Service... with a smile!

Councillor McAlpine with some of the Curtomer First staff.
Councillor McAlpine with some of the Curtomer First staff.

IT WAS big ticks and gold stars for a team in East Renfrewshire when one of the council’s departments was given high marks by external assessors.

Independent assessors from SGS ran the rule over the service being offered by the council’s Customer First group and the verdict was: first class.

The section has also been awarded a Customer Service Excellence gong for the work it does.

Customer First has given ‘exceptional’ service which has ‘exceeded requirements’ and has set ‘an example to others’.

Some of the areas picked for the highest praise were:

* investment in refurbishment of the Eastwood and Barrhead service centres

* employing more staff to deal with the changes to welfare reform

* installing PCs for public use to enhance online and self-service provision and working with the adult learning team to run courses for the public on using PCs and creating e-mail accounts

* enabling staff to operate all systems from home in the event of an emergency and bad weather

* working with other organisations such as Renfrewshire council and Voluntary Action to improve insight about customer needs and preferences

* improved privacy for the public

* tackling any areas for improvement highlighted by previous inspections as soon as possible.

Councillor Ian McAlpine, convener for corporate services, said: “Providing the highest standard of service to the public is of vital importance to us so I am delighted at this excellent report.

“We won’t rest on our laurels, however: we will continue to strive to improve for the benefit of all our customers.”

Some of these areas were awarded the highest rating of ‘compliance plus’: the largest number of top ratings the service has ever received.

The team of assessors added that the council “puts the customer at the heart of service delivery in many ways”.

The assessment included speaking to members of the public, staff, representatives of partner organisations and senior management.

The Customer First team have 46 staff based at the council’s headquarters in Eastwood Park and its offices in Barrhead’s Main Street.

The service will be assessed again in 12 months.