Customer Case

Empowering Barneveld with Enhanced Knowledge Management


Barneveld Municipality: Serving Residents with Tradition and Excellence

The Municipality of Barneveld, located in the heart of the Netherlands, caters to nearly 62 thousand residents. Renowned for its agricultural heritage, particularly in the poultry and egg industry, Barneveld offers a diverse array of services, from administrative assistance to social support, all aimed at ensuring resident-centric solutions.

The Challenge

Navigating Complexity in Knowledge Management​

Barneveld faced the intricate challenge of managing an extensive range of conversation topics, encompassing around 400 distinct products and services. The complexity often left first-line employees struggling to provide accurate and timely responses, leading to call transfers and caller dissatisfaction. The need for a comprehensive knowledge management solution arose to ensure efficient access to information and elevate first-line handling capabilities.
The Solution

Polly.Help Drives Transformation in Knowledge Management​

After a rigorous selection process, Barneveld chose Polly.Help as the ideal partner for their knowledge management needs. Polly.Help’s specialization in municipal operations demonstrated a deep understanding of the unique demands of local governments.

Polly.Help introduced a tool enabling first-line employees to independently manage diverse inquiries. Collaborative agreements between the Customer Contact Center (KCC) and other departments streamlined inquiry handling. The integration of Barneveld’s case management system with Polly.Help provided faster and more comprehensive responses to residents.

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Enhancing Satisfaction and Efficiency​

Implementing knowledge management led to remarkable outcomes for Barneveld. First-line employee proficiency increased with 25%, positively impacting response times and customer satisfaction. A 30% reduction in call transfers translated to enhanced efficiency in query resolution. Departments actively contributed to and updated articles, leading to a decrease in inquiry volume. Tailored answers for multiple communication channels like WhatsApp and Google messaging further elevated accessibility. Overall, knowledge management elevated employee capabilities, amplified customer experience, and optimized service efficiency in Barneveld.

25% improvement in first-line employee proviciency

30% reduction in call transfers

Read the full interview with Paul van Ladesteijn and Kay Schutten from Barneveld


The Customer Contact Center (KCC) of the Municipality of Barneveld is a crucial service operation, dedicated to serving its 60 thousand residents on a daily basis throughout the workweek. Staffed by a team of 10 dedicated professionals, the KCC shoulders the responsibility for the first line of contact, encompassing a staggering 400 diverse services and products that the Municipality provides.

In this insightful conversation, Polly.Help engages with Paul van Ladesteijn, Project Leader for Service, and Kay Schutten, Content Manager, from the Municipality of Barneveld. They delve into the challenges that necessitated the adoption of knowledge management, the intricacies of its implementation, the ambitious goals set, and the commendable outcomes achieved.

Paul: “While the internal processes within the municipality are not overly complex, the sheer breadth of topics that emerge during conversations is astonishing. There are approximately 400 distinct products available within the municipality. These products encompass the services that residents may choose, or in some cases, are required to use.”

“For a frontline staff member to be well-versed in all 400 products is simply impractical.”

“At present, we are noticing that a significant number of calls end up being transferred. However, second-line staff members operate with their own schedules, including appointments and meetings, rendering them unavailable to answer phone calls.”

“This situation frequently leads to caller dissatisfaction, as callers are transferred, put on hold, and ultimately, a callback request is initiated but remains unaddressed.”

“Our ongoing ‘Improving Accessibility’ project at the Municipality of Barneveld aims for 80% of calls to be resolved at the first line. Achieving this goal necessitates the support of a tool that empowers our employees.”

Paul elucidates that they are pursuing a dual-track approach. “First and foremost, we have implemented Polly.Help’s knowledge management system, a repository where information is meticulously documented. This repository equips our first-line employees with the information they need to independently handle inquiries.”

“We have also established agreements (DVAs) between the KCC and various departments. These DVAs outline what should be managed at the front desk by the KCC and what may be redirected to the relevant department.”

“Furthermore, the Municipality of Barneveld is currently in the process of introducing a case management system. This system offers visibility into the application process, which is significant, as many queries pertain to application statuses. The case management system empowers employees to access and communicate application statuses during conversations with callers.”

Kay: “Previously, the Municipality of Barneveld relied on the knowledge base within the Key2customer contact program. However, this program presented several drawbacks, including its outdated nature, inaccessibility to the broader organization, and the lack of support from the supplier. Consequently, we made the decision to part ways with this product, prompting the search for a new knowledge base.”

Paul adds: “The Municipality of Barneveld underwent a rigorous selection process through a multiple negotiated tender approach, with Polly.Help emerging as the undisputed victor. It was pivotal for us that Polly.Help possessed prior experience working with other municipalities.”

Paul: “The implementation project proceeded remarkably smoothly. Polly.Help provided invaluable guidance throughout the process and played a pivotal role in establishing the knowledge management framework. Being a medium-sized municipality, the Municipality of Barneveld lacks the ICT and KCC resources needed to swiftly set up a knowledge base. Consequently, having a supplier willing to extend their support and assist in the setup was immensely beneficial.”

Kay: “Initially, we conducted an extensive transfer of all content from Key2customer contact to Polly.Help’s knowledge base. Following the successful migration of content and initial accomplishments, other departments will commence utilizing the knowledge base.”

Departments will be granted access to Polly.Help’s knowledge base to contribute their knowledge articles.

Kay: “Since this summer, the KCC has been actively utilizing Polly.Help’s knowledge base. Right from the outset, I found Polly.Help to be an exceptional program due to its user-friendliness and clarity. This has been well-received by departments because it results in fewer inquiries from residents. First-line employees are increasingly self-sufficient in handling queries, resulting in quicker responses to residents.”

Kay: “Ultimately, the aim is to assist the individual on the other end of the line, ideally resolving their queries directly.”

Paul adds: “We’ve established a connection between the case management system and Polly.Help’s knowledge base, streamlining employees’ ability to promptly guide customers to solutions.”

Kay: “Even information pertaining to seasonal products and services, such as the placement of leaf bins, is incorporated into Polly.Help’s knowledge base. Polly.Help’s functionality, which enables attachments to be included with articles, proves valuable. Consequently, during a conversation, an employee can read along with a letter sent to a resident, enhancing alignment with the customer’s query.”

“Polly.Help empowers us to provide specific responses on every channel, as all knowledge is now consolidated in one location.”

Kay: “Within the knowledge base, we can track how many knowledge items have been consulted within a given period, both in terms of content and individual agents. It’s fascinating to observe that as more articles are added, engagement with Polly.Help’s knowledge items increases. Monthly reports are utilized by senior team members to guide the team in terms of knowledge base utilization.”

Kay: “At present, a pilot program involving WhatsApp and Google messaging is underway within the Municipality of Barneveld. It’s reassuring to see that Polly.Help’s Knowledge Base integrates effectively with these channels. Thanks to the centralized knowledge repository, Polly.Help enables us to deliver specific responses on every channel.”

Kay: “The Municipality of Barneveld’s current emphasis is on expanding and refining knowledge articles. The next step involves configuring decision trees, further simplifying the process of supplying residents with accurate information.”

A decision tree ensures that customer queries are systematically addressed, based on a predefined script, directing them to the appropriate knowledge article. Given the extensive range of products provided by the municipality, this proves especially useful.

Kay: “Whether an employee has been here for a week or three years will no longer matter.”

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