Council’s customer contact centre is best in South West – it’s official!

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Sharon Passmore, Service Manager Customer Service, with Adults Customer Service Advisor Julie Smith (both front), along with Comedian Mark Watson and award sponsor Subfero team members

Somerset County Council’s Customer Service team has been crowned the best customer contact centre of its size in the region.

Triumphing over tough opposition from across the public and private sectors, Somerset Direct netted the South West Contact Centre of the Year Award.

As well as being crowned the best in the South West, Somerset Direct was also a finalist in the Business Improvement Strategy Award category in the South West Contact Centre Forum Awards

To be crowned Contact Centre of the year, the team had to show how it met Somerset County Council’s aims and objectives, as well as facing a judge’s tour and interview panel.

Councillor David Fothergill, Somerset Council’s Leader said: “We’re immensely proud of our Somerset Direct team – this is a fantastic achievement.

“In many cases they are the public’s first point of contact with us and they provide information and advice on a huge number of diverse and sometimes difficult topics – from concerns about a vulnerable child to questions about parking.

“This is not a call centre or switchboard, the team has a real depth and breadth of knowledge and plays a key role in our many services and the way they help our residents.”

Each year the contact centre receives over 270,000 contacts (calls and emails). Most time is spent supporting Adults and Children’s enquiries, although the team also provides support for all Council services, including roads and transport, parking services and blue badges.

Other finalists up for the Contact Centre of the Year Award included NHS Blood and Transplant, DAS Legal Expenses, Aster Housing and Assured Futures.