In line with current government guidance surrounding Covid-19, we are keeping the number of staff in our buildings to a minimum and are working from home where possible. During the present period this role will involve working from home unless training or working on reception, which will be based at the Civic Offices. Interviews for this position will be undertaken remotely.
The Helpdesk deal with over 300,000 contacts a year across our 3 main channels: face to face, telephone, including switchboard and email/Eforms.
We are the first point of contact for a vast majority of the council's services. This covers a broad spectrum including:
- Pest Control
- Highways including fly tipping and street cleaning
- School transport
- Family Information Service
- Free School Meals and School Transport
- Leisure enquiries
- Anti-social behaviour
- Library enquiries
- Business Support and Trading Standards
- Children and Families switchboard
- Revenues support
- Portsmouth City Council switchboard
In recent years this team has needed to evolve and there is no intention for this to stop. In a climate of ever improving technologies and diverse customer demands, we have an increasing challenge to adapt and grow to meet the expectations of our customers. In the past this has been heavily focused around direct customer contact but in evolving and adapting to the current climate we are focusing more around utilising the web and social media to channel shift those customers whom can and want to use these channels, freeing up our advisors to better serve our more vulnerable customers.
We can teach you about the variety of services offered by Portsmouth City Council and how we serve the residents and visitors of Portsmouth. We can provide you with an understanding and active approach to moving customers to easier, more economic and readily available channels of contact such as the web.
Within this ever evolving service we expect that even in 6 months we will be in a different position, we need people with a diverse and reactive approach. This is a small team where organisation, punctuality and flexibility are key to our success.
What is the role?
You will be dealing with customer enquiries into the council via the phone, face to face and via email. You will be skilled in all service areas in the Helpdesk via the phone to enable you to transfer these skills into the face to face environment.
As a fully skilled officer your knowledge will be used to assist and mentor other officers. This role is about using the skills to develop colleagues and promote and push the way forward.
You will be able to own and resolve issues, in some circumstances your responsibility is to locate the relevant contact for the customer, or follow an established procedure and ensure a clean hand over.
Above all you will be part of leading the delivery of customer service excellence and contact throughout the Council, promoting channel shift while still providing a quality service for those who do not want to or are unable to make the move to digital.
Who is the person?
You will need:
- A passion for quality customer service and delivery that is clear and accurate and an understanding of what good customer service means.
- Customer service experience: you will need to have experience of and be confident meeting customers face-to-face, speaking with them on the phone and conversing with them via email, with additional experience of successfully engaging with difficult and challenging situations and people.
- An excellent standard of spoken and written English.
- A flexible approach not just about when you work but also what tasks within the role you undertake with the ability and willingness to work under pressure: dealing with steady and consistent flow of enquiries while treating each customer as if they were your first.
- An ability to really listen to what is being said, show empathy and not make assumptions or judgements.
- A commitment to teamwork, with the understanding of what being part of a team really means and how that affects customer service, with the ability to build effective relationships with and be supportive at all times.
- Experience/knowledge of GDPR/Information Governance.
- The foresight to think 'outside the box' the ability to use your initiative when the answer/resolution isn’t immediately obvious.
- A high level of customer service focus with the ability to remain realistic when setting expectations.
- The ability to be innovative, realise when something is not working and be confident to escalate issues to management.