Our Responsibilities

Customer Service - It’s everyone’s job!

Someone answering the phone

We expect everyone to embody the STRIVE values and deliver excellent services to internal and external customers. This includes responding to emails and telephone calls from our residents and colleagues in a timely manner and always trying to get things right first time.

The council has customer service standards that explain to our external customers what they can expect from the council when they contact us, including how long we will take to respond. These can be found on the website and the intranet.

To support you and ensure that you know what is expected of you, we will provide you with the training you need to be able to deliver excellent customer service to our residents.

Maidstone info-graphic

Complaints handling

Not everything goes well and when it doesn’t, we have a formal process to respond to a complaint. The council has a complaints handling policy which can be found on the intranet. We also operate an electronic complaints handling system and training will be provided on how to handle customer complaints effectively. Complaints are very valuable to our organisation as they highlight opportunities for improvement.

Freedom of Information

Open

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the public can request information held by public authorities. This includes printed documents, computer files, letters, emails, photographs, and sound or video recordings. It does not include access to their own, or other peoples, personal data. Once we receive a request, we are required by law to respond within 20 working days.

We can apply certain exemptions if data shouldn’t be released. The Information Commissioners Office has information on exemptions we can apply. If you are thinking about refusing a request, please contact a member of the Policy & Information Team.

If a requestor is not happy with the service or response they have received to a request for information, they can request an Internal Review. A member of the legal team will then review the request and the response, and respond within 20 working days.

If they are unhappy with the service or response given by Legal, they can then complain to the Information Commissioners Office.

Read more about what you need to know: Freedom of Information Act 2000 on our Intranet.

Data Quality

Open

Data Quality affects every part of the authority, not just the daily users giving out information to customers, but also by enabling managers and directors to make informed decisions that are right for the business. Without data quality, information we provide could be unreliable and open to interpretation.

Therefore data quality is essential but only achievable through reliable, accurate data that is fit for purpose and produced in a timely manner. This is why the council has a data quality framework:

  • Data Quality Policy – sets out the requirement for ensuring data quality that everyone should be aware of.
  • Data Quality Training (on Elms) – to brush up on your knowledge
  • Data Quality Service Self-Assessment – to provide assurance that service arrangements and arrangements for collecting for gathering performance data are reliable
  • Data Quality Checks – Templates for undertaking audits on data

Read more about what you need to know: GDPR on our Intranet.