Doncaster MBC has agreed to transform its call centre operations as it looks to save cash.

Customer telephone contact will be received into one call centre with just three telephone numbers for Doncaster Council. At the moment customer enquiries are handled by 80 different parts of the authority and 78 per cent of staff deal with front-line processes, with more than 1,000 staff undertaking simple enquiries, application requests and appointment bookings.

A council report said currently, there is ‘no consistency in the provision of customer service or in the approach to customer telephone contact throughout the council’. This has resulted in six contact centres across the authority.

Under the new plans, one number for customer services will cover high volume, simple enquiries. It is proposed that there will be two further telephone numbers, one for children’s services and the other for adult services.

Changes will save the council £3.8million, by reducing 158 staff to answer phone calls. It is predicted that calls will be picked up within 20 seconds; that 80 per cent of calls will be answered by the advisor without passing on; and consistent response to calls, staff trained with the emphasis on serving customers.

However, the report does point that the scheme will mean customers will not speak directly to a service specialist in the majority of enquiries.

All involved staff will be consulted as part of the Change Programme and the initiative will mean some staff roles and where they sit in the organisation will change with some staff reductions.

Doncaster Council has to make £70m in savings over four years as part national spending cuts.