City introduces improved customer service system and new number

The City of Greater Bendigo has implemented a new software system that improves the customer experience and provides a streamlined approach to handling the thousands of inquiries submitted each year by phone, email and web chat.

As part of these changes, the City is also changing its main number to 1300 002 642, which will replace the current number 5434 6000. There will be a transition period, but customers are encouraged to start using the new number now.

The company’s acting performance manager, Jessica Clarke-Hong, said the new system has created more efficient and streamlined customer service delivery for the community.

“In the last fiscal year, our customer service staff received more than 93,000 phone calls and responded to 43,382 inquiry emails and 1,962 webchats per year,” Ms. Clarke-Hong said.

“Our latest statistics reveal that 89% of queries to our call center are resolved by our customer service staff on first contact. They also handle a greater number of emails which are then added to our customer request to be processed by the relevant departments of the organization.

“The move to the new system has many significant benefits for customer service, which merges phone, email and web chat activities into a single customer queue.

“It makes it much easier to manage, track and continuously improve how we provide our customer service through better reporting capabilities.

“The system also displays customer details from our database on screen, saving time and creating a better customer experience with more focus on the nature of the enquiry.

“Calls can be handled as the subject of the request is identified and the call can be escalated to customer service staff with specialist knowledge to handle the issue.

“We are also introducing a new number because customer service has experienced phone quality issues.

“Call quality under the existing system has been variable and there has been occasional voice and noise distortion which, despite many attempts, cannot be resolved. The new number is more flexible to accommodate cloud systems behind the scenes in the future.

“As part of this transition to the new system, our main phone number 5434 6000 is going to be phased out by early 2023 and during this transition period all calls to this number will be redirected to the new main number of the City 1300 002 642.

“Even though we are moving to a new number, I strongly encourage residents to save the new number in their phone contacts and start using the new number 1300 002 642 when you want to call customer service.

“This avoids the phone quality issues we are having with the 5434 6000 number and allows us to efficiently connect to our new and improved customer service software system which will help speed up calls to the centre.

“Those who call 5434 6000 after the end of the transition period will hear a message informing them that they should call the new number 1300 002 642.

“It was important to change the phone number now in view of the move to Galkangu (Bendigo GovHub) as this would have remained an ongoing issue and our goal is to provide the best possible customer service to residents.”

The new number is already appearing on the City’s website, social media platforms, bills and new City publications. The rollout will continue over the next 18 months.

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