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Agenda item

Quarter 3, 2018/19 Customer Feedback Report


The Board considered a report of the Corporate Director of Resources which presented the Customer Feedback: Complaints, Compliments and Suggestions report for quarter three, 2018/19 (for copy see file of Minutes).


The Customer Relations Team Manager provided an overview of customer feedback with comparable data for the same period last year. Further information was reported with regard to customer developments, suggestions, compliments and customer satisfaction.


The report went on to detail information regarding customer complaints and those statutory complaints received regarding Children and Young People’s and Adults and Health Service groupings.


Details were then provided in relation to complaints which had been escalated to the Local Government Ombudsman, noting that 3 of the 28 complaints considered had been upheld.


Councillor Maddison asked whether information was available on the number of complaints that were not dealt with year on year. The Customer Relations Team Manager advised that complaints were only included in the report once they were concluded.


Councillor Jopling asked whether further information could be provided regarding the proposed voice recognition system for the council’s customer services telephone system. The Customer Relations Team Manager advised that the council were exploring new solutions to assist with the accurate routing of calls and provided automated ways for the customer to receive information where there was avoidable contact. This facility was also part of offering the customer a wider choice whilst balancing an increased demand. She further noted that the voice recognition trial would be commencing imminently, and this would be used with low complexity high demand matters. The introduction of the new telephony technology would enable an increase of capacity in other areas.


Councillor Adam in referring to paragraphs 42 and 46 of the report and the number of corporate complaints upheld in relation to bin collections, asked what analysis was undertaken on these types of complaints. The Customer Relations Team Manager noted that a peak in the number of complaints had been expected this period as a result of a change in the way this data was recorded. She noted that work was being done with bin crews to continuously improve service delivery.


Councillor Patterson in referring to paragraph 40 of the report and Adult and Health Services asked whether further information could be provided on how many complaints relate to third party care providers and what control the council had on the quality of outside providers. It was noted that this would be a matter for the Health or Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committees. The Customer Relations Team Manager agreed to report back on the numbers of complaints involving third party providers.


Moving on to discuss Ombudsman complaints, Councillor Tinsley asked how the council’s performance compared to similar organisations. The Customer Relations Team Manager responded that the figures were low and this was mainly due to a very robust complaints system. It was agreed that comparative data could be brought to future meetings to track performance year on year.


Referring back to the topic of voice recognition, Councillor Bell suggested that when the options are set, that the most common complaints are placed higher up the list as this tended to be the reason that people would call rather than to make a compliment.



That the content of the report be noted.


Supporting documents:


Democratic Services
Durham County Council
County Hall
County Durham
03000 269 714