Council Customer Care team praised for retaining excellence award

Customer Service staff of The Highland Council have been congratulated by members of the Finance Housing and Resources Committee on retaining the externally-assessed Customer Service Excellence Standard for the next three years.

An in-depth assessment, recognised and supported by the UK Cabinet Office, covered all aspects of customer services, including Service Points, Service Centre, Registration Service and the provision of partnership services to external customers, such as the Identity and Passport Service.

The Service Point Network operates across 35 locations. Each office acts as the first point of contact for customers wishing to access services from the council. The Service Centre is also part of the Network and provides valuable telephony access for the public. Considerable partnership working has been developed for the benefit of customers and arrangements are tailored to suit the needs of local communities and customer groups.

The external assessor noted: “Delivering a constant service over such a large geographical area is impressive. Partnership working is exceptional with staff and partners taking ownership and customer service delivery seriously. All Service Points visited were found to be very tidy and presentation of material was first class. Although each location was different there was a corporate feel about the Service Points.

“Overall the Council has demonstrated a commitment to continuously improve customer service delivery. Service Points, including the Service Centre, are in the main the first point of contact for Highland Council and all staff and managers should take great pride in the high level of service they deliver. A great deal of attention is being applied to improving the quality of service delivery. All elements in the Standard are considered to be fully met and the retention of Customer Service Excellence accreditation is well deserved.”

Michelle Morris, Assistant Chief Executive said:  “The Customer Service Team are delighted to have achieved the standard set by the Cabinet Office, to follow on from their successful retention of the Charter Mark since 1999. This is the only external Cabinet Office Customer Service Standard awarded to any service in the Highland Council, and an achievement that the team are very proud of.”

Councillor Dave Fallows, Chairman, Finance, Housing and Resources Committee, said:  “This is a challenging and difficult standard to achieve and our Customer Service Team deserve the warmest congratulations on their achievement of excellence.”


28 Aug 2013