Customer Experience Strategy 2021 - 2024
We will put our customers at the heart of everything we do, reflecting their feedback in the design and delivery of services
Putting customer first or at the heart of the organisation are phrases often used but rarely realised. However, it’s not that complicated, and in practice it means remembering that as a local authority service provider, our purpose is to provide public services to the residents, businesses and visitors to Cheshire East and therefore every decision, business action or procedure should be in support of this. We need to ensure that we have effective engagement with customers which helps us to fully understand their needs and aspirations and that we use the data we gather to design services around customers true needs.
We will aim to provide a consistent and high quality of service wherever and however customers interact with us
We are a large organisation providing over 500 services to 384,000 residents with multiple means of contacting us. We know that there is inconsistency across the council and that can be confusing and frustrating for customers. Customers need to be confident that they will receive a consistent customer experience irrespective of the service they contact or how that service is delivered. Where our services are delivered in partnership with other organisations, they will also be expected to provide a consistent experience to customers where it makes sense to do so.
We will ensure that our services are flexible and can adapt to the changing needs of our customers in the future
We know that our population and its needs are constantly changing. The growth of technology has meant that our customers are more likely to want to interact with us via digital means and our services need to reflect this. We also know that we have an aging population who may be less digitally aware. The experience of COVID-19 and other crises, also demonstrates that we need to be able to adapt to circumstances which cannot be predicted. We therefore need an organisation and services that can be flexible and can adapt to these changing and sometimes conflicting demands.
We will continue to adopt a digital first approach, promoting and supporting self-service wherever possible
Digital technology has changed the way people interact both socially and when requesting goods and services. We need to ensure that our digital services can meet this demand and that they are easy to use, secure and available at times that are convenient for customers.
However, Digital technology is not right for everyone or for every situation. We will continue to provide services through other means and will work within our communities to provide support to those who are digitally excluded.
We know that digital technology can help us to reduce costs, that by encouraging self-service by those who can, we will be able to focus resources on those more complex services and those customers less comfortable with digital technology.
We will co-design service delivery with partners to provide a unified and joined up customer experience
Many of our services are delivered in partnership with colleagues in Central Government, the Heath Service, the community and private sectors. We know that this can sometimes cause problems for customers when dealing with multiple organisations. We will work with partners to join up services where that makes sense.
We will also support individuals and communities to help themselves by providing a supportive environment where partners, the voluntary sector, businesses, and most importantly, residents can thrive independently.
We will provide value for money
We must balance the needs and aspirations of individuals with the needs of the wider population and of our most vulnerable customers. We have limited funds available to us however and that means we cannot always deliver everything to everyone. Where we cannot deliver a service we will always explain why and work with customers to identify any alternative options for them. We will make best use of the money available to us by working in the most efficient way we can. We need to take an in-depth look at our service delivery to review the customer experience and improve the way we work, removing any part of our processes which do not add value and adopting innovative technology where this can help.