Social Security Experience Panels: communicating by phone

This report considers client’s views on contacting Social Security Scotland by phone.

Making calls to Social Security Scotland easy

We asked respondents if there was anything we could do to make it easier to call Social Security Scotland. Many respondents talked about the cost of making the phone call and suggested a freephone number would be better than having to pay.

Some respondents told us that longer opening hours would be useful, particuarly outside of working hours and at weekends. This is in line with previous findings, where Experience Panel members have expressed a strong desire to be able to call the agency outside of working hours, particuarly in the early evening and on Saturdays[10].

Respondents told us that phone numbers for the agency should be easy to find on the agency's website and on any letters or leaflets.

'The contact numbers need to be clearly detailed on the website / any correspondence.'

Having direct numbers to specific departments was suggested as a way to potentially minimise call times and avoid having to go through a menu system, letting people talk to an agent faster.

'…allow direct calls to various sections, i.e. decision making, payments, etc. rather than through a general call centre.'

When respondents got through to an agent, they told us they wanted the agent to be friendly, well trained and knowledgeable. They expected agents to be able to answer their questions or to be able to direct them to someone who could.

'Make sure the operators are friendly and pleasant.'

'More informed operators as not everyone has the same needs.'

Some respondents also told us they would like to speak to the same person about their claim, although other respondents thought this might not be possible.

'…would be a help if we could always speak to the same person…'


Email: James.Miller@gov.Scot

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