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Customer care standards

We are committed to delivering excellent services to all our customers.  Our customer care charter sets out the targets we work to when delivering services.

​We aim to provide high quality services and information and our customer care charter sets out the targets we work to when delivering services.  These standards relate to the whole council.  Some services have further specific standards but we will tell you where these apply.

We aim to:

  • offer a friendly, welcoming and professional service
  • make our services, reception and public areas fully accessible
  • listen carefully to your question and give you the most appropriate and full reply as possible
  • advertise our opening times and emergency contact details when our offices are not open
  • offer a range of ways you can contact and communicate with us
  • treat everyone politely and fairly

Answering phone calls and text messages

We aim to:

  • answer your call within 6 rings / 20 seconds.  If we are very busy and your call joins a queue we aim to put you through to a customer advisor within 60 seconds
  • answer your call clearly stating our name and service
  • put you through to the right place first time if it is necessary to pass your call to someone else, and tell you who you are being transferred to
  • take your number and call you back within 2 working days if we need more time to answer your question
  • respond to your text message or phone message within 2 working days

Responding to letters, faxes, emails and web forms

We aim to:

  • send an acknowledgement within 5 working days and a response in full to your letter within 10 working days of receiving it.  Where a full response cannot be given, we will update you regularly
  • send an acknowledgement within 2 working days and a response in full to your email, fax or web form within 5 working days of receiving it.  Where a full response cannot be given we will update you regularly
  • give you details of who is dealing with your enquiry and their contact details

Meeting our staff

We aim to:

  • deal with your questions within 10 minutes of you arriving at our public offices, or give an explanation for any delay
  • be on time for appointments, let you know beforehand if we need to change it and give you an explanation for the delay
  • make sure that the first person you deal with either answers your question or passes you onto the right person
  • make sure private rooms are available in our public offices if you wish to speak about a private or confidential matter
  • treat you and your property with respect

Information

We aim to:

  • produce information about services that is accurate, accessible, useful and up to date
  • tell you how to get information in other languages or formats such as large print or audio tape
  • hold personal information about you securely in line with the Data Protection Act

Please can you:

  • treat our staff with courtesy and respect.  We will not tolerate rude or abusive behaviour
  • give us all relevant paperwork and as much information as possible so that we can deal with your enquiry as quickly as possible
  • arrive on time and let us know beforehand if you need to cancel or rearrange an appointment
  • give us advance notice if you need a signer, interpreter or translator
  • be reasonable with your requests and demands
  • let us know if you are unhappy with the service you have received

Different timescales apply to correspondence dealt with under the compliments, suggestions and complaints procedure and other legally defined periods for responses, such as Data Protection and Freedom of Information.

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