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Strong customer acceptance as Leeds City Council pioneers new online live chat service

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Initial findings from Leeds City Council suggest that online live chat will become an important contact channel for local government customers.

With strong customer satisfaction and willingness to use the solution again, the Council sees live chat as a valuable additional customer contact channel that is likely to become even more popular as its customer demographic evolves.

Working with its contact centre solutions partner Sabio, Leeds City Council has implemented LiveEngage live chat technology from LivePerson. Following its initial deployment the Council found that 15% of customers are taking up the live chat invitation – around twice the accepted industry average of 6-9%. Customer satisfaction levels have also been impressive, with 93.8% of users rating the Leeds City Council live chat service as excellent or very good. Encouragingly, 96.7% of people using the service also said they would be very likely or quite likely to use the service again.

“At Leeds City Council we’re committed to providing our customers with choice in how they access services, and are also determined to optimise our website – particularly in terms of its transactional performance,” commented Barry Ibbetson, Head of the Corporate Contact Centre at Leeds City Council. “We also recognised that a growing proportion of our younger customers are happier interacting via self-service channels, so we are keen to ensure that we have the right support in place to help customers complete service requests online.

“When Sabio introduced us to LivePerson’s live chat solution, we quickly recognised that this technology would allow us to initiate chat engagements whenever a customer needed help on the website,” he continued. “Leeds City Council is one of the first Local Authorities in England to introduce web chat, and with the results achieved so far I suspect that others will be quick to follow.”

Kenneth Hitchen, Founding Director, Sabio added: “We’re delighted that Leeds City Council has achieved such strong initial results from the live chat project. With the LiveEngage technology from LivePerson, organisations like the Council can immediately identify areas of their website where customers are having difficulty and provide immediate support. And, by identifying potential bottlenecks and service disconnects, the Council will be able to continually optimise its online performance – improving the overall quality of self-service options for customers.”

The project is part of the Council’s customer access strategy to develop a more transactional website that offers self-service options. Implementing live chat also supports Leeds City Council in continually reviewing channel usage to ensure the most cost-effective channels are available. The Leeds City Council LiveEngage deployment follows the announcement of Sabio’s partnership with LivePerson last month.

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