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East Northamptonshire Council – A Tailored Out of Hours Service

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East Northamptonshire Council and Appello working in partnership to develop a valuable and enhanced customer service to approximately 40,000 households.

East Northamptonshire Council (ENC) is one of the fastest growing districts in the country with rural parishes and six towns. Rushden is the largest with a population of approximately 29,000, the other main centres being Higham Ferrers, Irthlingborough, and Thrapston, all ranging in size from 6,000 – 9,000 residents.

KEY CHALLENGES

ENC’s current service offers continuous support, 24 hours a day, should their customers need assistance with any type of emergency. The contracted service runs 5pm – 8.45am therefore needed to mirror the high levels of service already provided during normal office hours.

THE APPROACH

Prior to contract commencement, Appello worked closely with ENC to understand the wide range of calls that would be received, such as report of anti-social behaviour, domestic violence, flooding or noise disturbances.

Appello then tailored the internal operator training to meet the varying nature and scenarios the operators would be faced with. Ongoing reviews were established to frequently monitor the calls taken and ensure Appello provides the necessary level of quality required by the contract. ENC were assured that the service provided by Appello was aligned with the council’s objectives and internal procedures and tailored to their customers.

WHY APPELLO?

Appello successfully won the original tender in 2004, and following a series of renewals have now been working in partnership with ENC for over 12 years, Appello were awarded the contract by demonstrating their ability to deliver tailored services to meet the council’s varied and diverse range of enquiries.

Appello operators need to liaise with various departments at ENC to be able to respond appropriately, often linking with outside agencies such as the Environmental Agency.

The quality of the service has meant peace of mind for ENC and their customers, safe in the knowledge that after 5pm there is still a point of contact for customers to receive assistance from knowledgeable and experienced staff.

Our strong relationship with Appello has continued to grow due to the frequency and ease of communications. Appello have listened to the needs of the council and been supportive in providing a tailored service that meets the needs of our 85,000 residents. We continue to feel reassured that during out of hours, calls will be managed in a professional and appropriate manner.

Contact Centre Manager East Northamptonshire Council

OUR OPERATORS

As the relationship has continued to develop, ENC have continued to recognise the unique level of service provided by the specialist team of Appello operators.

Following guidelines and procedures agreed with ENC, Appello operators are able to identify the appropriate cause of action and where suitable provide signposting to other community services such as charities and emergency services. It’s combination of the experience, level of training and breadth of calls managed that has enabled Appello to develop a specialist out of hours team.

THE FUTURE

The partnership continues to develop and review other potential services including further equipment support. This builds on the flexibility that Appello offers, listening to the council’s current and future needs and supporting them with a tailored approach.

 

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