Skip to main content

Customer service performance

We're committed to providing the best possible services for everyone who visits, lives or works in Peterborough. We have agreed a set of customer service principles which outline our aims.

When you visit us

We will:

  • Ensure that you can access our offices
  • Ensure our reception areas are clean, welcoming and provide information about council services
  • Ensure our reception staff see you promptly
  • Make sure you see someone appropriate to deal with your enquiry or arrange an appointment for you
  • Provide an interpreter, or other support, if needed, (this may need us to make an appointment)
  • Explain any delays of over ten minutes to your arranged appointment
  • Ensure the person dealing with your enquiry gives their name and wears a name badge
  • Make other arrangements with you if you cannot visit one of our offices

When we visit you

We will:

  • Explain who we are and show you an authorised identification card
  • Explain the purpose of our visit

Effective two way communication

We will:

  • Agree the nature of your enquiry with you and discuss when you can expect us to resolve it (if possible)
  • Keep you informed on the progress and final outcome of your enquiry. This includes what happened last, what will happen next and when it will happen.

When you telephone us

We will:

  • Aim to answer your call within 20 seconds (five rings)
  • Provide our name to allow you to follow up with another call if necessary
  • Thank you for your call
  • Aim to direct you to the person you ask to speak to, or to someone else who can deal with your enquiry
  • Try to help, take a message or arrange for someone to ring you back if the person you need to speak to is not available
  • Aim to call you back within one working day if you leave a voicemail or answerphone message

Putting things right

We will do our best to identify and address the cause of customer dissatisfaction to prevent further incidents.

Courtesy and helpfulness

We will:

  • Be polite, positive, helpful and treat you with respect and fairness
  • Ensure our staff are highly trained and proactive
  • Listen carefully to understand and respond to your needs
  • Tell you our name and wear a name badge
  • Give you an explanation of our actions
  • Do everything we can to resolve your query to your satisfaction

In addition:

  • If we are unable to resolve your enquiry, we will forward it to the appropriate person
  • Where appropriate, we will keep a progress record on your enquiry and any advice we gave. It will show what has been done, by whom and when.
  • We expect customers to maintain certain standards. We will not tolerate abuse of staff.

When you write to us (including email and fax)

We will:

  • Aim to acknowledge your email within one working day of receipt
  • Aim to reply to your correspondence within ten working days of receipt. If we cannot achieve this write and let you know when we will send a full reply
  • Ensure our reply identifies the person dealing with your enquiry so that you know who to contact if you need to

Performance indicators

October 2023:

  • Number of calls answered = 18,488
  • Percentage of all calls answered (target = 87%) = 94%
  • First call resolution (target = 85%) = 96%
  • Percentage of calls answered within 20 seconds = 67%
  • Number of emails answered within 10 days = 5,267
  • Number of letters answered within 10 days = 4
  • Number of customers served face to face = 2,594
  • Number of complaints received about Customer Services = 3
  • Number of compliments received about Customer Services = 8

Customer satisfaction survey results from September 2023

Call Centre



Customers surveyed who were either satisfied or very satisfied with the service provided


Customers who thought speed of answer was good


Customers who, expressing a preference, thought advisors were polite and friendly


Customers who thought staff were unhelpful


Customers who thought they were treated fairly by the member of staff who dealt with their query


Customers who understood the information given to them by a member of staff


Town Hall and Sand Martin House Receptions



Customers who were satisfied or very satisfied with quality of service received


Customers who thought they had been treated fairly


Customer who thought waiting time was acceptable


Customers who thought opening times were convenient


Customers who, expressing a preference, thought the member of staff was polite and friendly


Customers who thought staff were unhelpful


Customers who understood the information given to them by a member of staff


Actions we have taken following comments and complaints

We have taken some actions to improve our service based on your comments and complaints from 2023.

Customers asked if the toilets at the Town Hall could be used again by the public

From earlier this year (2023), the toilets in the Town Hall have been made available to the public to use if needed.

Customers visiting the Town Hall asked if the rear doors could be opened again

Access through the rear doors is only available to those staff and councillors with an access key, plus those visitors who are attending a meeting. However, customers in the building may leave via the rear doors. These measures are in place for security reasons.

Customers calling the council or visiting the offices in person commented that longer / weekend opening should be available

The extension of opening times does increase costs and we need to balance this against the benefits arising, particularly when funding is under pressure. Online options for service areas are always being developed to assist those that are able to use them.

Some comments received that the wait time for an answer when calling the council was too long

The current messages on the call queues look to direct customers to the most appropriate staff member and are as short as they can be. Generally, throughout the year, performance has been good, although work is always being undertaken to ensure wait times are as short as possible within available staffing.

Some customers visiting the Town Hall for information on the area commented that more leaflets should be available

This is a work in progress. The Town Hall is a starting point for information. If something more specific is needed, then customers are directed to the Museum which is a short walk away. The provision of a wider selection of leaflets is being investigated.

A complaint was received about the length of time it would take for food bags to be delivered, which they were advised of when they made a booking online

Following receipt of this complaint, we reviewed all the messages issued when online bookings are made. We updated the timeframes given for any delivery / resolution to reflect the current circumstances.

Comments were made that there should be a more comprehensive service available for customers coming into council offices for advice and assistance

The Customer Service Centre was formally closed in April 2022 as a budget saving measure. Some assistance is still available in person but many interactions now take place either by telephone or online.