Thursday 20th September 2012
Amid one of the busiest periods of change in public services in Wigan Borough in recent years, Wigan Council has been praised for the standard of its customer care.
A few months after the opening of the Wigan Life Centre, with its innovative “one-stop-shop” approach to dealing with residents’ queries and concerns, the national Govmetric survey has placed the council number one for customer satisfaction online, on the phone and face to face.
The council’s cabinet lead for efficiency, Cllr Ged Bretherton, announced the news at a meeting of the full council last night (Wednesday) and thanked staff for their level of service. Members across the political divide warmly commended officers for their high standards.
The council’s director for policy and customers. Alison McKenzie-Folan, said: “Govmetric, who independently score over 70 local authorities on an overall Customer Satisfaction Index, found Wigan were ranked first for overall satisfaction over the phone, face to face and on the web. As a result of increased calls now being put through for customer satisfaction comments, we have jumped up from outside the top ten to rank as first in the country.”
The council was also placed fourth in the national 'County/Unitary Council’ feedback table.
Cllr Bretherton said: “This great result is due to the hard work and efforts of all staff across the council. We know we need to make further improvements and in line with the council’s values, we are always keen to do better.”
The council receives around 10,000 calls each week, with residents booking services, reporting on incidents and asking for advice. Officers have acknowledged that some recent callers have had longer waits than expected on the phone and so have now introduced a 'call back' back facility at the contact centre. This means that at times of high demand, residents can leave their details and a member of staff will ring them back. New 'Queuebuster' technology is improving call waiting times and officers are dealing with an additional 2,500 calls per week by deploying additional staff to increase capacity at the contact centre. The council website, which can already take bookings for services twenty four hours a day, is also being reviewed to better serve customer demand.
Ms McKenzie-Folan added: “I’d urge our customers to use the many different ways to contact us - over the phone, through the web site and in the Life Centres. There’s plenty more work to do, but we’re working hard for the people of the borough.”