Shoalhaven City Council in NSW highly values collaboration and community involvement. Ensuring seamless community access to council services lies at the heart of their mission, as evidenced by the growth from a few customer experience officers to a fully functioning team. In 2019, the council embarked on a journey to enhance the overall customer experience throughout the entire organisation. The goal was clear: to revamp the frontline customer service to ensure seamless community access to council services. This commitment to customer-centricity drove the need for modernizing outdated technology. The urgency of this transformation became even more apparent during the COVID-19 outbreak when staff had to self-isolate in accordance with government and health guidelines.
The first step was to establish a modern contact centre to streamline customer inquiries at the initial point of contact. This set the stage for a government tender process, with Ericom and Telstra emerging as successful respondents. Over seven months, the telephony platform was transitioned from the legacy system to Microsoft Teams Calling and Genesys Cloud. The timing was crucial, as a mere three weeks after the project went live, the entire Shoalhaven City Council contact centre team were required to transition to remote work.
The impact of this transformation on Shoalhaven City Council has been instrumental in maintaining their business continuity over the last year. The cloud-based configuration allows staff to work from the office, home, or a combination of both as needed. Additionally, the new call centre platform and Teams’ call queues have streamlined information flow, ensuring timely task completion and enabling the back-office staff to focus on more specialised responsibilities.
The partnership between Ericom and Telstra with Shoalhaven City Council has continued post-implementation, with ongoing efforts to upgrade end-of-life equipment and maximise the potential of the new cloud structure. Our adaptability and expertise have expanded beyond traditional council operations as we’ve embraced new business areas, extending the Genesys platform into visitor centres and tourist parks to further enhance customer experience and community engagement.
The work with Shoalhaven City Council has empowered their workforce by improving communication and flexibility, crucial elements for their continued success in effectively serving the community and furthering their mission of collaboration and engagement. In the words of Shoalhaven City Council themselves: “We’re all looking forward to more great things to come. Great team effort, thanks again, everyone.”