People across Wales could soon be able to ask about council issues such as fly-tipping and missed bin collections using web chat, Matt Discombe writes

Three councils in Wales – Rhondda Cynon Taff, Vale of Glamorgan Council and Wrexham – are considering new call centre technology as part of a joint project.

The new technology would allow people to contact their councils through a range of digital platforms including web chat in a bid to make customer service more efficient.

Councils such as Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Flintshire, Neath Port Talbot, Newport and Swansea have also expressed an interest in using the technology.

Vale of Glamorgan Council’s cabinet today approved plans to tender contracts for the provision of a new contact centre technology platform together with Rhondda Cynon Taff and Wrexham Council.

A report to Vale cabinet says: “New technology will deliver opportunities to improve operational efficiency.

“Councils and third sector organisations using web chat are able to demonstrate not only that they can support customers using a digital self-service option, but that customer service representatives are able to manage between three (Connect Assist) and five (Cornwall Council) customer conversations concurrently.”

The new technology would also allow customer service staff to deal with enquiries from a range of channels, such as web chat, social media and email,  in a single work queue, which would improve efficiency, the report adds.

The web chats, along with other platforms in the contact centre, would be available in English and Welsh.