The City of Edinburgh Council is launching a new dedicated customer service Twitter account @edinhelp today, Thursday 5 November, at 9.00am.
The Council has been helping residents on social media since 2009 with everything from missed bin collections to road safety. The main Council Twitter account @edinburgh_cc has grown to almost 50,000 followers and now receives on average over 2,300 messages per month.
This increase in residents contacting the council through social media channels has prompted the council to think about the best way to help people to get the most from its social media accounts. The new 24/7 service will handle customer questions, requests and complaints. All enquiries will be responded to as quickly as possible and if it can’t be answered in a tweet, a helpful solution or link will be provided.
As well as responding to enquiries the dedicated customer service channel will provide information on issues or delays to services in the city. The account will be up-to-date with what’s going on and where. Residents can refer to it and may save themselves a tweet or call if the council is already aware and has posted a public response. For example, an instance of fly-tipping that a response team has already been sent to or a power cut in an area of town that is being investigated.
This dedicated channel is a further step in helping Edinburgh’s residents online. The new channel will also make it easier to identify where residents might be experiencing problems with council services and take proactive measures. The main account will continue to operate with general messages about Council services and what is going on in the capital.
Councillor Alasdair Rankin, Convener of the Finance and Resources Committee, said:
Social media is part of everyday life and there is no reason why people shouldn’t use it to carry out their daily business. This dedicated channel will allow us to make sure no enquiry goes unnoticed.
Of course there are still many ways in which people can contact the Council but we hope that as awareness increases people will start to use our new account. It also gives us a better way of getting messages out to you –improving interaction with the Council on social media.
The new Twitter account is supporting the continued drive to encourage residents to increase their online contact. The Council’s ‘channel shift strategy’ agreed by the Finance and Resources Committee in January 2015 will make estimated savings of £5.9 million by 2017/18 and aims to transform the way residents interact with the Council.
The ‘Save time. Do it online.’ campaign encourages residents to use the Council’s website to report issues such as problems with street lighting, pot holes and litter. @edinhelp will raise awareness of services the council offers online as well as assisting with common queries through the medium a lot of residents are choosing to use.