The customer must come first, says council

Improving customer services for residents, businesses and organisations across Rother will be at the top of the district council’s agenda during a national awareness week.

Rother District Council is using National Customer Service Week (October 4 – 8) to highlight the issues and to look at ways it can improve how it engages with its communities.

The council is already in the process of carrying out two major surveys – one with residents and one with its own staff – to find out what is working and what isn’t.

A new Corporate Customer Services Strategy with updated customer standards is also being planned by the authority.

Customer Services Week is being promoted by the Institute of Customer Service (ICS) and council chiefs will be using some of the themes of the Week to increase awareness.

This includes signing up the authority to support the ICS ‘Service with Respect’ campaign – which calls on the Government and many organisations to do more to protect customer facing staff from rising levels of abuse and hostility.

The week will also highlight the work of thousands of staff who are supporting their local communities. These include public sector, health, shop workers, delivery drivers and carers.

Cllr Susan Prochak, Rother District Council Deputy Leader, said “We want to take the opportunity to say a big thank you to all the customer service teams who have been supporting communities, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

“At our own authority, there are many examples of Rother staff going above and beyond the call of duty to help people, and we plan to celebrate those outstanding achievements during Customer Service Week.

“However, we know we don’t always get it right. We know that when it comes to how we engage with our customers, there’s always room for improvement.

“We recently agreed an action plan to improve our planning service so that it better fits the needs of our residents, organisations and developers. We now need to look at other areas of the council to see what customer service improvements we can make. These won’t happen overnight, but we must aim to ensure that the customer comes first in all that we do.”

Rother District Council will be reporting the initial results of the two surveys at its next Cabinet meeting on Monday, October 4, when councillors will agree on the next steps in the improvement process.

Ends.

Published: 1st October 2021