Customer service excellence standard awarded to authority

This is an archived press release

Friday 21 September 2012

Government assessors have awarded the Customer Service Excellence Standard to the Peak District National Park Authority.

Assessors decided the authority met the standard after:

  • interviewing a range of customers, businesses and partners
  • visiting seven different sites where services are provided
  • talking to staff and members of the authority and
  • examining procedures and policies for improving customer service.

They found many improvements have been made in the past year but also outlined areas that need to get better in the next 12 months.

The news comes as the authority runs its second Customer Service Week, with a range of activities being held by staff to share good ideas on ways of improving customer service.
Jim Dixon, chief executive of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “We are pleased to achieve this standard and see it as a good starting point that we can continue to build on.

“The report recognises the wide range of public services we provide from rangers to visitor centres, community planning to farming advisers and planning to education courses for young people and families.

“When dealing with 38,000 residents and the 10 million people who visit the national park each year there will inevitably be times when we don’t get everything right but we are committed making improvements and delivering a consistently good service.”

Areas praised in the report include:

  • The community engagement work rangers carry out with residents and their understanding of the needs of visitors
  • Good liaison and support for the business community as a result of setting up Business Peak District, a business led partnership
  • The work to engage the public in conservation activities run by the authority’s learning and discovery team
  • Good quality information provided by customer service staff on reception desks and on the phone and a warm welcome at visitor centres
  • Good partnership working through initiatives like the Moors for the Future partnership

Areas where the assessors would like to see further improvement include:

  • Explaining matters to customers and keeping in touch when things go wrong, particularly when there are unavoidable delays
  • Holding more regular customer surveys and demonstrating how the information gained has been used to change services
  • Do more to publicise customer service standards and success rates in reception areas of buildings
  • Ensuring consistency of good customer service across all teams

The authority is currently producing action plans to implement these recommendations.

Assessors will carry out a further check on standards in 12 months.

The Customer Service Excellence Standard was set up by the Government to recognise improvements to customer service and help organisations put the needs of customers at the heart of working practices.

This is an archived press release

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