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Automated phone system now answering Preston City Council phones

Posted on - 17th January, 2017 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Politics, Preston Council, Preston News
Calling Preston City Council is increasingly a conversation with a computer Pic: Chris 07110

Calling Preston City Council is increasingly a conversation with a computer Pic: Chris 07110

Half of calls to some Preston City Council services are now answered by a computer system.

Preston City Council has been introducing the Inform360 system, costing £27,000, in an effort to save money.

The automated system asks Prestonians questions and uses their voice or keypad inputs to provide information on council tax or business rate queries. It answers 200 calls a day.

Now the city council is introducing the system for planning service queries.

Callers will be able to receive answers to generic planning queries or being pointed to information on the website. The system can also send information to a smartphone.

Read more: Fulwood and West View leisure centres have a new owner

Cabinet member for resources councillor Martyn Rawlinson said: “Our customers are demanding better and more effective 24/7 services that offer value for money and are more accessible – whichever way they choose to contact us.

“By using available technology, we can achieve a better experience for the customer, while at the same time reaching essential savings targets.”

Read more: How Preston Council claims it is starting a financial revolution

No redundancies have been made as part of the most recent expansion of the Inform360 system, with the planning queries due to go live on Wednesday (18 January).

Planning staff will still answer more technical planning questions.

What do you think of the changes? Let us know your views in the comments below

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