They missed my bin collection, can I report it online?
MRW reports that “councils are losing money through through poor online reporting”
“Most local authorities are failing to help residents report missed bin collections by mobile phone, an investigation by public sector IT professionals has found.” Link to article http://goo.gl/0sOmpQ
Missed bin reporting – ‘a step in the right direction’
Waste and recycling services are among the most visible services councils run, and the single most important reason for visiting the council website, accounting for more than 17% of visits according to data from SOCITM’s Website Performance service.
There is also considerable scope for savings from local authorities making management of bin collections a fully digital process. The Department of Communities’ Local Waste Service Standards project has estimated that as much as £600 million in savings could be made nationally over a 7-year period.
Providing a good or excellent service to report missed bins via the council website is only part of what this would involve, but it is nevertheless an important step on the journey.
Missed bin web & mobile interaction – ‘struggling to provide a good experience’
In 2014 Better connected tested this task on the desktop, for all councils apart from county councils, which do not collect bins. 57% achieved the standard.
When the same cohort was tested in December 2015 for the same task but from a mobile phone, 41% achieved the equivalent standard. This is an improvement on the result reported in March 2015, when the task was tested for shire districts only, also on a mobile phone, and 34% achieved the standard.
The fact that in this most recent testing more than half achieve only one star for this task (poor, in Better connected’s new currency) indicates that many councils, and particularly shire district and Northern Irish councils, are struggling to provide a good experience from a mobile phone, despite the fact that 81% do enable online reporting from mobiles. The task was tested on either an iPhone 6 Plus, a Samsung Galaxy A3, or a Samsung Galaxy S5.
Missed bin reporting – ‘achieve simplicity for mobile optimised forms and a well designed task journey’
The headline results for this task show improvement in the number of good and very good sites from 34% reported in March 2015 to 41% reported now in January 2016. Neither result is as good as the desktop result of 57% reported in March 2014, although it is fair to say that the question sets in 2015 and our latest 2015-16 survey are more demanding. Failures in the ‘essential question’, and appearance of any out of date information during the testing, automatically reduces a site’s score to 2 stars or below.
The vast majority of sites start this task successfully, by having information well signposted from Google. For most the item appears in the first or second search result.
From there, the best experiences are found where councils have invested time and effort in providing not just mobile-optimised sites, but also mobile-optimised forms.
The key challenge is then to achieve simplicity. Customers need to find out quickly if the council will accept that their bin has been missed, and then be able to report it easily.
A well designed task journey means that no matter at what entry point customer starts their journey (link in an email or social media, search engine, website home page, A-Z result, etc), they will consistently end up finding the same information no matter what.
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How well does your council interact? Pass or Fail?
*The Department of Communities’ Local Waste Service Standards project has estimated that as much as £600 million in savings could be made nationally over a 7-year period.