Working closely with a local authority to design and develop a new customer portal
North West Leicestershire District Council is a local authority who provide civic services such as environmental services, housing, planning and refuse collection within the north west of the county of Leicestershire. Their website contains an online portal which allows local residents to interact with the council through reporting issues, requesting services such as pest removal advice and changing council tax details.
The council’s existing online portal was not particularly user-friendly – it didn’t have a responsive display, was hard to navigate and overall made it difficult for customers to obtain information. It therefore needed redesigning and developing, whilst still matching the council’s existing branding. The project has a relatively short deadline due to needing to be accountable to the committee which commissioned the changes, and work to advertise the new portal to the general public was undertaken throughout its development.
We worked in-house with the council’s Digital Transformation over a period of five weeks to redesign and develop the customer portal for them. This involved making the portal responsive on all devices, providing ‘quick-start’ buttons which allow the customer to easily access popular tasks such as reporting a missed bin collection, as well as providing customised information on elements such as local news, when refuse collections are due and what personal information the council holds on the individual customer. The customised information was queried from a database using their Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) number; the information was then pulled through onto the page using an API and JSON feed.
Extensive testing and user testing was undertaken to ensure that the portal performed properly before being set live, and Vitty provide ongoing support to the council for the portal.
The customer portal was successfully launched ahead of schedule, and has been subject to positive feedback from both council members and the general public. Whilst working on the project, we finished ahead of schedule, so were able to extend our offering to the council by performing data integration services which allowed the requests processed through the customer portal to be linked directly into the Customer Relations Management (CRM) system. This meant that when a request form was filled in, the relevant department received the request directly and a new case was logged without having to go through an email chain. The integrations have enabled improved response times since the contact forms go directly to the responsible team.
Vitty has worked with North West Leicestershire District Council for a period of five weeks at the start of 2019 focusing on our online customer portal. During this time, Vitty has completely re-designed our self-service customer portal making it user centric, giving a professional, personalised experience to the customer.
With the work that Vitty has completed, we are sure that this will help the Council achieve their goal of increasing online customer interactions and promoting digital access. It has been a pleasure working with Vitty who has listened to our needs and has provided flexible and creative solutions.Tom Sharlow Head of Customer Services