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Blog - Keeping our promise to customers

Cornwall Council’s contact centre deals with around 520,000 calls and 20,000 web chats each year, providing residents with an important service. A team of 57 work from 08:30 to 18:00 Monday to Friday and are just one of many teams working to deliver on the Council’s Customer Service Promise.

Based in an office at Dolcoath, the contact centre is a buzzing hive of activity. From council tax bills to road closures, recycling enquiries and planning information, the centre is an important point of contact for the people of Cornwall seeking advice on services.

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Their work is underpinned by a Customer Service Promise, which sets out our commitments to delivering a better service to you.  Phil works as a Customer Service Advisor and has been with the contact centre since 2013. His five years of experience mean he is able to deal with nearly any query residents might have. He works on general queries and deals with a whole host of calls.

“On a daily basis, I’d handle between 90 and 110 calls every day, working to resolve issues, provide help and connect people with the right services. I’ll deal with calls ranging from missed refuse collections to arranging a registration appointment.”

One day a week Phil also answers enquiries via web chat, providing advice and signposting people to the right information.

“I love being part of a team that delivers a great customer experience over the phone, online and in writing. Although a relatively small team we are able to deal with challenging situations. For instance when snowstorms hit Cornwall earlier this year we remained open throughout. This achievement was recognised with a staff award and we got a lot of compliments from the people we helped.”

There are also subject specific advisors in the contact centre. Daisy works on revenues - mainly Council Tax, where people ring in when their circumstances are changing or they need advice about payments.

These calls can be quite complex, with Daisy taking 40 to 60 calls per day. She takes great pride in delivering customer services for residents. “I love being able to answer customer’s queries using different avenues – webchat, phone and email, especially when they are more complex or regarding recovery action for unpaid tax. When the customers tell you at the end of the call ‘you’ve been such a great help’ it really makes my day knowing that I have been able to help them at the first point of contact.”

The Council’s Customer Service Promise makes three commitments that we try hard to meet:

  • set clear customer service standards so you know what to expect
  • do what we say, on time, and aim to get it right first time
  • keep you informed so you don’t have to chase us
  • act on your feedback and publish the results
  • provide choices on how you can contact us:
    • instantly online - pay, book, apply, report and give feedback
    • quickly – we aim to answer your calls to our 0300 numbers within 5 minutes, and try to sort things out for you there and then
    • steadily - if you write to us, we aim to reply within 10 working days, or you may be able to make an appointment to speak to someone
  • be open to all e.g. make sure we use accessible venues and plain English
  • provide support if you are a vulnerable person or cannot access the internet
  • be open and honest about our priorities, policies and performance
  • explain why decisions have been made, so you understand the reasons for them
  • deal with your feedback, say sorry if we get it wrong and aim to put things right
  • treat you with fairness, courtesy and respect
  • maintain your confidentiality and keep your data secure

Read more about the Customer Service Promise and our performance.