Customer & Business Support Services Business and Improvement Plan

Purpose and Priorities


Customer & Business Support Services (CBSS) deliver a range of functions supporting the Council’s continuous transformation agenda and strategic priorities as outlined in the East Dunbartonshire Local Outcomes Improvement Plan.  Service recovery continued in 2022/23 and a key focus for 2023/24 will be the implementation of technology improvements to support enhanced service delivery. These include new CMS and CRM systems, the analogue to digital phone migration and new CCTV infrastructure and monitoring. Community engagement will be a key aspect of supporting new Council priorities and the review of LOIP following the update of Place/Locality Plans will define future priorities.

Service areas include Customer Service operations across digital, phone and face to face channels; business support services; ICT operations and support; Revenues and Benefits transactions; Corporate Performance & Research; and Communications & Engagement.

Strategic Priorities

Priorities for Customer & Business Support Services include continual improvements across customer services across the digital, telephone and face to face channels, in line with the Council’s ‘click, call, come in’ approach. Delivering consistent levels of service across all channels is a priority while promoting channel shift and increasing transactional functionality online.  Improved transactional functionality online was accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic and this approach will continue through 2023/24. ICT and shared service priorities include supporting business transformation and organisational transformation and delivering on the Council’s ‘East Dunbartonshire Forward in Partnership’ approach following the local government elections in 2022.

Revenues & Benefits priorities include the efficient and timely administration of these services, maximising revenue income through efficient, effective processing. Corporate Performance & Research supports the organisation in its statutory and Local Government Benchmarking Framework returns, the development and reporting on the Business Improvement Plans and review of performance reporting for the organisation and benchmarking support and data analysis across all service delivery areas.

Communications & Engagement supports the organisation across all service areas in ensuring the delivery of key messages to target audiences across appropriate channels, and through facilitating effective and co-ordinated consultation and engagement.

Work of the Teams

Communications & Engagement

The Communications & Engagement Team provides communications guidance and support across the organisation to manage reputation and ensure key audiences (internal and external) are aware of service delivery, developments and change. A particular focus in 2023/24 will be continuing to highlight Cost-of-living support measures, showcasing and promoting the work of Council services, and helping to drive behavioural change as projects and activity continue and begin during this period.

Priorities include delivering communications plans to support; Major Assets projects through the capital programme, the Glasgow City Deal project, Education, Community Planning Partnership, the Civic Office, HSCP and EDLC Trust.

The team continues to review evolving best practice including new channels and technology, developing the most appropriate approach for each target audience. 

Key areas include:

  • Reputation management – effective communications planning, media management, promotion and campaigns activity, guidance and advice.
  • Engagement with regional and national resilience partnerships-  ensure consistent communications across local government in relation to the resilience agenda.
  • Digital communications – through website management and development, social media management and support, and evaluation of activity and emerging trends.
  • Internal communication and engagement – through the internal communications strategy and employee engagement activity in conjunction with HR colleagues.
  • Design – providing essential design to all Council services, EDLC and HSCP by creating a range of assets including posters, infographics, social media graphics and videos to ensure our communications remain dynamic, engaging and fresh.
  • Consultation and engagement ,  - through the consultation and engagement strategy, continuing to develop improved online consultation functionality to better engage and report.
  • Accessibility – providing guidance and ensuring all communications comply with legislation – The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018 – and good practice. The team will continue to work closely with services to create inclusive and accessible content including videos, graphics and webpages.

Corporate Performance & Research

The Corporate Performance and Research team assumes the lead role in the development of performance and risk management, reporting and statistical support at a corporate level across all service areas.  The following key activities are performed:

  • Continuing to develop the Council’s performance reporting aspirations and deliver the improvement plan for reporting, approved in 2021
  • Ensuring Corporate Performance frameworks are in place which are fit for purpose, in line with our statutory obligations and aligned to our strategic planning priorities
  • Providing support and assistance to all strategic groups in the development of their strategic planning and performance reporting and ensuring consistency of reporting
  • Ensuring adequate mechanisms are in place for Public Performance Reporting, meeting the needs of our communities and in line with our statutory obligations
  • Leading in all elements of Corporate Benchmarking, including compliance with the Local Government Benchmarking Framework
  • Undertaking area based research and statistical support to service areas, councillors, and our Community Planning Partnership, to inform future strategic priorities
  • Provision of Data Support and analysis for all elements of Social Care for the Integrated Health and Social Care Partnership.
  • Co-ordinating insurance cover renewals and insurance claims
  • Supporting the risk culture and business continuity planning across the Council

Customer Services

Our Customer Services team provide frontline customer services across all channels through our Community Hubs for face-to-face services (including licensing and registration and on an appointment basis, telephone and online (website, email and social media). Service delivery will continue to flex across channels in line with demand. As far as possible, customer requests are met at first point of contact, providing back-office functionality with the necessary information to complete the required tasks. The Customer Services Charter will be updated and relaunched in 2023/24 and our approach to Customer service excellence, regardless of channel and priorities, includes:

  • Continuing to provide accurate and timely responses to customer enquiries in line with seasonal priorities and changing service delivery
  • The first point of contact for customers, regardless of channel, aligning resources to the area of greatest need dependent on volumes of engagement across each channel
  • Effective use of technology and systems to deliver efficient services that meet expectations
  • Provision of 24/7 emergency contact for community alarm customers and in support of Council emergencies, civil contingency, and business continuity incidents
  • Delivery of reception services at Council offices and Enterprise Centres.

Shared Services

The Internal Shared Service team provides transactional finance and administrative support to other Council services. The team aims to deliver an independent and efficient service that will meet agreed SLAs and deliver excellent internal and external customer service. The purpose of the team is to:

  • Provide a centralised and efficient approach to the delivery of administration and transactional support for services
  • Provide accurate and timeous management information to services
  • Identify and implement improvements in the systems/processes within the service
  • Work with Council Services to develop and monitor SLA’s for service delivery
  • Deliver our complaints management service in line with our complaints handling procedure and respond to all SPSO referrals

Revenues & Benefits

The Revenue and Benefits team provides all revenues and benefits services to the citizens of East Dunbartonshire. The team aims to deliver these services in an effective and efficient manner, ensuring that all processes are carried out accurately and within the recommended timescales. The team delivers housing benefit services on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions and The Scottish Welfare fund on behalf of the Scottish Government. The purpose of the team is to:

  • Administer applications for benefits in line with legislation
  • Administer all aspects of council tax for the 46,000+ properties in the Council area
  • Administer all aspects of Non Domestic Rates for commercial properties and businesses in the Council area
  • Deliver the Scottish Welfare Fund locally on behalf of the Scottish Government
  • Provide and implement Universal Credit payments on behalf of the Scottish Government

ICT Services

The ICT Team is a key enabler in the Council’s transformation programme and is focused on delivering a programme to support the Council’s strategic plans. The Service also helps to ensure the Council adopts a strategic approach to ICT by leading the identification of the most appropriate technology to support its core business needs, by working closely with key stakeholders in making recommendations to ensure fit for purpose, cost effective solutions are implemented and supported. Key priorities include to:

  • Ensure that the Council’s ICT systems are developed and maintained to support the transformation agenda, and corporate objectives with particular emphasis on delivering efficiencies and achieving best value in service delivery
  • Provide an ICT Support Service to ensure effective and efficient operation of the Council’s ICT systems in line with business needs and agreed SLAs
  • Develop and maintain effective business continuity plans to counteract systems failure, support business recovery and provide essential emergency front-line services

Develop the Council’s information security policies and strategies - to minimise risk and protect the integrity of the Council’s data and inappropriate use of the Council’s ICT facilities.

Key Improvement Actions for 2023/34

  • Update business continuity plans
  • Develop engagement framework with CPP to ensure representative participation
  • Implement an annual local household survey to provide more extensive local data
  • Drive improvement of online accessibility in line with legislation
  • Improve consultation and engagement reporting
  • Improve connectivity across the Council’s Wide Area Network
  • Migrate ICT systems to Microsoft M365
  • Review the Council’s ICT Security policies and controls
  • Implement service level agreements (SLAs) for Shared Services
  • Improve Free School Meal and Clothing Application Process
  • Review of Letting Policy
  • Review of service level Risk Registers

Read the Customer and Business Services Improvement Actions.