The number of complaints made to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman about services provided by Colchester Borough Council remains low following last year's 20 per cent reduction.
Between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020, a total of 20 complaints were made to the ombudsman, which is the final stage of complaints about councils and social care providers. This is the same as 2018/2019 and a drop from 25 raised with the ombudsman five years ago.
The report follows the council’s customer service team being awarded the national Customer Service Excellence Standard earlier this year, for the second year in a row.
To achieve the Standard, the council was tested in areas that research has indicated are a priority for customers, including delivery, timeliness, information, professionalism and staff attitude.
Of the 20 issues referred to the ombudsman, four were subject to detailed investigation with one being upheld while the other three were dismissed.
Between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020, the council was contacted 210,377 times – excluding the ad hoc enquiries received by services across the authority - a increase of 192 from the previous year.
This means that, from the number of official customer contacts the council received in 2019/2020, 99 per cent of customers were satisfied with their service.
Cllr Mark Cory, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “With the current pandemic it’s more important than ever to ensure that our residents and local businesses receive excellent customer service.
“These figures show that, on most occasions, we are doing a great job. However, sometimes things do fall below our high standards we set ourselves.
“I can assure everyone that we take every complaint seriously and look into how we can ensure we learn from them.
“This is the second year in a row our call centre has been awarded the national Customer Service Excellence Standard.
“95 per cent of customers felt that they were treated professionally and politely; that is no small feat, but we will continue to aim for 100 per cent.”