The Customer Service five-year strategy has been developed through engagement sessions with community groups, town and parish councils, councillors, council staff and a public consultation.
Cllr Ash Cartman, North Somerset Council’s Executive Member for Corporate Services, said: “As a council we offer more than 600 different services to our residents, businesses and partners, and how we deliver customer service impacts everyone who comes into contact with us. Our vision for this five-year strategy is to put our customers at the heart of what we do, listening to their feedback and reflecting it in the design and delivery of our services.”
The strategy has six themes which will shape the council’s customer service standards; customer focus, supporting and assisting customers; connection and making it easy for customers to contact the council; empowering council staff so there is a strong customer service culture within the council; delivering services effectively; working with partners to improve the customer experience; and making the best use of digital technologies.
Now the strategy has been agreed, an action plan will be created to make sure the council delivers the strategy. As part of the strategy, the council is committed to improving its customer service, as Cllr Cartman explains:
“Some of the key areas we’re looking to improve are making our face-to-face service more widely available, improving our digital services, improving the way that we feed back to our customers and also how we listen and improve. We’ll be carrying out a pilot scheme where council officers visit libraries and join the mobile library at locations across North Somerset. This means people who aren’t able to access our services online can come to us, in person, with their enquiries.”
“We’ll continue to strongly promote our digital services and encourage our customers to use them where appropriate. But we also recognise that digital can’t meet every need. Promoting digital services allows us to use our limited resources to support our most vulnerable or digitally excluded customers in other ways such as over the phone and face-to-face. Ultimately this will help all of our residents contact us when they need to and supports our ambition for an open and fairer North Somerset.”
The strategy was approved by the Executive at their meeting yesterday (Wednesday 27 April). The meeting is available to watch back on the council’s YouTube channel, and the report and the customer service strategy are available at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/aprilexecutivemeeting. Details of the pilot scheme will be published when they become available.