Customer service at the Council
In many ways, we’re Somerset County Council’s front door. Call into County Hall and you’ll be greeted by our friendly, helpful reception team. Call our main 0300 number or send us an email, and you’ll be straight through to one of our trained, knowledgeable, here-to-help advisors.
There are around 70 of us working in Customer Service, and we are based in our award-winning contact centre in County Hall, Taunton, although flexible working means we have the opportunity to work remotely from home as part of our working week. For two years running now, we’ve been awarded the South West Contact Centre Forum’s award for Best Medium-sized Contact Centre – so we’re clearly doing lots right. Like training. And support. And career development.
The importance of customer service
We’re connected to and in touch with every single area of the council. We know the pulse of our residents too, what’s happening on the ground, how people are feeling. And we’re able to feed that back into the right council team so that they can improve what they do and the service they offer.
It’s a brilliantly rewarding place to work and everything we do helps to improve the lives of the people of Somerset. What kind of people work with us? All sorts, really. But they have one thing in common: they care. So if you’re understanding, if you enjoy helping people and thrive on variety, we’d love you to come and join our award-winning team.
Developing and supporting you
When you join us, you’ll be trained by the department that you’ll be working with and representing, and the services of the Council are so diverse so what you get involved in can be too – Adult Social Care, Children’s services or Roads, for example. And thanks to our clever technology, calls or emails only go through to the people who work in that department and have therefore had the training to deal with them. So there’s no worrying that you won’t know the answer or won’t be able to help. You’ll have been through the training with the team, so you’ll be able to confidently resolve the call. And when you do need to refer to someone else, you’ll know exactly who you need to get in touch with. You’ll also have a range of technologies at your fingertips, (such as webchat and digital support) to help with your everyday work and to support our customers.
Meet some of our team
Keith Owen – Customer Service Specialist
“I’ve recently – very recently – been through the Council’s new induction programme, and it’s been excellent. Experienced tutors guided me through the first weeks of my job in a friendly way, always close when I needed them but also encouraging me and supporting me when I wanted to have a go myself. I’ve loved the first few weeks here and am looking forward to a long and happy working relationship.
The benefits package is excellent. But, far more importantly to me, the supportive and caring environment allows me to be myself while the training gives me the knowledge I need offer the highest level of service to my customers.”
Meet some of our team
Jane Aird – Reception, County Hall
“For visitors to County Hall, we’re the face of Somerset County Council, Well, faces. There’s a small, skilled team of us here, and as well as having a welcoming smile for everyone, we have to be quick to think on our feet – you never quite know what’s going to happen on any given day.
Our team is from age 18 up to 69. The old help the young and the young help the old. We all learn from one another’s strengths and that makes us gel as a team. And you feel invested in here. I was given the opportunity to take a Customer Services qualification, to support my role, and I thought, ‘Why not?’ I have this skill so why not back it up with a formal qualification. And while I work part time, I was able to fit it in within my working week, no problem.”
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"The council is full of supportive colleagues who encourage you to try your best. I really enjoyed building close working relationships with colleagues across the council. They’re proud to be a Disability Confident Employer, and every colleague's skillset and background is valued."
"The council offer flexible working and really trust their colleagues to work from home. Management is supportive and avoids resorting to without micro-managing. There are opportunities to develop with managers keen to support your career progression."
"Supportive and inclusive employer. Working here is immensely rewarding, knowing you have helped so many people. The way SCC has dealt with the challenges presented by Covid, and the support it has given the community, makes me feel proud to be part of the organisation"
"Salaries aren't as high as private sector, but the great benefits package does make up for that. The council offer flexible working and lots of opportunity to build a long-term career in an ever changing government organisation. If you like the challenge of continuous change, this could be the place for you."
"If feel that my work for the council is hugely valuable. That I am supporting some incredibly important services. The organisation is forward-thinking in terms of ways of working, offering good technology and working-from-home benefits, all underpinned by an understanding management culture."
"The council is a good place to work if you want to work part time. You have access to ongoing learning. Management on the whole is good. Everyone works very hard, focused on doing something worthwhile and helping professionals, and keen to demonstrate that they are offering good value for money."
"Working for the council is challenging and stimulating. Social Care is difficult but rewarding when the quality of the service can be maintained. There is a genuine culture of reward for hard work. Social Care is a changing and evolving service, and the council has a dynamic reputation."
"Supportive work environment and colleagues. Over the last 12 years I have worked with a variety of brilliant teams, each time developing new skills and gaining experience. SCC has adapted well to remote working during the pandemic with staff wellbeing at the top of the agenda."