A delegation of local government managers from China visit Wolverhampton this week to learn how the city council handles customer complaints.

A party of 15 representatives of the State Bureau for Letters and Calls and complaints managers from the provinces of Jilin, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei and Qinghai will learn about the city council's procedure, how complaints are investigated and how customer feedback drives service improvement.

Chief executive Simon Warren said: "We are delighted to share with these distinguished representatives from China the council's experience of handling customer complaints.

"As a major service provider, the city council takes very seriously the handling of customer complaints. We have recently updated and improved our procedure and invested more in training because we recognise that effective management of complaints is key to customer satisfaction."

Complaints make up a tiny proportion of the 492,500 enquiries and service requests the council deals with from the public every year. Over 100 people made complaints between September 2012 and March 2013. In the first quarter of 2013/2014, 80% of people who made a complaint said the council addressed all the issues they raised.

Mr Warren added: "Feedback from our customers makes us aware of their needs and we will be sharing a number of examples with the Chinese delegation where customer complaints have prompted service improvements."

The council operates a 2 stage procedure. At the point when it is received, the customer's complaint is acknowledged within 4 days and then investigated by a senior manager within 21 days. If the customer is not satisfied with the outcome, they can request a stage 2 investigation which involves a more senior officer and the chief executive. Customers that remain dissatisfied can take their complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.

  • released: Monday 5 August, 2013