The benefits of Microsoft Dyanmics CRM to busy public services has been underlined by the news that Basildon Council has installed the software in order to improve its relationship with stakeholders and local residents.

Speaking to Touch Magazine, Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation manager at Basildon Borough Council James Dansey outlined the challenges facing the government organisation.

Its customer service centre handles 680,000 telephone calls and around 84,000 face-to-face visits each year, while its website receives 3,400,000 website views each year.

This highlights the role CRM can play in helping busy organisations – not necessarily in the public sector, or dealing with consumers – manage their information and relationships effectively.

One problem faced by Basildon Council was that residents tended not to realise they needed to contact specific areas of the operation depending on their query – instead, they would simply ‘call the council’, meaning time and money had to be spent transferring people to the right areas.

“We wanted to change our customer services structure to support that expectation, and so a customer experience programme was initiated to refocus the delivery of services to a single point of contact,” Mr Dansey told the magazine.

Their previous CRM system was incapable of supporting such an ambitious development, due to limited integration with other systems and a lack of insight into customer behaviour.

Microsoft’s product was better able to fulfil these needs, according to the CRM expert. It also offered additional pluses when it came to the installation and planning process.

“One of the main benefits of using Microsoft Dynamics CRM – or any Microsoft product – is the familiarity of the interface, which reduces training requirements. We are investing in other Microsoft technologies too so we hope to realise productivity benefits through better systems integration in the medium-longer term,” he concluded.

The council now has a better idea of how its service users connect with it, data it can use to improve its performance in the future.