City adapts customer service delivery

The City is prioritising its delivery of customer services to the community, to keep up with trends hastened by COVID-19 restrictions over the past two years.

Customers are encouraged to pay bills and access general information, simple forms and transactions via our website and call centre.

Strategically located Customer Service Centres will be retained to provide in-person assistance for residents with more complex, personal inquiries.

These will be located in Corio, Drysdale and central Geelong.

Brougham St’s Customer Service Centre will be replaced by the purpose-built facility in Wurriki Nyal, when it opens in mid-2022.

Four centres – Ocean Grove, Waurn Ponds, Belmont and Geelong West – that have been closed since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 will not reopen.

The Geelong Regional Library Corporation will be taking over the vacated spaces, for a host of community activities.

Greater Geelong Deputy Mayor Trent Sullivan said the needs of customers – and how they choose to interact with the City – had been progressively changing in recent years.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the transition to online and phone services, and seen permanent habits formed,” Cr Sullivan said.

“It is incumbent on us to adapt and continually improve our customer service to the community.”

Before the pandemic, 54 per cent of visitors to a Customer Service Centre were there only to pay a bill.

Due to the forced closure of our centres, these customers have had to find other ways to transact in the past 18 months.

Cr Anthony Aitken, Chair of the Finance portfolio, said the changes were part of a wider plan to provide better experiences for customers, by:

  • Reducing service costs by providing customers with cost-efficient channels
  • Reducing the need for visits through improved online and telephone options
  • Shifting simple inquiries online and/or to the phone
  • Reducing call volumes through improved first contact resolution; and
  • Reducing physical infrastructure costs.

“The overall plan is aimed at directing our resources to the areas of greatest need,” Cr Aitken said.

“We are focused on continually improving our online and telephone service, to reduce the need for visits.

“We recognise that more personal and complex requests will continue to require in-person service and we will have specialist staff on hand to assist those customers.”

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