From 1 April, the length of time taken to investigate a complaint made to Stoke-on-Trent City Council will be reduced, and a new online system will be in place allowing members of the public to track their complaint after it has been made.
The changes being made to the current system are:
- * The complaints procedure will now have only two stages
* Stage one will be investigated by the manager of the service involved and have a 10 working day deadline for completion.
* If the complainant wants the investigation to be taken further, stage two will be coordinated by the complaint investigation officer and the relevant head of service. This will have a 20 day deadline for completion.
* Changes are also going to be made to the way customers log their feedback. A new online form means that customers who choose to use it will be given a reference number instantly and will then be able to track their feedback through the system. This new system is currently being installed and will go live on 1 April. People can still complain in the traditional way via post, e-mail or phone.
* People will see a quicker response to their complaint
* New training is being provided to investigating officers to ensure a thorough investigation takes place in the first instance.
* The complaints team name will change to Customer Feedback Team.
* Learning from complaints will be more closely monitored and decisions from the new Customer Learning and Improvement Panel will help make improvements.
Staff will undergo training ensuring they learn from each complaint made and that they make improvements to their service.
Chief Executive John van de Laarschot said, ‘It is important people know how to tell us if we can improve a service, and also that they know the status of their complaint once it has been registered. We want to make sure that people receive the best possible service from the city council at all times, but if we do make mistakes and people have cause to complain, they need to know it is being dealt with quickly and efficiently to get things right.’
Have you had experience of the council complaints procedure, good or bad? Let us know in the comments below.