Each year, Bassetlaw DC receives almost 50,000 face-to-face enquiries mainly through the two one stop shops in Worksop and Retford and many more than that use payment facilities at Post Offices and Pay Points, where around 150,000 transactions at these outlets and double that in Direct Debits are completed.
We love to hear from the hundred of thousands of callers each year who telephone our Direct Dial and switchboard lines.
With over a million types of citizen and business interaction each year, we are constantly looking at ways to improve customer service. We believe that if we improve quality of service and access to information without driving up overall costs, it will lead to improved customer satisfaction.
Work in progress includes improvements to our website (www.bassetlaw.gov.uk) and our Speak up, We’re Listening campaign to encourage feedback. We have extended hours of telephony until 8pm and new A1 Housing property shops at Retford and Worksop.
Stepping back from these key areas, it is getting the basics right that matters most to customers and that means setting out customer standards. The Council’s Cabinet approved new standards, many of which we can monitor and ensure progress is being made.
Just as important to us is that our customers have signed up to the new standards. We put these to our Citizen’s panel. Our standards developed under our Customer First programme are set out below. They define the service customers can expect from us because to us, customers are one in a million.
When you visit
- Council offices for customer enquiries and payments will be open from 9am to 5pm weekdays, This includes our One Stop Shops at Worksop and Retford.
- We will clearly display our opening times and out of hours customer access information for emergencies.
- Our two One Stop Shops will provide modern customer facilities, including ease of access, comfort features including WC, clear signage and respect for your privacy.
- All customers will have access to services, regardless of language, disability, gender, religion, age or learning.
- All customers will be greeted and treated in a courteous manner by staff who will give you their full attention.
- All front line staff will wear a name badge so that you will know who is advising you.
- We will provide a free phone service at our One Stop Shops for A1 Housing repairs and to contact other council offices.
- Our One Stop Shop staff aim to see you about your enquiry within 3 minutes of your arrival at reception. If you need to see another specialist advisor, we aim for you to see that person within 10 minutes.
- We will not accept abusive, violent behaviour or harassment towards our staff or other customers.
- Customer comments such as feedback, compliments, grumbles and complaints will be recorded, acted upon and results published (with names/addresses removed).
- With our network of Help Points in rural villages, we offer you access to video link or face-to-face help from Council staff, within a short distance of where you live.
When you telephone
- Our direct dial numbers will be stated in all correspondence and letters.
- Council offices for customer enquiries will be open from 0900am to 5pm weekdays. We will also run an extended hours telephone service on (01909) 533533 until 8pm and on Saturdays 8am to noon. We have an emergency service on (01909) 534999 and a 24 hour payment line on (01777) 713864
- We aim to answer over 90% of all direct dial calls within 15 seconds and switchboard calls will be managed quickly through modern call distribution system.
- All callers will be treated in a courteous and helpful manner and you will not be kept waiting by push button automated options systems.
- If we cannot resolve your telephone enquiry there and then, we will arrange for a call back within 2 hours or first thing the next working day.
- If you call our switchboard and we put you through elsewhere, we will tell you who we are putting the call through to and we will brief the next advisor.
When you write to us by letter or e mail
- We set out clearly our contact details on all forms of communications we send.
- When you write to us, we will acknowledge your letter within 5 days and issue a full reply within 15 working days.
- All our replies, by letter and e mail will be/have/include:-
- In plain English
- Clear explanation and full answer given
- Properly laid out
- Properly addressed including your name
- Name of a contact officer and their job title and department
- Telephone contact details of sender
- Not in “text speak”
- Immediately acknowledged then replied to within 5 working days
Keeping you informed and listening to you
- We will operate a complaints and feedback approach, called “Speak up, We’re Listening”, which will make it easy for you to make a complaint or service suggestion/compliment in many ways, including in person, by letter or telephone, by e-mail to a single point.
- We acknowledge complaints etc within 5 days and respond within 15 working days.
- If you are not satisfied with a complaint investigation and reply, you can take it to another stage involving review by the council’s chief executive.
- We will publish complaints and feedback information in our One Stop Shops and on our website. This will show what lessons we may have learned to put things right, without showing information about the complainant.
- We will use a number of ways to consult with customers to improve services, including exit and postal surveys and use of citizen’s panels.
- Our services will be designed around customer needs, not our needs, e.g. if you need to report someone who has died, we will not pass you around various departments.
- We will update our web site regularly.