Customer service telephone

Council to permanently adopt trialled customer services call centre hours following increased customer satisfaction

West Oxfordshire District Council has seen a significant increase in the use of online services and improvements in customer satisfaction following a successful trial of new customer services telephone call centre hours. 

Giles Hughes, Chief Executive Officer for West Oxfordshire District Council, said:

“Our residents have shown a clear shift towards using online services over the last 6 months, and by making the trialled call centre hours permanent, it will allow us to enhance our digital services even further.  

“The trial has brought positive changes, including a decrease in average wait times over the busy lunch period, an overall improvement in customer satisfaction and a reduction in costs of the service which will help us meet our financial challenge and protect vital community services.  

“During the trial months, the Council featured in the national top ten for telephone service customer satisfaction in almost every month, even ranking in the top three during March 2024, which was our busiest month.  

“Outside of the new telephone operation hours, our customer services staff have also been able to dedicate more time to service areas where demand is highest due to the cost of living crisis, in particular Revenues and Benefits, and the Housing Service. 

“The trial has proven that we can maintain high levels of customer satisfaction, keep a phone service for those who need it while also providing a better digital service for the majority of people who now like to do business online.” 

In September 2023, the Council began trialling new opening hours for its customer services call centre, operating from 9am to 2pm instead of 9am to 5pm. It reduced the opening hours in quiet afternoons and increased operators on the phones during busy lunchtimes. At the same time the council invested more into its online services and maintained a 9-5 office to people who need to speak to someone in person. 

Over the last three years, the volume of customer calls received by the Council has declined by over 37%, and the use of online forms has increased by 350%. 

The Council has been introducing new digital services over the last few years and has been developing and improving its existing online services during that time. Online services include reporting missed bins, managing council tax and benefit payments, and requesting bulky waste collections. When the Council's garden waste service became available online, 90% of resident contacts were made through the website. 

In addition, over 20% of households are signed up to the Revenues and Benefits ‘Open Portal’, and this continues to climb.  

The Council will continue to provide a 24/7 emergency line for critical services such as homelessness support and emergency response. Calls made outside of operating hours will be directed to online services or advised to call back the next day. The Welch Way office will remain open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, for residents who prefer face-to-face interactions. 

Contact Information

West Oxfordshire District Council Communications Team

[email protected]