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Revenues and Benefits team wins customer service excellence award

Hard work and innovation has seen Sutton Council's Revenues and Benefits team have its Customer Service Excellence accreditation extended for a further three years.

A recent inspection by Cabinet Office examiners found that the department was fully up to speed in all of its procedures and was 'Compliant Plus' in two areas and displaying 'Good Practice' in a further five.

Cllr Richard Clifton, Lead Member for Revenues and Benefits, said: "I am very proud of the hard work and professionalism put in by every member of the team.

"Sutton Council is focused on providing excellent services to residents and value-for-money and this rating recognises some of the things we are getting right."

The two innovations singled out for particular praise by inspectors were the decision to send text messages to remind council taxpayers that a payment is due and the work of the welfare reform outreach officer in helping residents understand changes to housing benefits.

The texts have saved the council money by cutting postage costs considerably and have also significantly reduced the number of summonses issued as taxpayers don't forget to pay.

The outreach officer has initiated a series of meetings where he has explained what changes to benefits will mean to residents and answered questions from residents.

The inspector also praised the service for:

· An excellent blend of corporate and service-specific strategies and processes

· The use of Digital Champions which has doubled the number of My Account log-ins to 70,000

· The use of the corporate consultation toolkit to support the development of the local Council Tax Reduction scheme

· Changes in working patterns by contact staff which has improved service for visitors

· The development of an automated system to provide tax credit updates which has eliminated backlogs and increased productivity.


March 19

Last updated: Tuesday, 19 March 2013

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