Learning from complaints

Complaints and comments from customers help us identify what worked well and what we could do better. We use comments and complaints to see where processes should be reviewed and improvements made. 

  • As part of Stage 1 investigations, our team leaders review the process or practice used, to highlight where improvements could be made. Any changes are recorded with a record of the action taken as a result, for example staff training, changes to a system or process.
  • At Stage 2 a member of our Management Team reviews the response to Stage 1, to see if it could have been prevented from escalating to Stage 2. 

We encourage teams to take ownership of complaints, do their utmost to resolve them and use them to improve the service. 

Using complaints to improve what we do

  • We changed the acknowledgement e-mail sent to successful applications for a Test and Trace Support Payment to provide more clarity and help manage expectations in relation to payment dates.
  • In several cases, the way an issue was dealt with was discussed by officers, with an emphasis on how it might have been handled differently to prevent a complaint being raised.
  • We are providing more training to officers to help them when they respond to enquiries, with the aim of preventing complaints from customers about the way they have been dealt with.
  • We had complaints about recycling and rubbish bins not being put back properly and have asked our contractor to remind the crews to do this.
  • We had complaints about no access to pre-application advice, being unable to contact officers for information or updates and a lack of site visits. As part of the work to improve the planning service, this information has been shared and customer service and complaints training is being recommended. Our pre-application service has also been reinstated.