High level of customer satisfaction

CUSTOMER satisfaction levels remain high for those using the local authority’s development management and building standards services.

A survey was taken to collate customer satisfaction between April and September 2012. The results have concluded that building standards is at a higher level than development management.

Eric Lowson, director of infrastructure service said: “The general level of customer satisfaction in respect of both building standards and development is high and this is encouraging.

“For building standards the level of customer satisfaction is, however, higher than that for development management and there could be a number of reasons for this.

“The fact that the building standards service is speedier by its nature than development management and does not have the same third party involvement is likely to be a factor.

“Customer satisfaction with the development management fluctuates from period to period and in many cases this appears to be directly linked to the outcome of the planning application upon which comments are submitted.”

Mr Lowson noted that in the previous survey there was a significant dip in satisfaction levels during the Council’s period of electrical difficulties and disruption. He said: “During this period telephone, e-mail, word processing and other computer systems were interrupted.

“This affected the ability of customers to contact the council and vice-versa. It also affected the council’s ability to register and acknowledge building warrant and planning applications and to issue decision notices.”

He added: “A review of the performance of the component parts of the service indicates an overall increase in satisfaction levels over the current period and reflects an improvement from figures in the last report.”

Mr Lowson concluded: “Levels of customer satisfaction are now central to planning audits of development management and building standards services.

“Returns to Scottish Government such as the planning performance framework and nationally recognised standards such as customer service excellence require satisfaction to be measured and monitored.

“It is considered appropriate to continue with both the building standards and development management customer satisfaction surveys to continue monitoring the responses and further refine the analysis.

“In order to keep the development standards committee informed as to the general levels of customer satisfaction, it is intended to gather data and to update the development standards committee on a six monthly basis.”