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Community Panel sets new standard for Customer Service at Kingston

6 April 2018

A Community Panel of local residents and businesses has developed the new Customer Service Charter to help set a new standard for customer service at Kingston Council.

Representatives from the Community Panel presented the new Charter to Mayor Steve Staikos at a recent Council meeting.  “Customer service is at the heart of everything we do, and this new Charter has been developed by the community to guide Council for years to come,” Cr Staikos said. “It clearly sets out how Council will act and engage with our community.”

Cr Staikos said the Community Panel was established to set the standards for customer service in Kingston. “Council is committed to engaging with the community more and this was an exciting new approach to hear directly for our community,” Cr Staikos said. 

10,000 local residents and businesses were randomly selected and invited to take part in the independent Community Panel and then 30 members selected to accurately represent Kingston’s community through people of different ages, genders and cultural backgrounds.  

“The 30-member Community Panel met on several occasions to understand the complex issues, share ideas, and make recommendations on how Council can reach its goal of improved customer service,” Cr Staikos said. “We are always striving to deliver great customer service and it’s important that we find a balance that meets diverse community expectations and is within budget,” Cr Staikos said. “The Community Panel has helped set a roadmap to do that.”

The Community Panel also heard feedback from the broader community through an online survey and Kingston staff also contributed their ideas.

Mayor Staikos said creating the new Customer Service Charter was just the first step in an ongoing process to roll-out the recommendations right across Council.

Over coming months we’ll be providing staff training, improving our processes and making better use of technology to make sure we are serving the community to the very best of our ability.”

 

Our customer commitment

Kingston is a diverse community with an estimated resident population of nearly 160,000 spanning a wide range of ages, household types and cultures.

As a Council we exist to serve our community, so providing exceptional customer service must underpin all we do.

In 2017, Kingston Council invited residents and businesses to help develop a new standard for customer service at Kingston Council. The 30 plus-member Community Panel meet on several occasions to better understand what Council do, share ideas and ultimately make recommendations.

Below are the service standards developed by the community.

To deliver great customer service, our Councillors, employees, contractors and volunteers promise to:

  • Be friendly and courteous
  • Be knowledgeable: we will be experts in our field. Should your request fall outside council’s responsibility, we will pass your request on to the relevant agency.
  • Understand your needs: we’ll take the time to listen and understand your issues. We will take action or refer you to the best person to help you.
  • Provide timely and accurate information: we will provide accurate responses within a specified timeframe.
  • Explain the process: we will tell you what action we will take, how we will act and when it will be done.
  • Provide multiple contact channels: there will be a range of channels for you to contact us in a time and way that suits you.
  • Be consistent: we will deliver a consistent service across all departments and every contact channel.
  • Be accountable: your issue will be owned by a staff member and seen through from start to finish.
  • Close the loop: we will let you know the outcome of your enquiry and how a decision was reached.

    How you can help us

    As a customer of Council, you can help us by:

  • being clear about your requirements so we can direct you to a staff member with the relevant experience
  • treating our staff with courtesy and respect
  • providing your current contact details and advising us if they change
  • providing us with feedback

 

 

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