Council customer communication questioned

New research has suggested that councils should reconsider their communication strategy in order to cater for customers’ future digital demands.

The Hidden Opportunity Market Report shows that more than 52 per cent of people prefer to receive their council tax bills through the post, a figure that almost 20 per cent higher than utilities customers who were more willing to consider online portals and digital tools for transactional correspondence.

With a preference remaining for more traditional hard copy documents, the findings have indicated that local authorities are still far less likely to correspond by digital means. In fact, only three per cent of respondents to the Opus Trust Communications survey felt that councils were best at communicating, which demonstrates that it is now time for local authorities to embrace the advantages of digital communications with customers.

Councils will need to heavily invest in their digital infrastructure to keep up with the changing ways customers choose to communicate, following the success of digital operations used by banks as an example.

Tony Strong, chief executive, said: “The Hidden Opportunity Market Report has confirmed that consumers still prefer to receive their council tax bills through the post, despite the availability of digital alternatives such as apps and online portals. The report indicates that only a small minority of consumers feel that councils are effective in the way they interact, so there’s a real opportunity for them to mirror the success of other sectors when it comes to transferring to digital communications.”

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