The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake gets a gold star for its customer service.
Staff improved their overall service rating by 34 percentage points between 2021 and 2023, says chief administrator Marnie Cluckie.
That’s an overall service satisfaction rating of 86 per cent, up from 52 per cent almost three years ago.
Coun. Erwin Wiens said the improvement was huge given the number of calls staff get that have nothing to do with town business.
He also noted good people skills are especially important because of how often staff receive calls from upset residents.
Lauren Kruitbosch, the manager of customer service, presented the results of a survey to council Oct. 24, which showed marked improvement in the town’s customer service department since it first surveyed the town in 2021.
The survey was filled out by 267 people, more than twice the number who responded to the first survey in 2021.
Surveyed residents are 17 per cent more likely than they were in 2021 to describe staff friendliness as “good” or “excellent.”
Kruitbosch said they received one comment in this year’s survey saying, “Your team is so friendly and helpful.”
That is what the department is striving for, she said.
The town has provided customer service training across departments in an effort to improve the public’s interactions with town staff, she added.
Another improvement spearheaded by the customer service department was the town’s updated website, which went live summer 2022.
Kruitbosch said it was clear from survey results in 2021 that the town needed a new website.
The town is also receiving many more after-hours phone calls and might need to increase customer service hours to meet the need, she said.
“Our aim is to create a community that is known for exceptional customer experience.”