When Coventry City Council decided to renovate and update its Customer Service Centre, modernisation, digitalisation and engagement were central to its forward-thinking strategy to create premises suited to modern day council ambition.
With the Customer Service Centre being a key communications point for the public, providing a route for general enquiries, payments and public computers for the local populous, it was vital that as part of the renovation of the property digital messaging and communication should form an important role.
Having a way to communicate central messaging interwoven with localised content in the right context was something that Coventry City Council couldn’t deliver, relying on local staff to manually add printed materials to noticeboards and whiteboards.
Coventry City Council Network Implementation Lead, Fleur Porter managed the technology roll out for the facility, “Engaging the public is incredibly important for us. Ensuring our messaging and communications are seen and heard in an effective way was a key driver behind us looking for high-quality, professional digital signage solution. We didn’t want posters and whiteboards anymore.
“We spoke with our AV partner, proAV, and they recommended Tripleplay who could not only provide a digital signage platform but also an integrated IPTV system; adding value on top of what we initially needed.”
The project at the Customer Service Centre was regarded as such as success that since the Tripleplay digital signage and IPTV roll-out began it has now been extended to cover 11 additional sites across the council network, connecting staff and public, and providing an instantaneous visual communications and engagement platform.
Porter continued, “We expanded the platform pretty quickly across the city, adding screens into our Friargate office to enhance staff engagement, into the Democratic Centre, at our eight Family Hubs across the city, and in our Job Shop.
“The platform has proven incredibly useful, having up-to-date content is brilliant. Staff like it as well, they can email the comms team about upcoming events, who will upload to appropriate internal screens and they know everyone will see it. People have started interacting more across departments, engaging more in events and using the screens as a source of information.”
This ability to distribute localised content, with administration and control for each screen within each premise delegated to appropriate team members, has also proven a key reason for the success of the project; helping ensure content is delivered in the right context and in the correct tone.
“We’ve gone through a really significant period of change across our technological platforms in recent years. As a Council we moved across to Microsoft Teams and we use SharePoint and a lot of cloud-based communications systems. This technology, working alongside our Tripleplay platform, has hugely enhanced our ability to communicate and to engage our people,” Porter added.
To support the digitalisation efforts, Coventry City Council appointed its own Digital Engagement Team, a set of technological experts and evangelists who would promote use of technology and support the switch over; another department that utilised the Tripleplay platform to gets its message heard.
Porter continued, “Our Digital Engagement Team needed an engaging solution, something more intrusive to ensure its messages were heard, and they decided to adopt the Tripleplay platform not only as a messaging tool, but also as a training platform. We all know TV is a really engaging medium, it sparks conversation, so delivering training video content via on-site TVs has worked far better than simply dropping emails into inboxes of busy workers. People learn without realising in many cases.”
In total the council has deployed more than 50 digital signage endpoints, using a mixture of graphics, video and live TV to entertain, engage and educate its staff and public.
Within the Family Hubs the council uses the Tripleplay platform to deliver local information on clothing sales, family services, education and learning courses, location of baby banks and fundraising information, while in the Job Shop the platform is used to promote available opportunities.
Within the staff offices, Friargate, the platform is used for wayfinding in elevator lobbies, support for conferences to display unique content for each event, internal messaging for staff, display of live data such as calls waiting for the public, live broadcast TV in staff areas and waiting rooms, promotion of charity events, delivering training content and many other things.
Often the failure of technology rollouts does not come down to the capabilities of the solution, but the buy-in from staff, and Coventry City Council worked hard to ensure the project was a success.
Not only did they invest in their specialist Digital Engagement Team, they also invested in training, support and putting proper processes in place. Each location can control its displays and request content, but the central communications team can vet and approve all displays ensuring quality and messaging is in-line with Council ethos.
Porter summarised, “The solution has expanded beyond its initial scope; ease of use, platform reliability, really positive feedback and results we’ve had, have all helped in this regard.
“We also feel we have a partner in Tripleplay, they care about our business and look after us whenever we need them. The support desk is brilliant, they are always incredibly patient, knowledgeable and thorough, and have helped us build confidence in our choice of partner. Tripleplay has shown us that digital signage can be more than just graphics on screens; it can deliver engagement, entertainment, education and partnership.”