A five point promise to customers on service delivery has been hailed as a ‘bold step’ for West Sussex County Council.
The Customer Promise sets out the key areas where the authority believes will make sure it remains honest, open and focused on delivering first-class services.
This comes after 1,245 residents and staff completed a survey to find out what mattered to them, with results showing most believed the council should improve communication with residents, listen more, and ensure staff were trained.
Bob Lanzer, WSCC’s cabinet member for corporate relations, said: “This is a bold step towards making sure we are delivering the best possible services to our residents.
“We are saying everything we do must be focused on our residents and businesses and that we must listen, value peoples’ opinions, be honest and realistic, and be trustworthy.
“These are the solid foundations the council’s services are being built on. Our residents and staff have spoken, and we have listened.”
The promise, which is being made as part of National Customer Services Week, aims to put the council’s customers at the heart of everything it does by:
• Being customer-centred, giving a helpful, polite and knowledgeable service, making it easy for you to access information, services and support when you need them
• Listening to what you want, explaining what we will do and keeping you informed and involved in what we are doing
• Being honest and realistic, only making promises we can deliver, making best use of the resources we have
• Being trustworthy, doing what we say we will, taking responsibility and putting it right if we get it wrong
• Valuing your opinion, seeking your ideas and feedback; recognising that you know your own situation best.
In return the council is asking residents and businesses to help the council deliver the promise by:
• Working with us to get the information we need to help you
• Treating our staff politely
• Letting us know if you have any specific needs
• Letting us know if you have to change an appointment.
The council is already looking at improving its website by including web chat for accessing information, reporting a problem, and making payments and bookings.
The council has also tried to simplify the process for residents applying for a Blue Badge. Everyone can now apply, upload documents, and pay online. Residents renewing and paying online will have their Blue Badge sent directly to their home. Those applying for the first time will be able to collect their badge from their local library.
Residents can now look up their school catchment area or clubs and societies on the website using their postcode and the council is also looking to build on this to develop a ‘find my nearest’ feature on the site.
Mr Lanzer added: “All these improvements will help our residents, businesses, visitors and partner organisations deal with the council in a faster, more efficient and more effective way.”
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