Customer service standards
We will clearly and accurately tell you about:
- the services we provide and how you can access them
- our standards of customer service and how well we are performing
- how we spend your money
However you contact us, we will:
- treat you fairly, with courtesy and respect
- answer your enquiry, or clearly explain the next steps and tell you how long it will take to give you an answer
- make sure our reply is clear and easy to understand
- make sure what we tell you is accurate and complete
- signpost you to other public services if we do not provide them ourselves
When you email, telephone or write to us, we will:
- respond to your email within 3 working days. If we send you an acknowledgement, we will let you know when you can expect a full reply
- answer your telephone call within 20 seconds, clearly giving our name and saying where we work
- respond to your letter within 3 working days. If we send you an acknowledgement, we will let you know when you can expect a full reply
When you meet us, we will:
- take into account your specific needs when arranging meetings with you
- welcome you within 2 minutes of your arrival
- make sure our name badges are clearly visible and show you proof of our identity where appropriate
- arrive on time for appointments, or let you know if we are delayed
Listening to our customers
We will always consider whether we have got something wrong and take appropriate action.
We will take your views and suggestions into account and monitor your complaints, compliments and comments to ensure that we learn from what you tell us
If you have encountered an excellent example of customer service or you feel we have not met the customer service standards listed above, we would like you to let us know:
Our quality standards for dealing with your queries
Digital service standards
Our digital service standards are based on the
- Understand user needs. Research to develop deep knowledge of who the service users are and what that means for the design of the service.
- Follow the Government Service Design Manual, using ‘agile and iterative’ methods to improve and manage our websites. This means being flexible in the way we work by making a series of small changes and testing their effectiveness as we go.
- Build a service that can be iterated and improved in response to user need.
- Evaluate what tools and systems will be used to build, host, operate and measure the service, and how to procure them, looking to reuse existing technologies where possible.
- Evaluate what user data and information the digital service will be providing or storing and address the security level, legal responsibilities, privacy issues and risks associated with the service.
- Be able to test the end-to-end service in an environment similar to that of the live version, including all common browsers and devices.
- Make a plan for the event of the digital service being taken temporarily offline, and regularly test.
- Make sure that the service is simple enough that users succeed first time unaided.
- Build a service consistent with the user experience of government digital services, including using common government platforms and the Government Service Manual design patterns. We use our own
digital design guide which is based on the Government Service design patterns.
- Encourage maximum usage of the digital service (with assisted digital support if required).
- Identify performance indicators for the service, incorporating existing indicators and publishing to a performance platform, if appropriate.
- Carry out ongoing user research, usability and accessibility testing to continuously seek feedback from users, and collection of performance data to inform future improvement to the service.