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Praise for Council's efforts during pandemic as it secures customer service excellence

Fenland District Council has once again been reaccredited with the Cabinet Office's prestigious Customer Service Excellence (CSE) Standard following an annual inspection.

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An independent CSE assessor said the Council has continued to meet the gold standard for customer service delivery, and gone "over and above" in its efforts to maintain services during the coronavirus pandemic.

Following a remote assessment in June, assessor Neil Potentier awarded reaccreditation of the Standard, which recognises public, private-sector and voluntary bodies that provide excellent, customer-focused services.

He also awarded the Council CSE 'Compliance Plus' accreditation in four areas for showing best practice.

In his report, Mr Potentier said despite working to tight budgets, the Council has continued to deliver excellent customer focused services thanks to the "tremendous resolve of staff who always strive to put the customer at the heart of everything".

He added: "Councils are by their very nature required to interact with wider communities. However, with the onset of COVID-19 it is clearly apparent that Fenland have gone above and beyond in their efforts to maintain services. It is also clearly apparent that Fenland managed the COVID-19 situation extremely well. There was the potential for a significant dip in performance, but Fenland prevented this through the actions they have taken."

The assessment report also noted the following strengths:

  • How the Council had utilised and extended consultation using social media platforms
  • The success and effectiveness of a dedicated COVID-19 Response Hub, with deployment of staff from across the workforce to facilitate it
  • The empowerment and use of staff insight in delivering and improving services
  • Many customer access channels to enable residents to access services, including during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Partnering arrangements remain strong with a wide range of partners working with the Council resulting in demonstrable benefits for customers and communities

Councillor Chris Boden, Leader of Fenland District Council and Cabinet member responsible for financial and performance management, said: "I am delighted that the Council has retained its Customer Service Excellence Standard. Fenland is one of the few councils that has consistently achieved this rigorous standard for all of its services, both customer facing and internal, not just individual ones.

"The CSE assessor was highly complementary of the Council's emphasis on continuing to deliver excellent customer focused services, especially in light of the current COVID-19 restrictions. This is testament to the hard work and commitment from Council staff and Members in putting the people we serve at the heart of everything we do."

Moving forward, the Council is keen to explore new ways of working which maximise available technology, such as more contactless services, to be ready for the 'new normal' post COVID-19 and further improve customer experience.

Article added: July 21, 2020

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