Customer Contact Standards
At Richmond upon Thames Council we aim to provide a first class service for customers to show our commitment to Customer Service Excellence.
To do this we have revised the Customer Contact Standards to ensure that we offer our users a consistently high level of customer service.
Our commitment to you:
- We aim to resolve 80% of your general enquiries at the first point of contact.
- We will make it easy for you to get in touch by providing a range of ways to contact us.
- Our staff will be courteous, respectful and committed to resolving enquiries from customers as soon as possible. Where an enquiry does not relate to a service provided by the council, staff will ensure the enquiry is passed on quickly and effectively to one of our partner agencies.
- We will not discriminate against anyone because of race, sex, marital status, age, disability, sexuality or religion.
- We will ask for permission to collect and share your information within the Council, and keep information about you as accurate and up to date as possible- with your help
- We will reduce the amount of unnecessary contact customers have to make by redesigning services which will improve customer satisfaction and efficiency
- We will continue to be assessed against the Customer Service Excellence national standard and Customer Contact Accreditation to ensure that we continue to improve the level of service we give you.
- We will review and publish our service standards annually and be accountable for our performance.
- We will consult with you regularly, welcome your involvement and act on your feedback wherever possible.
- We will carry out independent mystery shopping exercises and act on the results.
When you telephone us:
- We aim to answer at least 80% of calls within 20 seconds.
- We will take a message and get back to you within one working day if we cannot resolve your enquiry straight away or the person you want is not available.
- If we pass your enquiry on to another department, we will pass on your details and the nature of your query so that you do not have to repeat it to another person.
- We will only transfer your call to a phone answered by voice mail with your prior agreement.
When you visit us:
- We aim to attend to you within 10 minutes of your arrival, but if we don’t, we will let you know when you can be seen and explain the reason for the delay.
- If you prefer not to wait, we will offer you an appointment at a time to suit you (where possible).
- If you have an appointment with us we aim to see you at the appointed time, if we are delayed, we will explain why, tell you how long you may have to wait and give you the option of making an appointment for another day and time.
- We will provide a private area for confidential inquiries should you wish.
- We will ensure that our reception areas are clearly signposted, accessible, clean and welcoming at all times.
- We will provide loop hearing systems, and access to lip speakers and signers on request.
- We will provide interpreters, on request, for customers for whom English is their second language, and/or a telephone interpreting service.
- We will have a free internal phone and access to a Mincom or other appropriate means of communication in the main reception area.
When you write/email us:
- We will respond to you within 7 working days. If we need longer to give you a full reply, we will send you an acknowledgement and let you know why and how much time we will take.
- We will acknowledge and respond to your letter/email within 7 working days. If we need longer to give you a full reply, we will send you an acknowledgement and let you know why and how much time we will take.
- We will write to you in a way that is easy to understand and use languages other than English when appropriate. We will arrange for a reply in Braille, large print or audio when requested.
- We will have an accessible and useable website and make it easy for you to find what you want.
- We will enable you make payments, fill in forms and get information on all Council services.
- We will inform you when we are running late for an appointment or if an appointment has to be cancelled.
- We will advise of the actions resulting from the visit and timescales.
- We will provide a clear explanation of the nature of a visit made without a prior appointment.
Occasionally, a service may not be able to meet the targets set out above (for example where there is a seasonal peak of requests for information). We will tell you if this is the case.
How we measure our service
We are keen to understand how well we are meeting our customers' needs. We undertake regular customer satisfaction surveys to measure our progress and to help plan improvements to our service. Read more on our customer feedback page.