Customer Service Charter

We exist to create community ...

... a community that is vibrant progressive, connected, sustainable and resilient. To achieve this, the way we service our community demands excellence.

This document is our promise to you. It sets out our customer service standards at Singleton Council.

Our promise

“Our promise is that we will show that “we care” - about you and your needs. We will strive for the best outcome for you and the community that we are all part of.”

This is what you can expect from us:

We focus on helping

We lead with empathy and deliver services that are designed to be easy to access and use. We treat you with kindness, respect and integrity.

We will listen and understand.

We won't rush to assumptions. We will take the time to listen and hear what is important to you and others in the community. We might need to ask questions to get all the information we need. We will do this promptly and ensure it is considered carefully.

Being responsive

We will identify the best possible path to get you the help you need, work through ideas and consider your input. We will do this promptly and communicate clearly along the way.

Keeping you informed

We aim to help you in the first instance – however, for more complex situations it may take longer. We will keep you informed along the way. When we can set a time frame we will. If time frames change or things don't go to plan, we'll work to get them back on track.

Looking for options

Sometimes your preferred option is not possible. If possible, we look for other ways to reach a suitable outcome. We will present these options to you to find a way forward, If the outcome is still not possible, we will clearly describe why and answer your questions.

Working collaboratively

Often, we need to work together within Council to provide you the help you need. We will make sure this collaboration is swift and we'll give each other the help we need - to help you!

Owning the problem

We won't drop the ball on you. If the first person you speak to can't help you, we will make sure we find a team member who can help and make sure they get back to you.

Continuously improving

Our commitment to excellence requires we continually review the way we work and the experiences we create. We will identify where we can improve and what is working well.

Responding to feedback

When you provide feedback to us - good or bad - we won't ignore it. We will look for what went right, or what went wrong and what we can do better. Often, we will contact you about your feedback - this will help us understand your concern and address any issues.

The standards we will keep

When you call us

We aim to have you talking to a staff member in under a minute. We will ask questions and make sure we understand your enquiry. If needed, we will pass on necessary information to the right person, so you don't have to repeat yourself. We will take ownership of your call and make sure you get the call back.

When we say “we will call you back

We will. You can expect a call that day or the next business day. If a team member is unavailable or on leave, we will let you know and when possible, find a way to keep your request moving in their absence.

When you walk into a Council building

Our staff will greet you with a smile, help and endeavour to find exactly the right person to help you. If that person is not available, we will log your request and make sure it gets followed up. Where possible we will set time frames about that follow up.

When you talk to a Council staff member out in a park or on the street

They will greet you with a smile and listen to your question. If they can't help you on the spot, they will provide contact information so you can get the help you need.

When you email us

Even if you get an automatic response to your initial enquiry, we will email you back that day or the next business day to acknowledge the email.

If it’s a complex issue, we may not be able to resolve it in that first email. We will make sure that we understand your query, a team is assigned and it’s in our action tracking system.

When you post a question on social media

We would love to answer all questions and comments - however, we don't offer this service due to the cost of monitoring. We still want to hear from you! To get a response, use one of our contact methods listed *here* (links to contact page)

When you post a letter to us

When we receive your letter, we will put it in our records management system. A team will be allocated to your enquiry and will be responsible for following it through. They will acknowledge your enquiry within 2-3 business days however a written response may be delayed in the post.

If the issue is complex or requires further information, we will advise of time frames wherever possible.

When you leave a voice message

One of our staff will call you back to let you know we received it. This will happen that day or the next business day. If it’s a complex issue we may not be able to resolve it on the first call, but we will make sure we acknowledge and understand your query.

When you start a web chat

Our web chat is monitored during our regular opening hours, and we have staff ready to answer your questions! These are normally picked up in a minute. Sometimes we’ll need to continue the conversation over the phone or by email. In that case we will ensure we will set your expectations about how long that will take. 

How can we help each other

  • We understand that things don’t always to go to plan, or there might be questions that come up along the way. Our aim is to work with you to sort these out.
  • We will interact with each other in a friendly, collaborative, and respectful way.
  • Let us know if you have difficulties providing information or receiving information - this way we can adjust and keep it moving.
  • Provide us with feedback about how we are doing

 

We get better with your feedback

We know that expectations change, and things don't always work out as planned. Your feedback helps us identify what is working and what isn't.

You can provide feedback in any of the ways listed above. We value all feedback and will act on it. If you have requested us to contact you, we will. We may also need to contact you for further information.

Your feedback will be entered into an action management system to ensure it is dealt with appropriately.

If you would like an easy place to start you can leave feedback now. 

 

What we will do when things go wrong?

We make every effort to be inclusive and accountable for our decisions and how they are made. We recognise there are instances when you may disagree or be unhappy with a decision that is made by the Council. There are many factors considered when making a decision and some of these are outside our control. If you are unsure why a decision was reached, we commit to providing the reasoning behind that decision.

If you are still unhappy with the resolution the compliments and complaints process is designed to capture and respond to your feedback.