Norwich residents are set to benefit from improved digital access to local services, thanks to a new approach being proposed by Norwich City Council.
A new customer experience and digital strategy designed to support the local authority’s Covid recovery plan, corporate priorities and Norwich 2040 City Vision has been approved subject to final consultation.
Most council services have been made available online in recent years to keep pace with the way residents choose to interact with the council and move to a more efficient model.
The new strategy takes this further by putting convenience and inclusivity at the heart of all council services and transforming them to be fully digital. This will enable customers to access more services 24/7 from any device, seamlessly track the progress of ongoing requests and easily provide feedback on the service they receive.
Improvements will also include increased e-billing, simplified access to information and better usability of the website. The approach is also integral to supporting a more flexible workforce, protecting data security and providing ongoing digital support at Digital Hubs in the community.
Louise Rawsthorne, executive director of community services at Norwich City Council, said: “We are really pleased to share this new strategy, which sets out how we will use technology to reshape and improve access to services.
“Our new digital framework will give all customers more choice in how and when they get in touch with the council and find local information.
“This is not a one size fits all approach and, although the city has high levels of digital skills and connectivity, we will continue to provide phone and face-to-face assistance for residents who need it.”
Residents will be offered the opportunity to give their views on the principles of the strategy via an online and text survey.
View the draft strategy from the agenda of this week's cabinet meeting.
The proposed strategy has been informed by analysis of: survey responses, performance data, workshops, user experience feedback and website analysis and benchmarking.In the year 2013-14, just two percent of the council’s contact with customers came via digital means – that number had risen to 39 per cent in the most recent financial year and is projected to reach 60 per cent by 2023-24.
This, in addition to a 50per cent reduction in the number of residents contacting the council’s customer services team since a 2008 baseline, shows that residents are increasingly able to find out or access what they need to independently.
Recent studies in the East of England show that 92 per cent of people are online and 84 per cent have essential digital skills for life.