2008/09 customer service standards now set. Effective from April 2008
British Waterways holds the Charter Mark, a recognition awarded by the government to public sector organisations that have excelled in terms of customer service.
The Charter Mark scheme aims to help organisations make real improvements in the delivery of services. The benefits to the Charter Mark holder are not just the satisfaction of offering an improved service, but also the feedback and recognition that guides development and boosts staff morale.
Our commitments under our Customer Charter
We work hard to meet the rising expectations of our customers, and to help us understand these expectations we carry out a regular programme of surveys of our main leisure users. Recent results have told us that 95% of boaters rated the helpfulness of our staff as good or very good and 95% of towpath visitors said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall enjoyment of their visit. However, we know we can do better, and we will continue to work hard for further improvements.
Contacting us... Responding to you
- if you write to us, or email us, and your letter requires a reply, we will do our best to respond to you within seven days of when we receive your letter/email. Where possible it will be a full reply (verbal or written), rather than an acknowledgement, but we will send a full reply within 20 days
- some issues may take more than 20 days to resolve, in which case we will keep you up to date on progress
- we will maintain a telephone number, 0800 47 999 47, available 24 hours a day, every day of the year to report breakdowns of canal structures etc (accidents, crime and other urgent issues should be reported to the emergency services in the usual way). Our aim is to respond to emergency calls within three hours
- outside normal working hours, all our offices use answerphones. We will respond to messages within 24 hours during the normal working week
- if we have to use an answerphone during normal working hours (whether on a mobile phone or a direct line) we will make sure that a message service is available and where practical will give an alternative way of contacting us
We will do everything we reasonably can to meet these targets, but sometimes emergencies, other priorities or circumstances beyond our control will prevent us from doing so. In that event we will get in touch with you as soon as we can.
Listening to you
- we encourage everyone who works for British Waterways to get feedback from waterway visitors and to discuss it with appropriate colleagues
- we also provide comment cards with a Freepost address to help you give us your views
- we seek feedback through our website
- we organise regular programmes of market research to help us understand what waterway visitors want. We will publish the main conclusions of this research and encourage the media to report them
- we also consult visitors informally on a wide range of issues
- we hold meetings with user group representatives at least twice a year locally and once a year nationally
- to make consultation with user groups effective, we will supply enough information and allow enough time so that those whom we consult can give a considered response. We will not disclose commercially sensitive information
If you think we have done well
Our people feel a real sense of pride and achievement when they receive recognition for a job well done. This positive feedback guides development and boosts staff morale. With this in mind, please let us know if you think a member of our team has provided good customer service by contacting our Head of Customer Service or Local Waterway Office.