West Sussex County Council has launched a commitment to all its customers by drawing up a five point promise on service delivery.
The Customer Promise sets out five key areas the council believes will make sure it remains honest, open and focused on delivering first class services.
The Promise puts 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 Promise comes after 1,245 residents and staff completed the Customer Promise survey to find out what mattered to them.
The results showed most residents and staff believe the council should improve communication with residents, listen more, and train its staff to make sure they deliver the promise.
West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Corporate Relations, Bob Lanzer, 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 is being made as part of National Customer Services Week starting on Monday 5 October and taking place throughout the country.
The council is already delivering on its commitment to put the customer at the heart of everything it does by improving how people use its website including web chat, accessing information, reporting a problem, making payments and make bookings.
The council has also made it easier 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, which can be accessed using mobile phones and tablets.
The council is also looking to build on this to develop a ‘find my nearest’ feature on the site.
Bob 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.”