Council Leader joins contact centre staff
Council Leader Ben Chapelard spent some time working in the Council’s contact centre (call centre) as he continues to explore how front-line teams operate on a day-to-day basis.
The contact centre is staffed by a team of six or seven people, who field calls for 11 different Council services. The centre takes an average of 800 calls per day. Each member of the team will deal with calls for every service: from benefits to bin collections, from parking to places to visit. Since January, the team has taken over 140,000 calls.
After his session Ben said: ‘I was really impressed by the breadth of knowledge staff need to work in the contact centre. The phones don’t stop ringing. One minute you are advising someone how they can apply for Council Tax benefit online and the next you can be helping them book theatre tickets for the Assembly Hall Theatre. Every call is different. Council staff are incredibly sensitive to a resident’s individual circumstances and needs and are always willing to help and go above and beyond to provide support for our residents.'
When they are not taking calls team members are assisting members of the public face-to-face in the Amelia Scott. They also take the four weekly sessions of Baby Bounce and Rhyme which are very popular and attended by approximately 30 babies and toddlers together with their parents/carers. The sessions include playing musical instruments and singing along to nursery rhymes, described by one member of staff as ‘chaos and very loud but great fun for all'.
The contact centre was previously located in the Tunbridge Wells Gateway and relocated to the Amelia Scott when it opened in March 2022. As well as helping members of the public with enquiries the team also work in the library areas of the Amelia Scott.