Customer Service Excellence
The Planning Service first achieved Customer Service Excellence (CSE) recognition in July 2014 and following an assessment in October 2017, the award was successfully retained.
The assessor concluded:
- The service is clearly customer focused and has a good understanding of customer groups and their requirements
- The culture of the service is found to be extremely well focused on customer service with leaders and officers combining strongly to achieve this outcome
- There is a clear understanding of customer needs and a good range of information is provided
- Services are very accessible to customers with particular reference being made to the regular availability of officers at the offices in Lanark following the relocation of the team to Hamilton in August 2016.
- The desire to deliver services at first point of contact is described as outstanding with officers seen to be willing to share information with colleagues and partners and reduce unnecessary contact
- The diligent way in which customers are kept informed on progress through the planning application process was also highlighted.
During the visit the assessor met a group of customers who shared their view that the service compares extremely favourably with other local authorities.
The effort to identify and engage with hard to reach customers was congratulated and the close working relationship with the Business Support team to facilitate economic growth and investment was held up as an example. The type and range of information is provided in a variety of ways and reviewed constantly to identify improvements. The introduction of a new record management system, including an improved Planning Portal, in early 2018 will further enhance this aspect of the service.
On a related note, performance improvements across the planning service were achieved in 2016/17. These achievements are described more fully in the Planning Performance Framework.
Overall, the recognition of the high quality customer service that is provided and performance improvement is a reflection of our dedicated planning team.