Latest HMRC Digital Support update

Dec 03, 2018

This week we feature the latest Digital Support for agents and business update which looks at the online Agent Forum.

Digital Customer Support Services – Agent Forum (Sept-Oct) Update for VCG
Agent Forum (AF)

As at end of October 2018 the Forum has over 1025 Agent subscribers, up 124 since the last progress report. And 149 HMRC staff. We continue seeking key stakeholder engagement to both use the Forum and recruit more Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) for provision of issue resolution responses. Other performance metrics include over 67k views (up 7k), 3265 posted messages (up 212) on 659 current topics (Up 55), all since July 2017; which are moderated daily with appropriate responses given, as determined by subject matter, related traffic generated and referrals provided by line of business.

Our priority after delivering issue resolutions to agent enquiries continues to be enlisting formal SME engagements and focusing on recruiting more agents to register for and use the forum. Our phase 2 programme of promotion emails is now suspended having reached our interim target of 1000 agents signed up to the Agent Forum. This on account of fixed resources set against a substantial increase in traffic volumes and successful issues resolutions. An initiative launched during August 2018, was the publication of a weekly digest email to all registered Agent forum members. It summarises traffic raised on the forum during the previous 7 days, with dedicated links to specific issues raised. Initial results demonstrate it has significantly increased agent engagement and views.  

We continue to work closely with the Issues Overview Group (IOG), made up of Professional Bodies (PBs), a number of whom also sit on the VCG together with HMRC representatives.  We have a joint F2F meeting scheduled for 3 December 2018, for which we are currently working up an agenda. It jointly determines what the ‘widespread’ issues priority classification should be, for earliest resolution. New arrangements for these meetings have been in place since late 2017, which moved away from a fixed schedule of events throughout the year to bespoke ones, of which two have been called. Focus is on subjects of most concern, at which relevant Subject Matter Experts attend to both hear first-hand how Agents are impacted and to offer up or take away issues for resolution.  

The Digital Customer Support Services (DCSS) Agent Team, staffed by 2.5 FTE Issues Resolution Managers (IRMs), moderate and run the forum. As and when required we bring in extra cover from our Agent Account Managers (AAMs) team to ensure we maintain response service levels, when going to Lines of Business for issues resolution.”