Council tops service poll

Wigan Life Centre
Wigan Life Centre

WIGAN Council has topped a nationwide survey for excellent customer service.

Since opening the Wigan Life Centre earlier this year, their “one-stop-shop” approach to customer service has received rave reviews.

The poll, conducted by independent watchdog GovMetric, revealed Wigan had 2,908 customer service responses with an overall satisfaction rating of 86 percent.

Director for policy and customers. Alison McKenzie-Folan, said: “GovMetric independently score over 70 local authorities and found Wigan were ranked first for overall satisfaction over the phone, face to face and on the web.

“As a result of increased calls now being put through for customer satisfaction comments, we have jumped up from outside the top ten to rank as first in the country.

“I’d urge our customers to use the many different ways to contact us over the phone, through the web site and in the Life Centres. There’s plenty more work to do, but we’re working hard for the people of the borough.”

Wigan was also the largest authority within the top ten with a population of 301,478. The council receives more than 10,000 calls per week with residents booking services, reporting incidents and asking for advice.

And while officers accept that in recent months callers have had longer waits than expected, a new call-back facility has now been introduced at the contact centre. Plus, new “queuebuster” technology is set to improve call waiting times.

Coun Ged Bretherton announced the news at the latest full meeting of the council.

He said: “This great result is due to the hard work and efforts of all staff across the council.

“We know we need to make further improvements and in line with the council’s values, we are always keen to do better.

“The council website, which can already take bookings for services 24 hours a day, is also being reviewed to better serve customer demand.

“I would like to thank all staff for their level of service and would like to invite members across the political divide to commend council officers for their high standards.”

Joining Wigan in the top five were council’s from Stevenage, Hinckley and Bosworth, South Tyneside and the London Borough of Sutton.

GovMetric Director, Nic Streatfield, said: “This is the first time Wigan has hit the top of our table for providing overall satisfaction on a multi-channel basis.

“We believe that the voice of the customer is crucial in tackling the challenges to all service organisations.

“And we work hard to ensure that our customers get the best results from their investment in customer feedback.”