Middlesbrough Town Hall

Customer Strategy

The council aims to continuously improve the experience customers have when they contact us. The Customer Strategy is a key part of this. The strategy is made up of a number of different, complementary projects which all combine to produce an improved experience for the council's customers. Some projects relate to changing the way the council works internally, and some will have visible results for customers.

The Customer Strategy document gives full details of all the projects, or you can find a summary of two key projects below.

The council's Customer Charter is a two-way agreement which sets out how our employees will treat customers, and how we expect customers to treat our employees.

At the heart of the Customer Charter is a promise to make our customers the focus of everything we do. This has already prompted improvements to the council website, which in turn have increased the number of tasks customers can carry out online, from home or on the move, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The redesign of Middlesbrough House means that if you do need to visit us, you can complete your tasks quickly and easily. Our staff can also show you how to use the council website so next time you'll feel confident enough to complete the task yourself.

As part of the Customer Charter we also promise to treat you fairly and respectfully, and speak to you in an uncomplicated way, always aiming to get it right first time. In return we ask that you treat our staff fairly and respectfully, use our services with honesty, and provide us with all the information we need to help you, as soon as you're able to do so.

View the Customer Charter.

The council website is clear and easy for customers to use. The design centres around the most popular things customers want to do, pay for, report, or request online. These tasks appear at the top of the homepage, cutting down the amount of time it takes to get things done.

The website also has a powerful search function, making it quick to find pages which aren't listed on the homepage. Wherever we can, we've removed unnecessary content and jargon to make pages simpler to understand for all visitors.

Behind the scenes of the website is a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM), which is used for capturing, recording and managing the contact we have with customers. The CRM is what powers the online forms used on the website.

We use online forms so our customers can do things at a time, and on a device, which suits them, rather than being limited to emailing, phoning or visiting us during office hours.

The CRM is designed to give you much more information about the progress of your request or report, and is updated every time the query is moved to a new stage, for example:

  • initial query is made (e.g. fly tipping is reported)
  • query is forwarded to the relevant department (e.g. Environment Services)
  • action is planned (e.g. pick-up is scheduled)
  • action is taken (e.g. pick-up is completed)
  • query is resolved and customer request is closed.

This lets you stay informed about the status of any requests you've made, and the system stores your personal details in your user account, saving time when you fill in forms.

Over the coming months and years, we'll be providing more services online, offering the kind of flexibility and 24/7 access which many customers now expect from online services.