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Council promises to put customers at the heart of its service

Cheshire East Council has approved its first customer experience strategy, saying it was “setting out its vision to put customers at the heart of everything the council does”.

At a meeting of Cabinet last week, members approved the strategy, supporting the council’s new corporate plan that outlines a vision of an “open, fairer and greener” Cheshire East.

The council’s values commit the authority to listening to businesses and residents, understanding their needs and providing services that meet those needs – “fairly and responsibly”.

The strategy has been developed with the help of staff and customers. The views of residents, businesses and partners across the borough have been used to try and ensure that the approach captures what a good experience should be for different types of customers, however and wherever they choose to make contact.

The strategy sets out how the council aims to:
• Work as one organisation to offer a clear and consistent experience for customers;
• Ensure staff have the knowledge, skills, capability and tools to deliver a positive experience, however and wherever a customer interacts with the council;
• Deliver what customers need at the first point of contact;
• Have clear information for customers to access on all services; and
• Keep customers informed of progress and provide information which clearly sets out services, access routes and waiting times.

The council will also use technology to support digital access to services, while providing value for money.

Coun Amanda Stott, Cabinet member with responsibility for customer services, said: “With an estimated population of 384,000, Cheshire East is the third largest local authority in the North West, so it’s really important that we understand our residents and customers.

“Our customers may not have a choice of councils to deal with, or necessarily the services they receive from us. But that doesn’t mean we won’t strive to ensure their experience with us is of a consistently high quality, and that we adapt to changing needs and respond to feedback when designing and delivering our services. We know there is more we need to do to improve. The new strategy is a starting point in transforming the experience our customers have with us for the better.”

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