Newark and Sherwood District Council Customer Experience Strategy with extended hours aims to make it easier to get in touchPosted on: Thursday, August 31, 2023
If you work 9-5 and need to contact an organisation it can be really frustrating if the only time they are open is when you are at work.
We are announcing a trial for the Customer Services and Housing Repairs team to be available on the phones from 8am on Monday mornings, our busiest day of the week, in a bid to tackle this issue. The new hours will start from Monday 4 September and will run for 12 weeks.
This move is part of our new Customer Promise, backed by our new Customer Experience Strategy at Newark and Sherwood District Council (NSDC).
Each year the NSDC’s Customer Services and Housing Repairs Team respond to over 170,000 customer contacts, via the telephone, email, web chat or social media. Enquiries vary significantly from reports of anti-social behaviour to Council Tax billing and from lost dogs to support with housing advice or waste queries. Our website also gets an additional 515,000 views every year.
While most District Council services can now be dealt with online either using our ‘e-forms’ or webchat and digital self-service, the team understands that some residents may not be able to contact us this way, or simply just need to speak to a person.
Jill Baker, Customer Services Business Manager at Newark and Sherwood District Council goes on to explain, “We offer a unique service to all our residents. If you call us, we have teams of dedicated people ready to help straight away. Our average call waiting times are below two minutes. So, whether you contact us by phone, through social media, web chat or email, or even in person at either of our two offices in Newark or Ollerton, our teams are there to help. The teams have the knowledge and expertise to answer the majority of enquiries straight away and will take the time to ensure you get the help and information you need.
“The new Promise and Strategy have been developed to put the customer front and centre of everything we do, and we’ll be making it even easier for customers to contact with us.
“A trial will be starting shortly to provide an out of hours service on Monday mornings, the busiest day of the week for our customer services team on the phones, we will be starting at 8am rather than our current 9 o’clock start.”
Our website, www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk, is often the first port of call for customers. But we recognise that digital is not for everyone and it is incredibly important that when our customers contact us, they get the support they need.
Councillor Paul Peacock, leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council explains further, “We all know there are certain places we don’t like to phone, banks, insurance companies, the taxman! Being put on hold, with long waits and then being passed to lots of different people makes these organisations hard to deal with. We don’t want to be seen like that. We’re approachable and really want to help.
“I’ve always been incredibly impressed by the officers at the District Council and I know a lot of my fellow Councillors, many of whom are new to their positions, have remarked on what fantastic and knowledgeable teams we have. The new Promise and Strategy are designed to underline how our great teams deliver friendly, consistent and timely help to our residents and other customers. The staff here really buy in to our values. Serving people and improving lives is absolutely at the heart of what we do, we are approachable and caring at all times.”
We are always committed to customer feedback as well as Councillor Peacock continues, “We really want to know what you think. If we’ve done something well, please tell us. If we’ve done something that you haven’t liked, please tell us. We’re making it as easy as possible for customers to give their feedback. Whether that’s at the end of a phone call or via the feedback buttons on the tops of our web pages there are lots of ways to let us know what you think of our service. We will grow, develop and learn from our residents and this Strategy and promise is our first step in that commitment.”
The new Customer Experience Strategy has been built on the foundations of the District Councils existing vision and values, it can be viewed online at https://www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/media/nsdc-redesign/documents-and-images/your-council/our-policies/policies-and-procedures/Customer-Experience-Strategy.pdf.
Our customers range from those who live in the district through to anyone who studies here, visits, works or does business in the district. We aim to treat all these different groups of people equally and consistently.
Customer feedback is always welcome, this can be done through our social channels, online via webchat and email or of course by calling us. Our advisors are available Tuesday to Friday 9am-5pm and of course from 8am-5pm on Mondays from Monday 4 September. For more information on how to get in touch, go to https://www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/contactus/