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Agenda item

Customer Experience Strategic Review

Report of Policy and Improvement Officer



The Committee received a report around Customer Experience and Customer Service. The committee were being asked to note the report appended to the papers “Our Council Transitional Committee – Strategic Review – Customer Focus”, agree the recommendations in Section 5 of that report be fed into the Strategic Review of Customer Experience, and the recommendations form the basis of handover from the Chair of Our Council Transitional Committee to the appropriate Committee and Committee Chair in the New Committee System from May 2022.


Present for this item were Elyse Senior-Wadsworth, Head of Business Strategy and One Year Plan Theme Lead and Paul Taylor, Head of Customer Services.



Elyse Senior-Wadsworth introduced and explained the report and appendices. References included some areas of customer contact requiring improvements, key workstreams being utilised to shape a better offer and use of recommendations in the Strategic Review of Customer Experience. The different groups of customer base were outlined and it was explained how insight will be used to understand the challenges customers face. The LGA Peer Review elements were outlined as was customers insight. It was highlighted that a shift in approach and governance should reflect that customers are at the heart of the service. Use of Web Platform, Automation and Project resource were all explained in how they will make it easier for customer to identify solutions for themselves and get early assistance if needed.  It was stated that the customer journey from start to finish should be seamless. The closing recommendations were explained to the committee.



Members made various comments, suggestions and asked a number of questions as follows:-

·       Whether the 15 principles of good service would be adopted or adapted, how it will be ensured that there is a consistent approach across the whole council and what types of services are being offered to customers. Clarification was asked for on timings outlined in the report and it was questioned if there will be a facility to log housing repairs on the website. It was stated that whilst improvements are starting to take place, what the plans will be in regard to the work programme moving forwards. It was suggested that knowing which officers/directors are responsible for specific areas would be useful when querying progression of work. It was also questioned if the word ‘customer’ was the correct word to use.

·       It was responded that the language surrounding the principles of good service will require some testing. It was explained that there is a hope to adopt the principles, but the language will be tailored for relevance. It was explained that there is a two-fold fold approach as to how the governance review will be taken forwards, including the Improvement Board and the getting Strategic One Council approach correct – the staffing support around this was explained. It was also responded that the LGA review was of customer services and was acknowledged that it was important to look beyond contact centre. The importance of using Council wide standards and recognising that customer profiles were vast and largely varied was stated. An overview of what was being done strategically with transition to a committee system, engagement with the public and staff response and behaviour was also explained. It was stated that the website project phase is coming to an end and is due for development in June/July. It was explained that content will need migrating and if that goes according to plan then timescales are within control and that by summer the tools needed to improve the site and prioritise services will be in place.  It was also explained that a review of the forms used to contact the council will be improved and ready to use from around May 2022 with an aim that access to services is streamlined. It was acknowledged that there is still some work needed in some areas of the contact centre and work is happening to achieve this. It was also explained that there is the intention for a customer portal to be used where customers can log and track the progress of their repairs and that the LGA funding will be used to support the development of the portal. It was clarified that there is a target date for the portal to be running by the end of the calendar year. It was explained that the work plan is evolving, and efforts need to be prioritised. It was acknowledged that an overarching structure needs to be created to support this and that the timescale surrounding this will work well within the new structure. It was explained that using the correct measures and data is crucial. It was suggested that a summary page of ‘Who, What and When’ would be useful within the wider council. It was acknowledged that transparency around owners of areas of work is very important. The use of the word ‘customer’ was noted and will be reviewed.

The chair thanked officers for the report and officers thanked Members for their Input



RESOLVED: That the Committee agree the recommendation outlined in the report


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