Project Connect is how we are improving customer interaction with the council and making our services quicker, easier and better. Customer needs are at the heart of this approach and their feedback and involvement in testing new services has been fundamental in developing new ways of working. This video shows the Project Connect squad in action and how they’ve successfully made customer services quicker, easier and better.
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A series of exciting new developments is now live.
New website BetterOff Salford is an easy way to find out if you’re entitled to benefits and apply for them. At the click of a button, you can find jobs, childcare, and advice on debt or money management. For those who prefer face to face contact, we have set up BetterOff coffee and chat sessions in Gateway centres across the city where residents struggling with money can drop in for help. BetterOff Salford has been developed in response to a key priority for the council - tackling poverty - which is also central to the City Mayor’s vision for creating a better and fairer Salford.
Touch screen scanners called Scan Zones have been introduced to the Gateways and Broughton Hub. Customers can now scan in essential documents and application forms for everything from Blue Badge parking permits to school admissions instead of waiting for an advisor to take the documents and do it for you.
Residents can now apply online for Discretionary Housing Payments. The new online form is integrated into the council’s back office system which speeds up the process and can be completed by someone on behalf of the claimant. Our online booking system for Registrar services allows customers to book appointments for four key services – registering a birth, death, notice of marriage or civil partnership – as well as order copy certificates. Support for customers learning basic digital skills is available in our Gateways centres and through our Digital You programme.
We have launched a new SMS text messaging service to communicate with residents in a more efficient and cost effective way. This means customers of our benefits, council tax or business rates service no longer need to wait for a letter so processes are speeded up. They can also get in touch with customer services via webchat or our new dedicated Twitter account for customer services @salfordcchelp.
Residents no longer need to set up a Salford Customer Account to receive an electronic bill for their council tax. They can now easily register for e-billing by going online to ensure they stop receiving paper bills by post and start receiving them by email. Businesses can also sign up for business rates e-billing.
Many of the new self-serve and digital developments will empower residents and free up customer-facing employees to respond to enquiries from those who need more support either by telephone or face to face. As well as saving time, going digital also helps the environment as there’s no paper to recycle.
A Project Connect delivery team was especially created to ensure these developments happened in the best possible way for the customer. Many more developments are coming soon too. For example, customers will soon be able to book and pay online for community rooms.