Birmingham City Council
“The redesign of the council tax bill has been a welcome change to the old style bills that we have been used to in the past. We are happy with the appearance and practicality of the new format bills making it easier and more user friendly to read the information we are providing our charge payers."
Yuen Lam, Operations Manager, Birmingham City Council
- Communications out - transactional print & mail, consulting and design
- £18,800 per annum
Set up in 2006, Service Birmingham is the partnership between Birmingham City Council and Capita, which supports the work of the council, using ICT to pave the way.
In 2012, during a full strategic review of Service Birmingham's customer communications activities, Capita found that the award-winning customer contact centre was experiencing an unusually high volume of calls. An insight and analytical review discovered that a high percentage of them were from customers struggling to understand their council tax bills and benefit statements.
To fully understand the situation, Capita mapped the customer journey. During this process they discovered that correspondence sent to customers/citizens from Service Birmingham was not as clear as it could be.
On further inspection it was found that Service Birmingham's entire print portfolio was in need of updating. It included no less than 230 different documents, including council tax bills, benefit letters and summons correspondence.
This would need to be addressed as part of the wider project to merge council tax bills and benefit statements in April 2013, which would ensure the elimination of multiple letters sent on the same day to the same citizen. This included the merge of over 95,000 mail packs.
Capita’s in-house design team was able to carry out a complete document re-engineering and re-fresh project, all in line with existing brand guidelines.
- Use of highlight colour to enhance key messages
- Inclusion of marketing messages to promote wider council programmes
- Repositioning calls to action to make website address more prominent
- Addition of clearer titles such as 'Reason for Bill'
The project needed to be completed by December 2012, and also needed to take into account Service Birmingham’s overall strategic objectives. These included the need to:
- Increase direct debit payments
- Reduce the number of calls to the contact centre
- Drive more customers online
- Cost savings
By making correspondence easier to understand, encouraging channel shift and a reduction in print and postage costs by over £18k per annum, Service Birmingham is saving money organisation-wide.
- Direct debit payments increased
The number of customers/citizens paying by direct debit increased by 11% in the first month.
- Channel shift
Encouraging customers to use cheaper communication channels gives the customer a better experience and reduces costs for Service Birmingham.
- Improved customer experience
- Increased productivity
- Reduction in customer queries
- Enhanced brand image
- Improved data security and control
- Lowered carbon footprint
Delivering future efficiencies
Capita continues to support Birmingham City Council and is dedicated to delivering ongoing transformation through technology and process innovation. Capita is pleased to support Birmingham City Council with current and future needs.