Cabinet Members go ‘back to the floor’ in Customer Services

Release Date: 03 October 2017

Three Cabinet Members spent time in the Council’s customer services over the past two weeks, hearing first hand from residents why they pick up the phone to the local authority.

Richmond Council’s customer services team handles around 1,000 calls every day, answering a whole range of questions on services from Council Tax, electoral registration, birth registrations, parking and recycling.

As part of a programme of members 'going back to the floor', Council Leader - Cllr Paul Hodgins, Cllr Stephen Speak - Cabinet Member for Finance and  Performance and Cllr Gareth Elliott - Cabinet Member for Digital and Technology, visited the Customer Services Team. They talked to some of the 27 customer service representatives and listened to calls as they came in.

The visit enabled members to understand the top issues residents’ raise when they contact the Council, see how the Council handles their enquiries and identify ways that we can help customers access more services online rather than having to pick up the phone. 

Cllr Paul Hodgins, said:

“I would like to give credit to our Customer Services Team. I was very impressed by the variety of questions they were asked and the sheer amount of knowledge the team displayed. The visit was enlightening. It made me think about how we can support our staff to make it easier for them to support our residents.”

Cllr Gareth Elliott, added:

"I was really inspired by the professionalism and skill set of our customer service colleagues. The visit also highlighted how digital technology can work in partnership with our more traditional channels to enhance the experience and improve the process for residents contacting the Council.

“For example, simple queries could be pushed to people via their mobile phones or via the internet, while more complex issues could be dealt with in person." 

Cllr Stephen Speak, added: 

“Our award winning Customer Services Team are the day-to-day face of the Council and work really hard to help all residents when they call. They strive to provide a one-stop-shop, dealing with many enquiries there and then. I would like to praise the team for dealing with enquiries so professionally and effectively. 

“Seeing first-hand how they handle the range of problems is an important step in our plans to invest in new technology that will make the Council’s service even better and more efficient.”

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P455/17

Updated: 20 October 2017