TAMESIDE Council’s customer service has been praised by assessors who found it went above and beyond standards.
The Customer Service Excellence Assessment 2018 not only awarded the council the standard with 100 per cent compliance against all criteria but also ten new areas of Compliance Plus – a discretionary element that can be awarded for parts of a criteria and recognises exceptional best practice.
The lead assessor stated: “This is a remarkable achievement to be recommending 10 areas of Compliance Plus, each year it gets harder and harder for you as you are starting the assessment from a higher benchmark.”
The aim of the standard is to encourage, enable and reward organisations that are delivering services based on a genuine understanding of the needs and preferences of their customers and communities. It tests in great depth areas that are a priority for customers, with particular focus on delivery, timeliness, information, professionalism and staff attitude. Emphasis is also placed on developing customer insight, understanding the user’s experience and robust measurement methods.
Since first achieving the standard in 2009, Tameside Council was one of the first in the country to gain the accreditation as a whole council and has gone from strength to strength in continued compliance.
The reaccreditation process began months ago, when service areas prepared written submissions of evidence. This was followed by a five day onsite assessment where assessors met with more than 120 people, including elected members, staff, partners and customers, to gain an understanding and demonstration of how they work together. Praise was given to the strong partnership working between Tameside Council and NHS Tameside and Glossop CCG as the Strategic Commission.
Feedback included the comments:
Compliance Plus shows that the council has an in-depth understanding of the characteristics of current and potential customers, has a strategy for engaging and involving customers, has made the consultation of customers integral to continually improving services, regularly reviews strategies and opportunities for consulting and engaging with customers and has made positive changes to services as a result of analysing customer experience.
Tameside Council Executive Leader Councillor Brenda Warrington said: “I’m delighted with the result of the assessment and the assessor’s comments, which show that the council puts the customer at the heart of service delivery. It’s a tremendous outcome to not only meet 100 per cent compliance but also achieve 10 areas of Compliance Plus, especially as each year we start from a higher benchmark.
“It’s essential that we have external validation to view the way we deliver our services and that we constantly review and continually strive to improve. I’d like to congratulate our staff on this achievement and thank them for their hard work.”
The standard is reviewed annually for the next two years followed by a full review after year three.
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