Customer Service Excellence
The Planning Service achieved Customer Service Excellence recognition in July 2014. The CSE approach is aimed at delivering an excellent customer focussed service and keeping the customer at the heart of what we do. It involves the Service testing itself against 57 criteria grouped under the following headings:
- customer insight
- information and access
- timeliness and quality of service
At the time of the award five criteria were rated as compliance plus. Eight areas achieved partial compliance requiring further work to be carried out to achieve the required standard.
The first of the annual reviews of the award was carried out by an assessor in June 2015. This resulted in one further area being rated as compliance plus while only three area are now judged as achieving partial compliance. The additional compliance plus rating was achieved on what the assessor described as significant and very strong feedback from customers that the quality of service provided is outstanding and more important to them than timeliness. This reflects the overarching vision of the Council Plan to improve the quality of life for everyone in South Lanarkshire which in the context of the Planning service means promoting the continued growth and regeneration of South Lanarkshire by encouraging sustainable economic and social development. In turn the service has developed a culture of engaging with the Council’s partners and stakeholders to achieve a positive outcome for proposals through constructive negotiation and discussion.
Work involved in achieving compliance in the five areas that were previously partially successful included the carrying out of additional customer surveys including those who took part in the Local Development Process; the review of the Development Management Charter which involved input from officers and a small customer focus group and the setting of more challenging performance targets; a focus on the needs of customers involving improved engagement with them by officers particularly at the pre-application stage; and improved access to information at public counters and the website.
The assessor noted that the service has a very clear corporate culture of high quality customer service and that there is ‘an undoubted commitment to deliver customer focussed services that is shared by all staff’. Customer insight is gained from a structured strategy to consult and engage customers when planning to improve services. A further strength highlighted in the assessment is the highly effective way in which partnerships operate in practice.
We continually strive to improve the experience of customers and invite customers and potential customers to discuss and review our service and standards. If you have any suggestions on how we can improve our service, please email us.