Our customer vision and aims

All our services operate to Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Customer Care Standards. This means that customers are given a consistent level of service across the entire Council, however they choose to contact us. When dealing with our customers, we aim to:

  • Make our services easy to access.
  • Be helpful, polite and accessible, identifying and addressing specific needs sensitively and fairly
  • Respect privacy and confidentiality
  • Deal with your enquiries promptly and give timely information that is accurate, comprehensive and complete
  • Actively encourage and welcome customer feedback

To support these aims we will:

  • Display opening times
  • Ensure our online services can easily be found on our website
  • Make more of our services available online to provide a more flexible service
  • Provide a professional service with named contacts
  • Always seek to resolve your enquiry at the first point of contact
  • Follow through to deliver what we promise, dealing with any problems that may arise and keep you informed of any delay
  • Treat all matters fairly, sensitively and in confidence
  • Put things right when they go wrong
  • Maximise the use of email and SMS text in our written correspondence but use another method if it’s your preference or a statutory requirement
  • Minimise the need for you to use voicemail as a means of communication with us
  • Listen to you to understand how best to deal with your needs, learning from what you tell us
  • Use your feedback to shape the services we deliver (now and in the future)

Customer Care Standards

In person

Whether you visit any of our buildings and facilities, or we come to you.  We will:

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  • Be easily identifiable and visible, introducing ourselves by  name and department
  • Display opening and contact times and ensure availability of services
  • Meet our agreed appointment times and keep you informed of current waiting times
    • If we have to cancel appointments, we will let you know and re-book a mutually agreeable time
  • Provide a safe, tidy and clean environment to visit and use
  • Provide a welcoming, polite and professional service

By phone

Whether you call or text us.  We will:

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  • Answer 80% of calls within 45 seconds (15 rings) during service opening hours.
  • Always answer the phone giving our name and department
  • Provide a welcoming, polite and professional service
  • If we can’t deal with your enquiry immediately, we’ll take a message so that the right person can call you back
  • Respond to SMS text messages, where appropriate, by the end of the next working day.
  • Where voicemail is used:
    • Our messages provide helpful and current details, and;
    • We respond to your message by no later than the end of the next working day.

In writing

Whether you send us an email, letter or use an online form.  We will:

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  •   Respond to all written enquiries within 10 working days. This means either:
    • A full response to your enquiry, or;
    • If we need to take longer to give a fuller response, we’ll tell you why and what the next steps are, or;
    • Your emails or web-based requests to our team in-boxes are automatically acknowledged where possible and provide information about next steps
  • Write clearly and concisely, so that information is easy to read and understand
  • Include a named contact person and phone numbers in our correspondence

By self-service

Whether you visit our website for 24 hour services or use self-serve machines during building opening hours.  We will:

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  • Operate secure online services, where your personal data is safe
  • Provide clear information about how to contact us in other ways, if you need support

Social Media

Whether you keep in touch on Facebook or other sites including Twitter and You Tube.  We will:

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  • Provide a range of social media accounts, giving real-time information to customers and additional ways to communicate with us.

Exceptions to standard timescales

Although we have a corporate set of customer care standards for the Council, there are instances where specific processes, statutory timescales or additional standards will apply for particular services. For example:

What we expect from our customers

In return we need you, our customer, to:

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  • Explain the nature of your enquiry as clearly and briefly as possible
  • Give us the correct information at the right time
  • Let us know if you no longer require a service, or wish to cancel an appointment we have previously made for you
  • Inform us of any change in circumstances like your address, status and contact numbers
  • Tell us if we exceed your expectations or don’t deliver a service to your satisfaction
  • Treat us courteously and politely