Community gives Council high marks on service requests

by Central Otago District Council media release - May 25, 2023

In March-April 2023, the Central Otago District Council (CODC) conducted its first ever targeted service request survey.

For many people in the community, submitting a service request might be the only interaction they have with Council.

A service request is any contact with the CODC to request some kind of maintenance, work or report an issue. For example, you might have noticed a leak in the road, your waste collection might have been missed or a lawn that needs mowing. You might want a copy of a bill, need animal control or maybe even help with a noisy neighbour or an abandoned vehicle.

It’s important that our community have a positive experience and that the issue be resolved in a timely manner.

“On average we receive about 1000 service requests a month into Council from right across our district,” David Scoones, Group Manager - Community Experience said. “We’ve got a dedicated team of people who show up every day to try and do their best, but we also want to know how we can improve too.”

That’s why Council conducted the survey of those who submitted service requests between July 2022 and February 2023. In that period, 1,276 people who had provided an email were sent the service request survey, of which 324 (25%) submitted feedback.

What we learned is that 86% found the service provided to be friendly and courteous and 67% reported that the service provided was fast and efficient. While it’s reassuring to hear that most people are satisfied with their service request experience, we also know there is room for improvement.

When respondents asked if they experienced any issues or problems with making a service request, 83% said no, but 17% said yes. We want to focus on that 17% who experienced problems and get it right.

The theme we heard the loudest in the comments was that we need to work harder to communicate the status of service requests, particularly when the job is complete to close the loop, to let people know that the request has been actioned.

Better communication will be the focus of our efforts in the coming weeks and months. We want to thank those who took the time tell us about their own experiences.

If you would like to provide your feedback on how Council is doing, look for the 2023 Resident Opinion Survey, which will be open 29 May to 14 June online here.

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