The Council has been awarded the national Customer Service Excellence Standard ® across all of its services.
This is the latest in a series of awards and prizes claimed by BANES over the last couple of years. Residents have received news of these with a mixture of reactions some have been seen as clearly deserved and some have caused eyebrows to be raised.
All these awards and prizes have caused us to wonder about the amount of council resources and cash that have been used to apply for, created evidence for and be assessed for these prizes and awards and what benefit council tax payers have got for this expenditure.
However this latest award raises another question; who should be judging customers service excellence? We understand that this particular award was made by the Cabinet Office and looking at their dedicated web site it appears that their award was based on an assessment by G4S. The web site site is rather coy about what the cost of such assessments are likely to be be merely saying:
"No two organisations are the same and no two assessments are the same - so, the costs involved vary. The exact cost depends very much on the individual circumstances of your organisation, to find out how much you will have to pay for your Customer Service Excellence ® assessment please contact the certification bodies."
We would have thought that customer service excellence should be judged by customers, in this instance council tax and business rate payers, and that this assessment could be achieved a fairly low cost. Indeed we would be surprised and disappointed if BANES did not routinely collect information about customer satisfaction and suggestions for improvement.
We would have been more interested in and impressed by BANES publishing this assessment in support of its claims of excellence rather than that of the Cabinet Office.