Customer Care Standards

Our commitment to you

We aim to provide an excellent service no matter how you contact us. We take pride in treating people well, being accessible to all our communities and providing a helpful outcome to any enquiry. We want to ensure that everyone who contacts us, for whatever reason, is pleased with the service that they receive. If any of our customers ever feel disappointed about any aspect of our service we would like to know.

We promise that:

We will take ownership of your enquiry

  • We will resolve all queries within service levels set out in this standard to get it right first time for you
  • If we don’t know the answer immediately, we will go away and find out for you and let you know of any issues along the way
  • We will be clear about our proposed actions and anticipated timescales.

We are helpful and transparent

  • We will communicate in plain, clear language so that it is easy for you to understand
  • We will be honest and open when we cannot provide you the service you want and give you the reasons why
  • We will continually develop our staff and improve our systems and processes so that we can deliver excellent customer service to you.

We listen to you and act on what you tell us

  • We will make sure there are a variety of opportunities for you to engage with us and tell us what you think of our services and how we can improve
  • We will let you know of the final outcome of your enquiry and if we can’t meet your request, we will tell you why.

What you can expect from us

We are committed to design and build more of our services online and make them available 24 hours a day. This will help you to apply for services, report problems, provide accessible services and make payments and bookings. We will also provide information in alternative formats and languages when we receive a request.

When you phone us

We will answer the phone as quickly as possible. The person who answers your call will aim to resolve your query there and then. If we cannot answer your query, we will provide you with a timescale for coming back to you with answer.

When you write, email or use our online forms

We will respond to simple enquiries within five working days and all enquiries within ten working days. If we cannot respond within ten working days we will explain why and tell you when to expect a response. For Freedom of Information requests, we will respond within 20 days.

When you meet with us

We will provide computers and Wi-Fi in our reception area. This will allow you to make an online enquiry if you do not have an appointment, or we do not offer the service you want face to face. If you need it, we will help you to complete your enquiry online on your smartphone or on a computer.

If you wish to meet with a specific officer, please contact them to make an appointment in advance of visiting us. Our officers can be out of the office, on site, or in other meetings.

If we meet you elsewhere, we will arrive promptly and show you council identification to confirm who we are.

When you contact us via the website or social media

We will publish up to date and relevant information on our website to help answer your query. We will also provide webchat managed by our Customer Services and Council Tax teams during office hours.

We will monitor social media regularly throughout the working day and where possible and appropriate will respond to your contact as soon as we can. If we need longer to look into your query, we will contact you to let you know this and when you can expect a full response. We will monitor social media over weekends and bank holidays for emergencies.

How you can help us

So that we can deliver on our promise to you, we need you to:

  • Treat our staff courteously and with respect so that they can deliver the best service possible to you
  • Inform us of any changes in your personal circumstances which may affect services we provide to you
  • Please be patient with us and avoid making unnecessary repeat contact with us whilst you are waiting for your response