Sedgemoor District Council, a local government district in Somerset, provides over 120 services to its residents. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a need for video appointments arose for the council as they needed a platform to support fast and efficient contact for vulnerable customers. In an ever-increasing digital world, Sedgemoor recognised that there are some customers that still value the importance of interacting face to face.
The council’s Digital Inclusion Strategy, underpinned by the strapline ‘Digital by Choice’ is clear on providing customers with options based on user centred design and consultation. The need for video appointments coupled with their Digital Inclusion Strategy led to Sedgemoor looking for a suitable platform for online appointments.
Kevin Chorley, Digital Engagement Manager at Sedgemoor District Council describes the reasons why the council opted for Induction Attend Anywhere by Involve: “After a period of consultation and demonstrations with Involve, we knew that Attend Anywhere was a product that was ready to go straight off the shelf. The standout features were the waiting room functionality, reporting tools and easy-to-use interfaces from a customer perspective. The option to further customise certain aspects to meet Sedgemoor’s needs was also another positive factor.”
“Implementing Attend Anywhere was easy, especially as we were afforded plenty of time to test the platform before going live, and the after support from Involve has been excellent” says Kevin. “The main early adopters have been our Housing team who have used this as an appointment-only service offered to all customers and have also advertised specific drop-in times. On a lesser scale, our Revenues and Benefits teams also utilise Attend Anywhere for customer contact and have found the screen sharing function particularly useful.”
“The ability to use Attend Anywhere as a method of contact has facilitated better home working arrangements for our officers without compromising customer service excellence and serves as a gentle introduction to the world of digital for those customers who are anxious about making this transition into using more digitalised communication” continues Kevin. “The platform has also had positive environmental impacts for staff and customers, negating the need to travel for appointments or services”.
To summarise the council’s experience with Attend Anywhere, Kevin says, “Attend Anywhere has allowed us to continue offering face to face contact during the pandemic, and early feedback from staff and customers has been excellent. There are several benefits to using Attend Anywhere, and we are continuing to explore these with other service departments, as well as the possibility of implementing Attend anywhere as a standardised contact channel for all our customers and further innovative ways of rolling out Attend Anywhere for other uses, such as site visits and collaboration across other Councils. Attend Anywhere has become an integral part of our conversation around customer contact channels as Sedgemoor work with its neighbouring authorities to become a Unitary Council by April 2023.”