An overview of Lincolnshire’s project to streamline existing processes and achieve channel shift across various registration service areas during their first month live with Stopford.
- The average proportion of bookings taken either online or through Contact Centre in the first month live (across all appointment types) was 95.8%
- 149 birth registration appointment bookings were taken online between 1st-7th September
- 208 notice of marriage appointments were booked online or through Contact Centre over the course of the study
Nestled in the East Midlands with access to sandy shores like Skegness; Lincolnshire is rich with cultural heritage, from architecture like Doddington Hall to the rolling fields the UK is synonymous for. With this, the county is called home by over 1,000,000 residents who live and work in the region.
As part of their commitment to delivering robust public services for residents, Lincolnshire Council opted to re-evaluate how they receive appointments for civil registration and facilitate online booking across their many services. Having only had births and deaths online with their previous supplier, the team sought to expand and provide a more comprehensive online experience from the council website.
To do this, they would need to make services like notices, citizenship ceremonies, and more accessible to the public digitally. All online projects would be required to adhere to the latest regulations and legislation, for example the recent changes to notices as a result of Brexit and the decision to make all register offices designated.
Finally, any system applied would need to have considerations for their residents’ booking preferences, e.g., those more likely to call the customer service centre to make a booking.
In late 2021, the Lincolnshire team chose to partner with Stopford to modernise and expand their online service provision. Their decision was based on broad use in nearby regions (56% of East Midlands services partner with Stopford) and coincided with the launch of work for their neighbours in North East Lincolnshire.
To meet the challenge, a phased implementation was agreed upon to focus on the most impactful services that could be brought online first.
To deliver a fast customisation of standardised processes, the Stopford team organised a series of workshops to tailor their birth, death and notices processes to the authority and their specific requirements. This included a specialised DRO notice process designed to recognise EUSS status, foreign divorce fees, and immigration status. The team also integrated their chosen provider for email and SMS communications, Gov.UK Notify.
After successful implementation by late-August, births, deaths and notice of marriage were sent to live, opening their access to the public for bookings. This live upgrade also included Contact Centre, Stopford’s booking management platform designed for customer service centres to take bookings efficiently over the phone.
Using statistics from Lincolnshire’s reporting for their first month (starting 01/09/2022), the team’s online booking system got off to a great start. See the full breakdown.
Births – Summary
- 620 bookings were taken over the time period across all channels
- The highest volume of bookings taken online (excluding Contact Centre) was 149 in week 1
- The highest proportion of online bookings (excluding Contact Centre) against total bookings occurred in week 4, with 82.4%
Births Data Breakdown
– Week 1: (booked online or via Contact Centre: 99%)
Lincolnshire received 149 appointments through their new births online process in the first week of the study. Another 40 were received through Stopford’s Contact Centre module, while just 2 were booked manually through admin, resulting in a 99% up take of online or Contact Centre booking channels.
– Week 2: (booked online or via Contact Centre: 100%)
The second week saw 126 birth registration appointments get booked online, with 53 completed through Contact Centre. Unlike the previous week, no bookings were taken via the admin side. Birth registration bookings for week 2 totaled 179 appointments.
– Week 3: (booked online or via Contact Centre: 100%)
In week 3, 92 parents went online to book a birth registration appointment with Lincolnshire’s registration service. Lincolnshire’s Contact Centre received 33 bookings via their service centre flow, totaling 125 total bookings for the week.
– Week 4: (booked online or via Contact Centre: 99.2%)
In the final week of the study, birth registration bookings increased through the online channel, with 103 appointments being booked via the customer-facing process. Contact Centre bookings reduced to 21, their lowest volume over the 4 week period. Week 4 also presented the highest proportion of online bookings to total bookings, with an 82.4% preference to bookings from online (excluding Contact Centre).
Deaths – Summary
- 628 bookings were taken over the time period across all channels
- The highest volume of bookings taken online (excluding Contact Centre) was 48 in week 1
- The highest proportion of bookings taken online (excluding Contact Centre) occurred in week 1, with 34.8%
Deaths Data Breakdown
– Week 1: (booked online or via Contact Centre: 97.8%)
In week one of applying their custom deaths process, the service saw over a 97% shift to online or contact centre channels for booking. This was broken down into 48 bookings made online via the customer facing link and another 87 booked via Contact Centre.
– Week 2: (booked online or via Contact Centre: 94.5%)
The second week of having an online death registration booking process live showed 27 online bookings via Stopford forms and 93 Contact Centre bookings. This also saw a growth in admin bookings over that time period, with 7 booked via that channel.
– Week 3: (booked online or via Contact Centre: 92%)
Lincolnshire’s third week live recorded 187 death registration bookings take place. This was broken down into 35 booked through the customer-facing form, 137 via Contact Centre, and 15 via admin.
– Week 4: (booked online or via Contact Centre: 89.8%)
Death registration appointments booked online showed an increase in week 4, rising to 54. Contact Centre bookings for the same appointment type fell 24% to 104. This was also notably the only week that had an overall percentage of online/Contact Centre bookings to total bookings lower than 90% (89.8%).
Notice of Marriage – Summary
- 221 bookings were taken over the time period across all channels
- The highest volume of bookings taken online (excluding Contact Centre) was 42 in week 1
- The highest proportion of bookings taken online (excluding Contact Centre) occurred in week 4, with 71%
Notices Data Breakdown
– Week 1: (booked online or via Contact Centre: 93.6%)
The launch of the notice of marriage booking process was well received, with 42 bookings coming through the new DRO enabled process. This contrasted to 16 being booked through the Contact Centre module and 4 being booked through admin.
– Week 2: (booked online or via Contact Centre: 96%)
Week 2 saw notice of marriage appointments booked online continue to be the preference of local residents with 32 booked appointments. In that same time period, 16 were registered through Contact Centre while admin bookings reduced to just 2.
– Week 3: (booked online or via Contact Centre: 91.1%)
Lincolnshire’s third week live continued strong online statistics against Contact Centre (39 online bookings to 12 Contact Centre), however, overall bookings via online channels reduced with the acceptance of 5 appointments via admin.
– Week 4: (booked online or via Contact Centre: 96.2%)
Week 4 saw celebrants continue to show favour to Lincolnshire’s online booking channels with 38 appointments booked online and only 13 booked via Contact Centre. This was notably the highest proportion of bookings taken online (excluding Contact Centre) against overall bookings, with a 71.7% channel shift.
Special thanks to the team at Lincolnshire for working with us to produce this case study. We look forward to continuing our work with the team to continue supporting their service delivery to Lincolnshire residents.