Total commitment and putting customers needs first prove a winning formula

 East Devon District Council’s Licensing team has achieved a coveted award for Customer Service Excellence for the sixth consecutive year following its first annual inspection in November 2009.

The national standard award is presented to public sector services who provide customers with outstanding assistance and who demonstrate professionalism and efficiency in delivery, timeliness, information and staff attitude.

Councillor Steve Hall, Chairman of the Licensing and Enforcement Committee, said:

East Devon’s Licensing team goes out of its way to achieve a seamless customer experience. The team is renowned for its thoroughness and depth of expertise, and their communication is second to none.

As a councillor, I always feel very well informed and have the utmost confidence in working with our Licensing service. To win this award for the sixth year running is a remarkable achievement and very much due to team effort. Everyone in the team has been involved and that is why I believe they are consistently successful – this is not a management run performance.

I am delighted that the team’s many years of experience and exemplary diplomatic skills have been acknowledged. They always go the extra mile in supporting  their customers through processes that can, at times, be extremely challenging. The award is thoroughly well deserved.

The assessor who carried out the inspection was very complimentary of the high standard that the team has set and which it continues to maintain.

East Devon District Council’s Licensing Service was found to have a deep understanding of, and commitment to, Customer Service Excellence. The commitment was displayed from Senior Management levels through to operations and front line staff, he said.

He commented that is unusual to have an assessment where there are no partial compliances to the standard.

Going for gold

The Licensing team was singled out for four Areas of Compliance Plus and five areas of Good Practice, as well as a corporate IIP Gold Standard. Their outstanding attitude and approach was a contributory factor to winning the award.

They were particularly praised for putting customers at the heart of their service delivery and for going the extra mile to identify and meet customer need. The new web site was cited as a contributory factor to the team’s success, while the introduction of laptops and mobiles should enhance the team’s future accessibility and efficiency.

The assessor also said:

The service provides a very confident and successful customer focused approach to all parts of its operation.  The needs and requirements of the customer are shown to be central to the way the service undertakes its drive forward.

The extremely low number of formal complaints is a testimony to the highly professional approach of staff in their dealings with customers.

Compliments

Some of the comments made on the assessment day, include:

If we were given the same level of service we receive from East Devon Licensing across the whole of the county of Devon, life would be so much easier, said a police licensing officer.

The best team I have ever met and I have had dealings in many parts of the country, said a holiday park hospitality manager.  

The Customer Service Excellence is an award for demonstrating the achievement of national standard for excellence in customer service for the United Kingdom public service sector. Introduced in 1991 as the Charter Mark, it was replaced in 2008 by the Customer Service Excellence standard and continues to be administered by the Cabinet Office. The standard tests in great depth those areas that research has indicated are a priority for customers. Emphasis is also placed on developing customer insight, understanding the user’s experience and robust measurement of service satisfaction.