To consider and endorse, or make recommendations to Cabinet Member for Commercial and Traded Services on the proposed to decision to formally adopt the Customer Service Policy and its principles within KCC including the recommendations arising from the consultation
(1) Mr Sweetland (Cabinet Member for Commercial and Traded Services) introduced the report. He said the Committee had approved the draft policy prior to public consultation and that the results of the consultation that took place between March and May 2015 had influenced the policy.
(2) David Whittle (Director of Policy, Strategy, Relationships and Corporate Assurance) said it was important to have a simple statement of customer service standards that were applied across the organisation and to those providing services on behalf of the authority. He also paid tribute to Pascale Blackburn-Clarke (Quality and Assurance Manager) and other members of his team for their work in developing the policy.
(3) In response to comments and questions Mr Whittle, Mrs Kendal (Head of Customer Relationship) and Mrs Pascale Blackburn-Clarke (Quality and Assurance Manager) gave the following information:
(a) Consideration would be given to developing a key performance indicator or other way of measuring the number of persistent callers who could not be helped by the authority and were , therefore, barred from any communication;
(b) The words “and before consultation begins” would be added to the first sentence of the Equality Analysis/ Impact Assessment so it read “You need to start your Equality Analysis and data collection when you start to create or change any policy, procedure, project or service and before consultation begins”.
(c) Consideration would be given to the most appropriate way of following up the requirement in the Equality Impact Assessment Action Plan that all commissioners consider the equalities implications of the customer service elements that would be delivered as part of any commissioning activity.
(d) Discussions about ways of increasing the number of people responding to consultations were underway however the value and statistical significance of responses weighted for ethnicity, geographical spread and other criteria should not be underestimated.
(4) It was also confirmed that the Customer Complaints Policy was being reviewed with a view to ensuring proper recording and quality responses as well as tracking feedback and outcomes.
(5) The Committee was also advised that there were strong links between the Customer Service Policy and the Commissioning Policy.
(6) Resolved that:
(a) The proposed decision to formally adopt the Customer Service Policy and its principles within KCC including the recommendations arising from the consultation be endorsed subject to comments from Members of the Committee;
(b) The operation of the policy be reviewed by the Committee in September 2016.
To note the progress on the development of the Customer Services Policy and to comment on the work to date ahead of finalisation
(1) Mr Sweetland (Cabinet Member for Commercial and Traded Services) introduced the report which provided an update on the development of a Customer Services Policy, aligned to the development of KCC as a strategic commissioning authority. He encouraged Members to comment and make suggestions.
(2) David Whittle (Head of Policy and Strategic Relationships) said it was important to have a statement of the standard approach to customer services to enable practices to be developed that met the standard while taking the varying needs of customers into account.
(3) In response to questions, Mrs Kendal (Head of Customer Services) said the policy encouraged directorates to design services that met the needs of their customers and that increasing the opportunities to self-serve meant that resources could be re-directed to those customers who were not able to do so. She also said that disaster recovery plans were in place for face to face contact, telephony, ICT and other systems.
(4) Resolved that the developments around the Customer Services Policy be noted.