The Essential Guide to a more effective Revenues and Benefits service

How can local authorities like yours improve public service delivery, reduce costs and deliver clear, measurable outcomes for citizens?

Drawing on a wealth of experience working with Revenues and Benefits services, you can now download our Essential Guide to a more effective Revenue and Benefits Service:

1. Increase expert to customer interaction – Many councils operate with a customer service centre and one stop shop.  Whilst the principle of a single point of contact and ‘all in one’ location appears sensible, this often results in multiple hand-off and delays as it challenges local authorities’ ability to meet realistic decision-making timescales and causes frustration for customers. Putting the expert assessors at the first point of contact removes much of this delay.

2. Decrease end to end time for processing new benefit claims – By ensuring direct interaction between assessors and customers, the time taken to make a decision is greatly reduced. This is largely attributable to the better understanding gained from a face to face meeting, which both speeds up the process and diffuses the understandable tension which customers can experience.

3. Maximise benefit take up rates – The key to maximising eligible take up rates is gaining real insight and understanding of customer circumstances and joining up with support services across the range of provider teams and organisations. Changing the focus of the organisation from “doing what we have to do” to “how we can deliver real tangible help to our customers” allows clarity and suitable support to be provided.

4. Remove waste, re-work and frustration from processes – Taking a step back from the daily grind to review the work designs and really look at how you respond to customer demands (not just a process map of ‘ideal work flow’) allows all of the waste associated with queuing, hand-offs, re-work and delays to be made visible. The secret of success here is to carry this out in partnership with relevant stakeholders (revenues in particular) so the improvement opportunities become obvious.

5. Improve staff morale and service culture – By following steps 1-4, not only will customers experience better service but staff and managers will know they’re doing the best job possible and will feel they have some control over their work environment.  As a direct result, the organisational culture begins to change and morale improves!

If you’d like to know more about some of the specific projects we’ve been involved in, and hear more about these best practice approaches, please do get in touch: Jaime Beckett, Organisational Change Practitioner – / 07764 635472

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