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Horsham District Council receive Complaints Management award with help from Ideagen Covalent

02 August 2017
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Ideagen Covalent played its part in helping the Council reduce complaints by 36% while compliments increased by 181%


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Horsham District Council, a local authority in West Sussex, England, has been commended at a recent awards ceremony for its expertise in reducing customer complaints.

The Council’s Complaints and Feedback team were named the UK Contact Centre Awards’ Complaints Management Team of the Year after reducing complaints by 36% in just 12 months.

Ideagen’s software, Ideagen Covalent, played a significant part in Horsham’s success, with the team using Covalent’s Feedback module. The module enabled root-cause analysis to allow the team to get to the source of each complaint, ensuring each is dealt with quickly and could not reoccur.

Covalent also provided Horsham with live performance data, increasing levels of transparency so that managers could see the amount and detail of each complaint in their department.

The success of the Council’s Complaints Management project and the impact of Covalent’s Feedback module resulted in Horsham’s success at the recent awards.

David Plank, Head of Customer Services at Horsham District Council, said: “Prior to Ideagen Covalent being rolled out we weren’t managing complaints and feedback as well as we could have and our processes at the time were paper-based on spreadsheets.

“We knew there was a black hole where customers were contacting us and their issues were not being dealt with properly. To achieve our goal of significantly reducing customer complaints and improving overall customer experience, we had to totally revamp the way we were managing that aspect of customer interaction and so embarked on an in-depth training and awareness programme, of which Covalent was a major part.”

Horsham District Council provides a wide range of services including waste collection, housing, planning and parking and deals with tens of thousands of enquiries from the public every year. The complaints and feedback team is based within customer services and handles each complaint that comes into the council.

As well as complaints falling by 36%, Horsham’s complaints project also resulted in compliments increasing by 181%.

David added: “As soon as a complaint comes in now it is recorded in Covalent for all of us to monitor and this provides increased transparency. The system also sends triggers to our staff on when a complaint is due for a response and provides myself and other members of my team with the chance to analyse historical complaint data to see if there are any trends occurring, where they are occurring and why.

“The success of this project means we now have a far, far better idea of what is happening complaints-wise and can deal with them efficiently.”

The success of the overall project led to David and his team receiving the South East and London UK Contact Centre’s Complaints Management Team of the Year – fending off the challenge of some large, private sector companies.

David added: “We were delighted to receive this award as we were up against some huge companies. Our dedication, and the improvements we had made regarding complaints management – including the impact of Covalent – helped us win the award.

“However, we are not going to stand still. We have lots planned for the future and we are delighted that Covalent will play a huge part of any future plans.”

Picture Caption: Horsham's David Plank (centre) is pictured receiving the award for Complaints Management Team of the Year alongside event host, Jarred Christmas (left) and Charles Smee, from Transaction Focus (right).

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