Saturday, May 25, 2024

Ipswich council effort to improve customer service pays off

Ipswich City Council says efforts to provide improved customer service for residents are paying off, with Council exceeding the local government sector benchmark for quality assurance, according to an independent assessment.

Independent industry experts, CSBA The Customer Experience Experts, gave Council an overall quality assurance score of 61.6% – higher than the 51.8% local government sector benchmark.

CSBA made 78 calls to the Council between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023, assessing against a quality assurance framework based on three pillars of best practice: success, ease and sentiment.

Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee Chairperson, Councillor Andrew Fechner said the improvement was a direct result of council’s three-year Customer Experience Strategy.

“This is a great result not only for the hardworking customer services team at council but also our community who directly benefit from improved customer service outcomes,” Cr Fechner said.

“Council receives a high volume of interactions with residents and other customers, recording almost 16,000 customer service calls in June, more than 1,300 face-to-face interactions, about 7,300 customer service emails and 5,300 customer service interactions online.

“This council made a commitment to put residents and other customers first to improve the experience for people contacting council, and the results of CSBA’s assessment show the very real gains that are being made.

“But we are not resting on our laurels and there is more work to be done. In August, council launched its Customer Charter outlining an ongoing commitment to providing professional and seamless services to the community.”

Council has also upgraded its Snap Send Solve channel to make it make it easier for residents to have community issues addressed.

“The community can report local issues through the free Snap Send Solve app or the ‘report an issue’ tool on council’s website and now expect to receive a consistent customer service experience from both channels,” said Cr Fechner.

“Council is making every effort to ensure we deliver what we say we will and be consistent, approachable, responsive and efficient.”

The quality assurance results are included in the latest Bi-annual Customer Services Report Card, presented to Ordinary Council last week.

The report also showed customer demand increased between January and June 2023, with enquiries about rates, waste, roads/footpaths, infringements, animal management and planning and development the most common reasons for residents and other customers contacting council.

To view council’s new Customer Charter, visit Ipswich.qld.gov.au/customercharter.

To view council’s Customer Experience Strategy, visit Ipswich.qld.gov.au.

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