Over October and November 2022, we sought feedback from the community on our draft vision and customer promises for the new Our Customer Strategy. The vision and customer promises will guide how Council operates, makes decisions and designs services for the community.
Our customers are highly satisfied because we are easy to deal with, our services meet their needs and our people go the extra mile to help while balancing our community obligations
Our customer promises are our commitments to our customers.
We care: we listen and take the time to understand you and what you need
We’re helpful: we’re easy to deal with, professional and focused on clear, practical outcomes
We’re fair: we work to meet your needs, while balancing our community obligations
We’re knowledgeable: we’ll let you know what we can do to help and help you anticipate what else you might need
We’re accountable: we’ll guide you through the next steps, always follow through and work with our colleagues to keep you informed of our progress
Community engagement activities
Via our online engagement platform:
There was general support for Council taking a more proactive approach to customer experience. The opportunity to move services online to free up staff time to deal with more complex customer queries was welcomed.
When asked to reflect on the vision and rate their most recent experience with Council:
More than 65 per cent of survey respondents agreed that if Knox achieved all proposed customer promises, this would significantly positively impact their customer satisfaction.
Accountability was the customer promise that resonated most strongly for respondents. 43 per cent of respondents said this promise would have the greatest impact on customer satisfaction. The customer promise of helpfulness resonated the next most strongly.
In relation to customer promises, several respondents emphasised the importance of staff following through on promises and proactively referring issues beyond their own personal responsibility to other areas of Council and other authorities. Respondents shared positive feedback about staff listening and being empathetic in response to customers, but sometimes being constrained in “applying the rules”, leading to a sense that Council does not care or is inflexible.
Business as customers - a suggestion was made to be more explicit in the Strategy about how Council supports the business cohort as customers.
Tension between obligations - tension between Council’s community obligations and its regulatory role bore out in feedback about experiences relating to pool compliance, as did balancing customer requests with financial constraints, particularly in relation to drainage and stormwater matters.
Service and value – feedback was received that Council should “focus on the basics” including general maintenance of public areas including mowing, rubbish removal, graffiti, overhanging branches and clearing of drains and gutters. Several respondents questioned value for money, some indicated their dislike of the changes to bin collection frequencies, others provided feedback on Council’s role in neighbourhood dispute resolutions, Council trees causing property damage and changes in services to help older residents live independently at home.
Community engagement and consultation - there were several comments on the role of community engagement and consultation in decision-making and how this might align to the Customer Strategy.
Privacy and data security - another matter raised for consideration was around privacy and data security of personal data in light of recent high profile cyber security breaches.
Feedback received will inform the Our Customer Strategy. The Strategy will be considered at the Council meeting on Monday 19 December.