Netcall customer story

New customer experience ambitions for Blackburn with Darwen

Using innovative digital tools to deliver frontline services.

Happy customers


As COVID drove a surge in customer demand, Blackburn
with Darwen Borough Council (BWD) had to rapidly adjust their CX
approach. To deliver more online services, they needed to harness
the full power of Liberty Converse to reduce pressure on staff and enhance customer experience — with no additional resources.

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COVID drove a surge in customer demand and changes in workforce needs — with no additional resources. BWD needed to rapidly adjust their CX approach by delivering more online services, while making the most of Liberty Converse features to pinpoint areas of customer friction, to enhance the customer experience and reduce pressure on staff.

During the lockdowns, some of our centres were closed for face-to-face interactions, but there were more calls and we saw a 300% increase in demand for web and chat activity.

Ross McQueen, Customer Services Manager, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council


Handling higher volumes

Liberty Converse stats helped pinpoint areas of friction, presenting an opportunity to reduce handling times. BWD used Converse voice forms as a voicemail service to gather issue-specific information from callers 24/7. This meant agents/advisors had better quality information to fully deal with requests.

Driving better customer experience

Converse call back offered improved customer convenience. And with voice forms, both helped manage call volumes by smoothing internal and external peaks.

Effective call type handling

With Liberty Connect’s Web Assistant, BWD used their website to handle queries throughout the day. Their automated chatbot deals with routine queries and signposts enquiries to the right department, ensuring higher agent availability to deal with more complex questions.

It’s gone down really well. 99% of the feedback is extremely positive because
we can call them back within a couple of hours, so our customers are very happy.

Ross McQueen, Customer Services Manager, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Adding more value

Empowered agents

Where a call about a missed bin might have taken four minutes before, this was cut to one minute. Now, agents/advisors have better quality information to fully deal with requests.

All advisors are trained in service skills and engagement channels (voice, email, chat) to break routine and avoid burnout.  It’s also ensured BWD gives its citizens wider channel access to Council services.

Proactive service response

Just as customers could request a timed call back, NHS callers and other third sector partners could go online to schedule a call back, when handling complex issues.

Better reporting means issues are identified quickly, helping drive proactive service responses and improved customer advice.  As CX continues to soar, the customer services team is enjoying more control as it advances its digital CX ambitions.

Focused training

Looking to advance customer queries and free up advisor time, their automated chatbot now answers 78% of interactions, making sure citizens get to effective answers quickly.  For the remaining 28% of callers, with more complex questions, they can get in-person support quickly. And by using activity codes and other qualitative data from Liberty Converse, the team can identify areas for enhanced training.

In future, Blackburn with Darwen will gather more feedback from residents to provide input into their service design. Their Liberty Platform has allowed them to handle greater volumes of calls and also focus on exactly what customers are asking for.

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Ross McQueen interview

Listen to our podcast: CX transformation – Meeting challenges head on


  • 78% web-assisted interactions
  • More capacity to handle complex queries
  • Multi-skilled, multi-channel agents
  • Better reporting
  • 24/7 service with callbacks
  • Chatbot-enhanced automation for routine queries
  • Improved control across one platform

This is something other authorities will need to do. Customers just want an answer. They don’t want to be read a script. We route their calls directly to the department and provide a comfort message. This makes sense because our team are professionals, not just call centre agents. However, you still need discipline on how well a call is handled – how soon it is answered, and the nature of the call – and the system allows us to manage this.
Liberty Converse

Advanced omnichannel contact centre

Liberty Connect

AI-assisted conversational messaging