Customer services charter:

Dartford Borough Council is strongly committed to providing excellent standards of service for all of our customers. This charter sets out the standards which our customers can expect when dealing with the council.

These standards are in addition to individual service and department standards which are published separately.

We aim to deliver excellent customer service by:

Setting the standard:

  • Treating all of our customers as individuals and listening to what you have to say
  • Attempting to help you promptly at the first point of contact
  • Being polite, professional and positive at every point of contact, however and whenever you contact us
  • Taking ownership of customer enquiries and following them through to their conclusion
  • Telling you what you can expect from us and keeping our promises
  • Dealing with your requests efficiently
  • Encouraging you to comment on our services
  • Keeping any information you give us confidential *( although in exceptional circumstances we may have a legal obligation to give information to other agencies )
  • Telling you our names and wearing name badges
  • Offering choices where possible and giving information about what is available

In return we ask that you:

  • Treat our staff with respect and without aggression or abuse
  • Do not visit us under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Provide all of the information we need to help us to deal effectively
  • If you feel that we have failed to live up to any of these promises then we would welcome your feedback

How do we ensure that we are providing a good service:

  • We train all of our staff in customer services and in the services they represent
  • We are committed to developing our staff, and monitor their performance through a formal appraisal scheme
  • We listen to a sample of calls every month and monitor their quality to ensure that we are delivering our standards on the front line
  • We listen to the feedback of our customers by recording and monitoring feedback, compliments and complaints
  • We set and publish standards for all of our services
  • We recognise staff who deliver good customer service, and share customer feedback with them

Providing an equal service:

  • We believe in and promote equal opportunities for all, irrespective of race, religious belief, disability, gender, age or sexual orientation
  • We aim to produce all documents in plain English
  • We aim to provide the means for anyone to contact us regardless of their needs
  • We provide information in various formats and languages so access to and understanding of our services is available to all
  • We will not discriminate nor tolerate discrimination against anyone
  • We will record and follow up on any discriminatory incident reported to us

When you telephone us:

  • We aim to answer 65% of telephone calls within 20 seconds

When you visit us at the Civic Centre:

  • We provide an accessible and comfortable waiting area with confidential interview rooms. These rooms are available to all, upon request
  • We operate a self-service ticket system for face to face enquiries. Simply use the dispenser in Reception to alert us to your arrival and the nature of your enquiry. A Customer Service Advisor will aim to see you within 15 minutes of your arrival
  • We ask that you arrive at the Civic Centre at least 15 minutes before the office closes to allow us enough time to resolve your enquiry
  • Please note that for some services it is necessary to pre-book an appointment. Please ensure that you are here within 10 minutes of your allocated appointment time as late arrivals may not be seen

When you send us a letter, fax or e-mail:

  • We will respond to contact via our website within two working days via our Contact Customer Services Online Form
  • We will respond to written correspondence within 10 working days. If we can't fully respond within that time we will send you an acknowledgement and advise you of the date when you can expect a reply

When you visit our website:

We aim to make as many of our services as possible accessible to customers via our website including:

  • Up to date service information
  • Individual account or contact information which can be accessed securely
  • The ability to apply for a service
  • The ability to download documents
  • Website feedback form

When we visit your home:

We aim to visit you in your home by pre-arranged appointment, although this may not be possible or suitable in every individual circumstance.

  • We will show our identity card before we enter your home. Never let anyone claiming to represent Dartford Borough Council into your home unless they have shown you their Identification Card

Complaints about our service:

If you have a complaint about any of our services then it is important that you let us know. We will always take any complaint seriously and promise to investigate it fully. If you are not sure how to complain then please contact us for assistance or visit our website for further information.

You can help us to achieve excellence in customer service by telling us how we are doing.

We are always happy to receive feedback, and if you have any comments then please contact us through any of the ways shown above.

It is only by listening to our customers that we can provide a progressive service, which offers quality and value.

We constantly try to improve the service we provide and promise that we will continually review and improve our practices. This charter will be reviewed and updated annually.

The standards in this charter are in addition to individual service and department standards which are published separately.

For further information, pick up a leaflet, visit our website or contact us through any of the ways shown above.