Every year we receive literally hundreds of thousands of contacts – by phone, letter, personal visit and email. Streamlining how we handle these efficiently is a top priority and one that never goes away. As part of this, we have just introduced a new system of email accounts called ‘My Sandwell.’ Anyone wanting to email us about benefits or Council Tax should set up one of these accounts. They’re straight forward to create and use.
They can be used by landlords, letting agents or companies as well as residents. The system was initially designed to only be used by individual Council Tax payers or benefit claimants and the questions you will be asked when setting up an account will reflect this. So, if for example you are a letting agent – you can set up your MySandwell account giving the company name instead of a resident’s name – but you will need to make up a date of birth and enter male or female in the field for gender, as if you were a person. Overall though, the set-up process is simple, self-explanatory and wont take long to complete. Once the account is set-up, it can be shared among different members of staff working in the same team or office.
MySandwell, together with innovations like our landlord portal, is part of a wider set of changes where we are moving our service online wherever we can. This isn’t just about helping us – it means reducing the barriers that people find frustrating like waiting in phone queues or the hassle of having to make a personal visit to a distant office. Very much like the move to internet banking. I know I don’t miss the days when I had to spend my lunch breaks queuing up to pay in a cheque or ringing a distant call-centre. I can now do just about anything I want with my banking online – quickly and easily 24/7.
I will do another short post in the next few days which will be a reminder of the various forms you can use – or things you can tell us about online,