Customer Access Strategy

Help and support for all our customers

Some of our customers may not even be aware of all the digital services currently available to them and we know we need to do more to promote them. Other people want to do more online but don’t currently feel able to. This could be due to a lack of confidence in new technologies, or nervousness about the safety of conducting business in this way. For others, the cost of equipment, and mobile or broadband charges might prevent them from accessing services digitally. Whatever the reason, we want to do all we can to help as many people as possible enjoy the benefits that being online can bring.

We will:

  • Encourage all customers to make use of digital ‘self-serve’ so they can find out about the things that matter to them – not just Council services.
  • Promote online services at every opportunity to increase interest and awareness
  • Provide digital assistance in every library and Customer Service centre so that customers who need help feel supported and able to access the services they need. This might mean showing people how to set up an email address or helping them complete an online form. Whatever their needs are, we will support all customers in a way that best suits their situation and reason for contacting us
  • Enable all our frontline staff to support customers to access online services, equipping them with mobile devices and tablets so they can show customers how to find information and services using devices they are more familiar with – not only at Council offices but for staff working in the community too
  • Create ‘digital champions’ to work closely with customers and communities to increase their online interest, confidence and skill. This might include coaching individuals, attending group meetings to show what’s available online, or putting people in touch with providers of basic ICT courses such as the ones currently provided in libraries, education services and the voluntary sector
  • Work with our communities, partners, voluntary sector and charitable organisations to implement schemes that are designed to increase digital inclusion
  • Work with the business community to identify other organisations who could help us increase the number of people who can get online and stay online. We will also seek out events and activities to further promote and encourage digital engagement
  • Continue providing free Wi-Fi for public use in Council owned buildings such as libraries and customer service centres, and subject to funding look to extend this to other locations such as the town centre
  • Make sure all our services are accessible so that regardless of anyone’s personal situation, no one feels disadvantaged. We realise that going online isn’t for everyone and for some services there may be other self-serve options available too. For example text messaging, automated telephone service. Customers can also still contact us by phone or visit us at a Neighbourhood Hub