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London Borough of Hackney

Covalent helps London Borough of Hackney reduce staffing costs, improve quality of service & decrease escalation of complaints from 13% to 4%

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Products used by London Borough of Hackney

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Success Story

‘Implementation of Feedback has assisted us in identifying and analysing trends within our complaints process. Since using Covalent we have improved our quality and speed of responding which has resulted in a decrease in escalation rate to just 4%.’

Bruce Devile, London Borough of Hackney, Head of Business Analysis & Complaints 

The Situation

London Borough of Hackney’s previous process consisted of 3 stages which was recorded on an complaints management system. This process and system resulted in a long drawn out process, poorly communicated responses, unresolved issues and escalation rates of 13%. This led to low satisfaction levels with Hackney’s citizens. In addition the complaints process had no integration with the corporate IT systems, no IT support and lacked good reporting and analytical functionality.

The Challenge

Find and implement a complaints system that assisted with a streamlined process, reduced the workload and improved communication with citizens allowing the Council to identify trends and reduce escalation rates within 3 months.

The Solution

Alongside an ‘Effective Complaints Handling’ training programme and a new 2 stage complaints handling process, Hackney approached Covalent to customise our cloud-based Feedback product to support their new plan.

The product needed to integrate with their Corporate Document Management system and other existing Council systems, comply with Data Protection and include a training process.

The simplicity of the cloud deployment meant that Covalent Feedback went live after only 3 months of customisation, user training and implementation work. Although Covalent delivered a cloud-based solution, we worked closely with the internal IT team to integrate with various on-premise systems such as the Property Gazetteer.

The Benefits/Results

  • In the 7 months since launch, over 5,000 cases have been logged (Complaints, Member Enquiries & Mayor Enquiries) - previously received 7,500 over 2 years.
  • More than 400 officers using Covalent Feedback
  • 30% of complaints are submitted via the online form (up from 20%) - this is better as it reduces pressure on staff to take phone calls
  • Escalation rates have reduced from 13% - 4%
  • Overall timescales have been reduced, with complaints getting to the relevant services quicker. (for those logged via the webform it is instant rather than taking 24/48 hours)
  • Quality of responses have improved, focusing on resolution
  • Streamlined the process which has resulted in staff resources being released for other priorities
  • More consistency in record keeping
  • Instant reporting on volumes and performance
  • Ability to identify trends
‘Covalent Feedback has provided a fully supported flexible system which is easily accessible to all our users and managers. It supported a step change in complaints handing by giving greater accessibility to records and performance information and allowing for greater analysis of underlying issues affecting services.’


Bruce Devile, London Borough of Hackney, Head of Business Analysis & Complaints