News

Kingston Council recognised for customer service improvement

Improvements to Kingston Council’s customer services have been recognised with the award of a Customer Service Excellence certificate.

The Customer Service Excellence quality mark is a nationally recognised performance standard which assesses how an organisation interacts with those who use its services.

In order to be recognised for the certificate, organisations must promptly respond to customers, listen to views about the service provided and consult customers in a meaningful way, as well as provide accurate information through its channels and building a customer focused culture.

The council’s Customer Access Strategy, launched in September 2018, set out planned improvements to customer service channels, including improving the council’s website through consultation with residents and businesses. The council also targeted improved responsiveness through all channels - face to face, phone, website and through social media - as well as ensuring it delivers a consistent service to the community.

Improvements made so far include reducing average call waiting times from over half an hour to just under three minutes, while 97 per cent of Freedom of Information requests were responded to on time (up from less than 50 per cent a year ago). In addition, 83 per cent of complaints have been responded to on time, again up from less than 50 per cent.

Stephen Evans, Director of Communities at Kingston Council, said: 

“For many people, our customer services - whether that’s the face to face, our telephone contact centre, or our website - represents the ‘front door’ of the council. These services needed to improve and it’s good to see progress being made.  There is more work to do, and the Customer Service Excellence certification is a great reflection that things are moving in the right direction. This would not have been possible without the involvement of residents and other members of the community to help us improve.”

As a part of our co-design, events with residents, businesses, partners, councillors and colleagues are taking place throughout the borough until June as part of the website redesign work. If you are interested in attending, visit kingston.gov.uk/digital_platform