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Wednesday 20 August 2014

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Customer Services

Our Commitment to You

We are committed to putting you right at the heart of everything we do. This is your guide to the kind of service you can expect from us whenever you contact us or use our services.

We’re here for you

Devon County Council is here to help support and improve the lives of people across the county and we provide many vital services in your community. This includes local schools, libraries, children and family centres, care of older and vulnerable people, road maintenance, recycling centres and much more.

Our aim is to make sure that:

  • If you need us we are here
  • It is easy for you to reach us
  • You can always trust us to do our best to help

Customer care is important to everyone in Devon County Council

Making a difference

Whoever you are and however you contact us you have the right to a high standard of customer care.

We may not always be able to deliver exactly what you want but you should expect us to be fair, honest and open at all times and treat you with dignity and respect.

This commitment is being used to shape the way we do business. Our staff are being trained in new standards of customer service which have been developed by listening to what you tell us.

We know we can't change things overnight, but we are determined to do things better.

Making it easier to reach us

We want to make it as easy as possible for everyone to access the information and services they need. This means providing lots of different ways to help people contact us. We will:

  • make information about the County Council and its services easily available including via the telephone and online
  • publish opening hours and describe clearly how to access services
  • provide a welcoming, friendly environment, easily accessible to all

Listening to you

We will listen closely to you and learn from what you tell us. We will make sure we understand what our different customers need, and develop our services around your expectations. We will:

  • regularly ask customers for their opinions about our services
  • ensure that customers help shape the services we deliver
  • be honest about what we can and can’t do
  • listen carefully to your feedback and learn from complaints

Valuing everyone

We want Devon to be a county for everyone and ensure fair access to services for all. We will listen to and involve all our communities, including people who are marginalised or disadvantaged, and make sure we assess the impact of what we do on all groups at risk of disadvantage including disabled people and people from black and minority ethnic communities. We will also:

  • Improve accessibility of our buildings
  • Make information available in a range of accessible formats and community languages on request
  • Use technology and other means to improve communication for people with specific needs

Investing in people

We’re proud of our staff – most of whom are Devon residents. They are our most important resource and deliver a good service.

We recognise that we rely on our staff to deliver great customer care. We will:

  • ensure our staff are trained and competent to deliver our services
  • ensure our staff treat everyone as they would wish to be treated - with respect, courtesy and understanding
  • train all managers, frontline staff, and elected Members, in customer care

What can you expect from us?

You should expect a high standard of service every time you deal with us. No matter who you speak to or how you contact us you can expect us to listen, treat you with respect, and be polite, honest and helpful. For example, we will:

  • respond to phone calls, letters and e-mails promptly
  • always give a name and contact details
  • deal with your enquiry in person or let you know how it will be dealt with and by when
  • point you in the right direction if we can't help
  • write letters and e-mails that are easy to read and understand
  • ensure answerphone messages are clear, tell you when to expect a reply and offer an alternative contact

New customer service standards have also been developed relating to how we communicate with you. They include: •

  • Your letters will receive an initial response within five working days
  • Your e-mails will receive an initial response within one working day
  • Your phone calls should be answered promptly
  • Face to face you should be seen by someone within 5 minutes
  • Publications and other communications will be easy to understand and in plain English
  • Information will be made available in a range of accessible formats

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