Adelaide Hills tops customer service

Adelaide Hills Council, located on the eastern fringe of metropolitan Adelaide, encompasses 800 square kilometres and has a population of almost 40,000 people. Council was named the Overall Council of the Year for Customer Service Quality in Local Government at the Local Government Service Quality Network (SQN) Service Quality Leadership Awards last October.

“The Adelaide Hills Council demonstrated that it had linked its customer service approach to its strategic plan and displayed an organisational culture that centres around servicing the needs of its customers,” she said.

Judges tested competing Councils’ service quality across key performance indicators that included people, service performance, engagement, strategy and partnering. Adelaide Hills Chief Executive Officer, Peter Peppin, said Council’s approach was based on the transformation of Pike Place Fish Markets in Seattle, USA.

“The book and film Fish!, based on this transformation, aims to boost morale and improve results,” he said. “The four main principles offered by Fish! are for employees to choose their attitude, play and have fun, to be there and focus on what the customer’s needs are and make their customers’ day - make a difference/create great memories.”

Peter Peppin said that since the Fish! program was introduced, staff absenteeism has improved by 20 per cent over three years, staff turnover has fallen by 33 per cent and lost time due to injuries has been reduced by 80 per cent over a two year period.

“Management and staff now have a clear understanding of best practice customer service to continuously improve customer service and consistently exceed past performance,” he said.

For further information contact Shaun Matters, Director Corporate & Community Services, on (08) 8408 0408.