Customer service charter consultation

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Purpose The main objectives of the consultation were to find out:
* the views of partners, employees and the public on the draft charter;
* the areas of the draft charter that should be changed; and
* any additions that should be made to the draft charter.
Subject Accessibility
Commissioned by Cabinet working group on customer access
Geographic area All of Lancashire
Method Questionnaire - online
Consultation with Community or voluntary group
Faith communities
General public
Life in Lancashire panel
Date 27/04/2007 - 25/05/2008
Undertaken by Corporate Research and Intelligence Team, Policy Unit


Number of responses 445
Key findings The draft customer care charter was received positively and appears to be very welcome from all of the groups consulted. It has raised some important points however. In terms of the charter itself, there is broad agreement with the principles set out. But it could be seen as idealistic and, particularly with some elements, as unworkable in practice. It was felt that:

* delivering the service was more important than how it is delivered;
* being dealt with in a human, understanding and professional way is more important than the appropriateness of staff's dress;
* staff should be able to deal with queries and be empowered enough to take decisions to improve resolution speed and lessen the instances of customers being passed between various employees and sections;
* some of the timeframes proposed in the charter need to be revised to take account of factors such as weekends and traffic problems;
* the way the charter was written needed improving because it includes jargon and some of the points weren't clear; and
* the performance monitors were good, but care should be taken on the number of performance indicators and the balance between performance management and service delivery.

Moving on to the organisation's infrastructure, the comments made, particularly by employees, demonstrate that as things stand the county council will not be able to deliver some elements of the charter without considerable investment. This could be either one-off capital investment in factors such as reception areas for all public-facing offices, or long-term investment in increased staffing levels. It was suggested that mechanisms are introduced to share the feedback the organisation receives to enable learning and celebration of success. There is also the opportunity to make the feedback channels available more transparent.

Project document(s)


Contact information

For more information about this research contact:

Mike Walker
01772 533445


Related information

Customer access strategy: