Streamlined customer service

For the past few years, Manly Council in NSW has been using streamlined customer service based on computer technology. The Customer Action Request Tracking System (CARTS) provides ongoing efficient communication within the organisation, and between Council and the community.

The system is able to track and provide feedback on customer requests, monitor response times and pinpoint problem areas. It is designed to provide a ‘whole Council approach’ to customer service with links to the Depot, Parks and Reserves and Library. Areas not linked up such as pre-school centres have a special CARTS booklet providing application of the same principles. In addition, cross functional improvement teams have been trained to analyse the way work is performed and find solutions for customer expectations and workplace needs.

Advantages of CARTS include increased clarity, simplicity and uniformity of data entry and extraction. There is less duplication of material and less time spent trying to access information and feedback from other Council Departments. Forward planning is greatly assisted through ready access to this data and prioritisation of work more efficient.

Increased efficiencies mean staff have more time to do ‘real work’ rather than becoming bogged down in routine administrative matters. Over 3000 action requests are now logged on the data base showing clearly such facts as the date of request, action already taken and any further steps required.

Council’s Customer Service Manager is currently considering developing the program further to assist in policy and service review.

For further information contact Beth Lawsen, telephone (02) 9976 1640.