Councils enrich experience with multi-channel engagement

Councils enhance customer experience with instant agent response webchat and automated setup of direct debits

The challenge

Wandsworth Borough Council and the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames have created a unique joint shared staffing model, focusing on creative service design and new ways of developing a positive working culture. Collectively, they are the biggest staff group in London local government. Their shared staffing agreement (SSA) allows them to work together to deliver vital public services. That includes bringing together both customer service areas to form one contact centre serving citizens from each borough.

Wandsworth was using an earlier version of Liberty Converse, our omnichannel contact centre solution, and were keen to access the latest digital communication functionality that Converse now offers. Richmond used another solution, which they wished to move on from but couldn’t get financial support for. The SSA-enabled Richmond to join Wandsworth in migrating to Converse.

Introducing webchat – and a host of extra functionality

The councils were keen to start using webchat to reduce agents answering routine enquiries over the phone and allow an agent to manage multiple conversations at the same time. They also wanted to enable remote working for their teams, as they were currently all premise-based. After an initial pilot, they began to roll out Converse across customer services and multiple other service areas.

“Liberty Converse is much more editable and customisable than any other system I’ve ever used before. I especially like that I have my own customised dashboard, which I created to show exactly what I need to see – my entire team of 100 staff and all queues on one screen. Plus, the different widgets that you can add in means that it’s so easy to adapt when something else becomes important. That’s also been helpful for rolling out other teams, because everyone wants something slightly different.”

Simon Batchelor

Head of Customer Services, Wandsworth Borough Council

The solution

“Liberty Converse is really easy to use and provides so much insight. We use the evaluation module in customer services to listen to calls, score and feedback to staff. I can see how many have been done for each member of staff, average scores, highest scores. All that live data is invaluable. The ease of pulling reports and information about calls, queues, individual performance and so on really does help with conveying a return on investment.”

Simon Batchelor

Head of Customer Services, Wandsworth Borough Council

The result

  • Opening up new channels: Simple set up of engaging, effective chatbots to help customers with council tax, housing benefit and parking
  • Time saving: Voice forms process automated direct debits and remove manual processing
  • Visibility: Live data on queues and the use of hunt groups helps place calls effectively and quickly
  • Reducing wait times: Callback feature benefits customers and alleviates staff pressure
  • Faster resolution: Automated direct debits produce immediate administration of council tax payments and refunds – up to 3 weeks quicker for the customer
  • Efficient call routing: Voice recognition speeds calls around the council from switchboard
  • Reporting: Positively affecting productivity and encouraging quick call answering – improving the service to callers and reducing the knock-on effect of callers trying switchboard or call centre numbers when they can’t get through directly on a department number
  • Avoidance of recruitment: Skills routing helps with tracking volumes for services, and trained staff can be added to prioritise busy services – avoiding the need to recruit more staff.
Continuing to adopt improved functionality

The councils are about to switch on Liberty Converse’s Workforce Management module, optimising planning and visibility of staff rotas. Saving time and money through sharing contact centre services, Liberty Converse offers a brilliant way to improve operational efficiency, drive digitisation and automation and continually enhance customer experience.



of contact as webchat


direct debits and refunds


staff processing time saved

New: AI-enhanced contact centre experiences

Now, you can create employee and customer experiences that connect data, systems, teams and communication channels. Bring customer-facing teams together in a single workspace, streamline routing, and remove silos within the agent experience.

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