Customer service award for Redland

In competition with some of Australia's major companies, Redland Shire has been named Queensland winner of the Australian Customer Service Association Awards. Demonstrating that Local Government can be as efficient and responsive to customer needs as the private sector, Redland outdid companies including David Jones and Pacific Dunlop to take this award.

Redland's first specialised Customer Service Centre was set up in 1996. All customer service staff have undergone a rigorous selection process and a minimum of five months training. This covers everything from customer interaction and conflict resolution to Council products and system training.

Ken Jones, Director of Corporate Services at Redland, said that customer service staff needed to learn details of over 140 different products and services.

Setting a benchmark of answering 85 percent of queries, staff have been able to answer 92 percent of questions. These range from dogs, immunisation and rat bait through to questions regarding sewerage and water. In the event customer service staff may not have the answer, other staff are geared to respond.

"When any one of our ratepayers walk in to our Customer Service Centres they could ask any one of a thousand different questions," Mayor Eddie Santagiuliana said. "It is our job to be aware of our ratepayers needs and have our staff trained to help."

With customer service officers able to answer over 90 percent of queries other staff are free to pursue their work uninterrupted. Customer satisfaction with the new service model is measured every quarter at the point of highest strain on resources, when rates are due. The result has been a return of 96 to 98 percent satisfaction.

For further information contact Ken Jones, telephone (07) 3286 8615.