Agenda item

Agenda item

YOUR VOICE REPORT - Q3 2016/2017

To consider a report (copy attached) on the Council’s performance in dealing with complaints under its corporate complaints process.  The report also includes information on the method used for collecting customer feedback, collating it into a Customer Effort Dashboard, which is then used to inform future service improvements.

10.30 a.m. – 11.15 a.m.



The Interim Principal Manager, Support Services and the Statutory and Corporate Complaints Officer, introduced the report (previously circulated) to provide an overview of compliments, suggestions and complaints received by Denbighshire County Council under the council’s Customer Feedback Policy “Your Voice” during Q3 2016/17.  The report also included Social Services complaints procedure.


During their introduction they advised that the report included information on the number of complaints received in relation to commissioned services as well as services delivered directly by the Council itself.  Of the number of complaints received in relation to the Planning and Public Protection Service, 50% were in respect of services delivered on its behalf by Kingdom Security.  Members acknowledged that the types of services delivered by Kingdom Security, which were enforcement services on the Council’s behalf, were by their very nature likely to generate a greater number of complaints. Footage from the Enforcement Officer’s body camera was useful evidence when determining complaints against Kingdom.


Responding to members’ questions officers advised that:

·       at present the customer feedback process had no mechanism built into it to record the severity of complaints.  However, the progression of a complaint to the Stage 2 process could sometimes indicate either the complexity or severity of the complaint;

·       the customer feedback policy did not record if any compensation payments had been made to complainants.  The Statutory and Corporate Complaints Officer undertook to establish whether data on annual compensation  payments were reported to any specific committee or published in a specific location;

·       they would follow-up the Committee’s concerns with respect to Children and Family Services performance in dealing with Stage 1 complaints within the set timescales.  Whilst the Committee acknowledged that this Service dealt with extremely sensitive and complex matters, they were concerned that they had consistently underperformed against the set target throughout the 2016/17 year;

·       with respect to councillor attendance at meetings, the Head of Legal, HR and Democratic Services had been tasked to draw up some proposals for Group Leaders’ consideration on what the Council expected from members, including member attendance at meetings.  It was suggested that Performance Scrutiny Committee may in future want to monitor member attendance at Council meetings;

·       as officers they would like to revisit the reporting framework relating to complaints with a view to including more valuable data i.e. the number of complaints upheld or partially upheld and the grounds which led to the determinations.  They felt that this approach would be beneficial to the authority by aiding services to learn from complaints; and

·       the ‘Excellence Denbighshire Awards’ would have a new award category this year, for a resident whose complaint had resulted in service improvements.


Attached as Appendix 2 to the report was a supplementary report on the ‘Customer Effort Dashboard’.  The Head of Customers, Communication and Marketing introduced this report which outlined how customer feedback collated by the Council was fed into a Customer Effort Dashboard in order to provide real time information about the customer experience for the purpose of improving future service provision.  She advised that the results received from the company administering the dashboard service was extremely encouraging, as it was illustrating that the Council was performing well in comparison to other public sector service providers.  It was extremely pleasing to report that customers who had contacted Denbighshire Customer Services Centre were willing to respond with additional written comments on the service they had received, rather than confine themselves to the score requested for each question.  Officers were of the view that the data received to date from Ember, the company that operated the Dashboard facility, was so useful that it would be worthwhile to approach the Modernisation Board with a request for funding for a further 12 months. 


Responding to members’ questions the Head of Service advised:

·       the Council could explore the potential of delivering a similar Dashboard service to that provided by Ember, however that service would not have the benefits of providing comparable data across both the public and private sectors;

·       that the surveys were conducted bilingually; and

·       the call handling times for callers who requested to speak to a Welsh speaker were on a par with those who opted for an English language service.


At the conclusion of the discussion the Committee:


RESOLVED that subject to the above observations:


(i)    to receive the report on the Council’s performance in dealing with customer feedback in line with its ‘Your Voice’ policy and that future quarterly reports include information on complaints which are upheld and partially upheld along with the lessons learnt in those cases; and

(ii)   to receive the information on the Customer Effort Dashboard and request that a further performance report in relation to the Dashboard data be presented to members in twelve months’ time.


Supporting documents: