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Customer Charter and Standards

Customer Charter​

You are our priority

We are committed to providing a consistently excellent standard of service by putting our customers at the centre of everything we do. Our Charter sets out our commitment to you.

We will play our part by:

  • Resolving your enquiry the first time you contact us whenever possible, and helping you to track its progress
  • Offering a variety of ways to access our services, including a quicker and easier on line experience
  • Taking your information once - and we'll always do our best to remember it
  • Aiming to find a satisfactory solution and have a 'can-do' attitude within available resources
  • Responding to your contact within our published timescales

To help us, we would like you to play your part by:

  • Accessing our services on line as much as possible
  • Recognising that we don't have enough resources to meet every need
  • Providing us with the information we need to help you
  • Asking us to explain anything you are not sure of
  • Keeping any appointments that you have with us, and notifying us if you are unable to attend

We will be respectful by:

  • Treating everyone fairly and respectfully, with equality and diversity at the heart of everything we do
  • Being polite, helpful, open and honest with you
  • Listening to you and understanding your needs
  • Explaining decisions and outcomes clearly
  • Respecting your rights to privacy and confidentiality
  • Ensuring our information is in a format that can be easily accessed and understood

To help us, we would like you to:

  • Treat us politely and with respect
  • Not use aggressive behaviour or inappropriate language, as this will not be tolerated

We will constantly improve by:

  • Encouraging you to comment on our services, using the internet, telephone, response forms, or through a member of staff
  • Working with you when we design services to make sure they meet your needs, including new ways of working as result of COVID-19
  • Publishing our performance to indicate if we are on track
  • Handling any complaints with professionalism, and learning lessons when we fall short of our standards

To help us, we would like you to:

  • Offer us your ideas for improvement
  • Let us know if you have received outstanding service using our Compliments Form

Customer Standards

These are our standards which set out the timescales and standards you can expect us to follow when you contact us.

In using services online, you can expect that we:

  • Are accessible 24/7
  • Will enable you to report issues, pay, book, update, apply for and more
  • Enable you to register for a customer account which will offer a personalised and interactive service, and allows you to track progress with your requests
  • Will provide access to Council news, information, decisions and consultations concerning your local community
  • Will give you help and support to access and use the self-serve elements of our website
  • Will provide the information you need or use our search tool to find what you are looking for

In using the telephone, you can expect that we will:

  • Be available between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday
  • Transfer you to the named officer you ask for, if available or appropriate
  • Answer your call within two minutes
  • Limit the occasions you will need to leave a voicemail message to exceptional circumstances only
  • Make you aware who is dealing with your enquiry
  • Provide a customer who has a hearing impairment with access to an alternative system

In writing to us or emailing us, you can expect that we will:

  • Acknowledge your correspondence as soon as possible and confirm how it will be dealt with, or if we need further information from you
  • Issue you with a full response to your enquiry at this point, or provide you with details of who is dealing with the matter and how long they will need to respond
  • Use plain language and offer information in a variety of formats
  • Provide clear details of any outcomes and how we will take them forward

When you visit us face-to-face, you can expect that we will:

  • Wear name badges and talk with you in private if you prefer, and it is safe to do so
  • Arrange appointments if you need to see someone else
  • Confirm the appointment in writing, normally by email and/or SMS text
  • Send you a reminder about the appointment by email and/or SMS 24 hours beforehand
  • Endeavour to see those with appointments within 10 minutes
  • Help you to get on line if this meets your needs

When visiting you in your home, you can expect that we will:

  • Provide you with the name and contact details of the person visiting you in advance, unless it is inappropriate to do so
  • Agree an appointment time with you and keep you informed if a delay occurs
  • Present ID cards, displaying names and a photograph upon arrival, giving you the opportunity to check our identity

In relation to complaints, you can expect that we will:

  • Always acknowledge your comment, compliment or complaint, and provide you with a reference number
  • Contact you about your complaint within five working days and, if we cannot resolve it informally, respond to you within 20 days for simple issues and within 40 days for complex matters
  • Resolve your issue quickly and informally, whenever possible
  • Where required we will investigate your complaint further, providing a full response and/or update in a timely manner
  • Keep you informed if your complaint is complicated and requires additional time to investigate
  • Acknowledge, accept and apologise for fault, and offer a reasonable remedy
  • Use learning from complaints to improve overall customer service and service delivery
  • Support your right to raise unresolved complaints with the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, and respond fully to any issues they raise with us in response to your complaint

To protect your confidentiality, you can expect that we will:

  • Ensure that all our staff are appropriately trained
  • Handle all information you provide to us sensitively and confidentially
  • Manage all your information in accordance with legislation
  • Make sure that your information will not be discussed with any unauthorised person
  • Ask you to provide only relevant information and explain why we need it
  • Investigate and respond to any concerns you may have about your personal data