The City of Perth’s Customer Service function has quickly adapted to suit the unique needs of the community during the COVID19 pandemic. With extended operating hours, an online ‘live-chat’ and digitized parking permits, the City is providing an enhanced customer experience at a time when social distancing restricts face-to-face contact.
City of Perth Chair Commissioner, Andrew Hammond, says the City’s priority has been to provide stability and support to our community.
“Ensuring our service levels remain consistent has been important, but also safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our community has been a significant focus. We have seen a huge increase in the volume of contacts from our community and we have responded to this by ensuring we are available for more hours in a day, and more days a week,” Commissioner Hammond said.
The City’s Customer Service Centre is now open 7:30 – 17:30 on weekdays and 9:00 – 14:00 on Saturdays; making Perth one of the only local government Customer Service Centres open on weekends across Australia.
Additionally, the community can get in touch online. Customers have a choice whether to speak with an online Customer Service Representative via the City’s website or contact the City by email. The live-chat option is available 9:00 – 16:00 weekdays and emails are responded to within 24-hours (including weekends).
The changes mean the City is more accessible than ever before. In the earlier stages of the COVID19 pandemic, the City saw customer contacts increase by an incredible 580%. The community would contact the City of a variety of topics, including parking, social distancing requirements, travel advice and general COVID19 updates.
In addition, the City is now offering parking e-permits. Previously, permits took up to 10 days to process and provided in hard copy. Now, permits are provided within three to five days and delivered via email; removing the need for the customer to attend Council House to collect.
“We have had great feedback from the community regarding the changes and so they are here to stay. We will also keep listening to our community and continue to adapt to its needs. We have a few more changes already identified. One of the most exciting developments will be the introduction of an online chatbot. This will enable the community to ask the City questions at anytime and any day of the week,” Commissioner Hammond added.