The Assistant Director of Housing Management & Enforcement, the Customer Services Manager and the Customer Standards & Complaints Officer provided Members with an overview of the Council’s performance for Q3/Q4 2021/22 and overall performance for 2021/22, in relation to the Council’s customer standards and complaints.
The report presented followed the usual format but it was noted that following the change in delivery for customer standards and complaints it was hoped to provide reports in a slightly revised format and also increase the frequency to quarterly.
Officers focussed on the headline detail in the cover report.
2.1 Customer Service Standards – Telephones
The Council’s target was 93% of calls to be answered within 20 seconds. Cumulative performance for 2021/22 was 91%. This was as a result of underperformance in specific service areas across the year – notably Revenues & Benefits, Housing/Community Safety, and Planning.
This section would be amended going forward to also show abortive calls to give a fuller picture of performance against telephone standards.
It was noted that some departments had different targets to reflect the volume of calls dealt with and nature of the enquiries. Contact Centres had a target of 75% answered within 20 seconds. This was currently off target due to staffing issues. It was also noted that the data for Revenues & Benefits was now being split out to show both sections separately, to accurately reflect that they operated to different targets.
2.2 Compliments, Comments and Complaints
Officers went through the summary of performance on pages 15-17.
It was proposed that going forward the data be presented in a summary format showing volume per department, rather than the full written report. Customer Services would then monitor those receiving a large volume of compliments/ regular compliments and acknowledge accordingly.
It was proposed to present in a summary format going forward showing volume by department.
2.2 Complaints (Frontline resolution stage 1)
It was proposed going forward to present this in summary format by area, outlining number of complaints against each service category - this would allow easier analysis of trends in data which was welcomed by Members.
Following presentation of the report a brief discussion took place:
Q: What are we doing about face-to-face local contact outside of the Contact Centres, as discussed at a recent meeting?
A: Within the staff at South Normanton CC, a staff member had been identified to take on the role of a Community Customer Advisor to attend sessions at foodbanks and community venues in the south of the District.
Q: Do we have an understanding of the volume of people struggling to access services due to IT issues – is it shown in complaints data?
A: This would show up in the current data gathered and be addressed accordingly. It was hoped to get officers attending local groups across the District, not just in the south, and officers were currently gathering data on local groups/venues. It was also noted that some customers requiring extra help were identified by other means such as careline and the warden service.
Q: Why should we look to analyse the log of abortive calls?
A: Officers would like to trial providing this data to Members for at least a 12 month period. It was already produced as part of the call monitoring reports so did not require extra work and would allow Members to identify service areas that were not performing as expected.
Q: Are we looking to ensure outreach services in all areas without a physical Contact Centre located?
A: Yes that was the intention.
Q: More face-to-face contact with residents would be preferable as transport access to larger towns where Contact Centres are situated is often very limited adding hours to a journey that would be a few minutes by car.
A: It was hoped that further contact could be made with parish clerks via the quarterly Parish Council Liaison meetings. The aim was to agree a partnership approach to how residents could be referred or offered a localised outreach service.
Moved by Councillor Rose Bowler and seconded by Councillor Andrew Joesbury
RESOLVED that (1)the Customer Services Scrutiny Committee note the overall performance on Customer Service Standards and Compliments, Comments and Complaints,
(2) the reports change to a quarterly reporting frequency, with Members agreeing to the revised presentation of the data as proposed by officers,
(3) the report for Q1 & Q2 be scheduled earlier to the December meeting, with Q3 to be scheduled for February 2023.
(Assistant Director of Housing Management & Enforcement/
Customer Services Manager/ Customer Standards & Complaints Officer)