Customer care standards

We want to deliver excellent customer services and continue to improve. Residents and community views help to shape our priorities. We listen and respond to what you tell us. Our customers need to know what standard of service to expect no matter what service is being delivered or where it is being delivered in the county as outlined in our customer service charter.

Telephone calls

  • We will answer your call in a courteous and professional manner.
     
  • Our staff will give you their name and the name of the service or place you are calling.
     
  • We will offer to call you back when we cannot respond to your query immediately.
     
  • if the service you call is not the appropriate service to help with your enquiry, we will make sure we put you in touch with the relevant person.

Two important measures of our call handling performance are:

  • The percentage (%) of calls we answered within 20 seconds - our target is 80%.
     
  • The percentage of abandoned calls (A customer abandons a call when they hang up before an advisor is able to answer) - our target is 10% or less.

Written communication

When you write to us:

  • We will send you an acknowledgement within five working days if a full response is not possible within ten workings days.
     
  • Letters which require a response from a service area directly will be sent on to the relevant team within 5 working days.
     
  • We will send you an acknowledgement within five working days if a full response to a complaint within fifteen working days is not possible, under Stage 1 of the procedure.
     
  • The council has a statutory obligation to respond within twenty working days to requests dealt with under the Freedom of information Act 2000 process.

Face to face communications

Visitors will be greeted by a receptionist within five minutes of arriving at reception. If we need to ask a colleague to deal with your enquiry, unless the person you wish to speak to is not available, you will wait no more than fifteen minutes. You will:

  • Be greeted in a courteous and helpful manner.
     
  • By a member of staff wearing an identity badge.
     
  • Be given any information requested during the visit or given an explanation of why information of the person you wish to speak to is not available at the time of the visit, and when they will be available.

Other procedures

There is also a statutory procedure for handling complaints made by, or on behalf of people who use:

  • Social care and health service.
     
  • Child protection service.

Leaflets which explain how your compliments, comments and complaints will be dealt with under these regulations are available. These procedures  have different time scales and are not covered by the timescales given in these standards.

There is also a statutory process for complaints about decisions on the assessment of pupils with special educational needs. This falls outside the county council's complaint procedures.

For further information on these procedures please contact us.

When you email us

  • We will send you an acknowledgement within two working days if a full response is not immediately possible.
     
  • We will send a full response to email complaints within fifteen working days.
     
  • Emails that require a response directly from a service area will be sent to the relevant service within 5 working days.

When we reply to you

We will tell you:

  • Who is dealing with the issue.
     
  • The name and contact number for queries.
     
  • What is being done.
     
  • What will happen and by when.
     
  • If we are unable to provide a full reply within these timescales, we will let you know why and when you can expect a full response.

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