With reference to agenda item 50; Monitoring Customer Satisfaction, the report makes the following statement on ‘From feedback to improvement’: "Both quantitative and qualitative information is captured, which helps better understand the customer experience from first point of contact to resolution. Evaluating the customer journey in this way will help to understand strengths and weaknesses in ways of working, and actions that need to be taken to improve”:
My question is what Members will be involved, and how then will that improvement manifest itself publicly?
As a Council we exist to serve our residents and our community. The ‘Voice of the Customer’ project is a key way that we are putting customer services and resident satisfaction at the heart of everything we do as a Council. While we already perform highly on our key measures of customer service, this project will allow us to better understand our resident’s journey from identifying they have an issue or query, through to making contact with us and onwards to a hopefully successful resolution.
Gathering feedback from residents, either directly or via their elected representatives, will enable us to better understand their reasons for contacting us and help us to better redesign either our service provision or our channels of communication to better meet the customer service needs.
We would welcome comments and input from Members around this voice of the customer project. Councillor Frewin has already been in contact with Council Officers and has volunteered his help and career expertise in this area, which has been greatly appreciated so far. If other Members wish to offer their insight or expertise, I will gratefully receive it.
How will it manifest itself publicly is a great question? I don’t want to pre-empt the results of the work before it is undertaken but I would hope that we:
· will make it easier for residents to directly interact with us;
· will design services in line with the way residents want to use them not how we want them to use them;
· find more ways to support those less able and those reliant on the support of others to access our services; and
· resolve and respond to issues more quickly and use those resolutions to better inform our decision making and our future communications.
I welcome that and I think it is a very positive action to take but what I don’t want to see is the decisions being taken as to how we are improving our service done, how can I say through PR, without the involvement of Members. I would think every Member would commit themselves to being able to offer help or comment on this. So what I would suggest is when you get to a situation where you have found the various weaknesses that you do speak to Members and ask them for their observations. I think it is a very positive move and I do welcome it so thank you for that.
Just on that point I have already committed to the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee that once the new Customer Service Strategy is ready to be delivered that I will take it that Committee so that it can go through the formal scrutiny process.
Customer service is an ongoing thing we are not going to stop it. It needs to be at the heart of everything that we do so it is an ongoing prerogative of every Member if they have got an idea of how we can improve our customer service I want to hear it.