of contact combined, and around a third of all requests for services or action are now raised online, enabling tangible cost savings to be captured.