Council tax

Revenues team 2017 survey results

The Revenues Customer Survey was undertaken to evaluate how satisfied our customers are with the service that is provided by the Revenues Team. There was an overall response from 80 individuals who provided us with the following information:

  • 82.50% were aware that they could view frequently asked questions and find out in more detail information regarding Council Tax on the council website; only 17.5% of customers were unaware of this. This is a good improvement to the previous years results of 74.4%
  • 71.25% were aware that they can inform us of any changes to their council tax account addresses or names by using the 24 hour self serve tool and where they could also set up direct debits or apply for a Single Person’s Discount on their council tax accounts. This again showed a vast improvement on the previous year whereby only 53.8% confirmed they were aware of the service
  • when asked if they used the 24hr self serve facility, 57 people responded. Of these, 21 (36.84%) said they did while 34 (59.65%) said they haven’t yet but would consider using it in the future and only 2 (3.51%) said they would not consider doing so in the future. 

When asked about the online ‘My Account’ service:

  • 60 (75%) were aware they could check their Council Tax billing periods, account payments, transactions, balances, print statements online and apply for ebilling, while 20 (25%) weren’t - a substantial improvement on the previous year when only 46.2% confirmed they were aware of the My Account service.
  • 37 out of 60 people who  were aware of the ‘My Account’ service, said they used it, 22 said they had not used it yet but would consider doing so in future and only 1 person said they would not consider doing so in the future.

When asked about the preferred method of payment for council tax, out of the 79 people who answered this question, direct debit payments proved to continue to be the most popular, with:

  • 60 (75.96%) choosing to pay by direct debit
  • 9 (11.39%) choosing to pay online on the website
  • 4 (5.06%) choosing to pay using our automated telephone line 
  • 6 (7.59%) choosing to pay by a different method for example standing order or online banking

When asked if they knew that direct debits were the most cost effective and efficient payment method, all 80 people responded:

  • only 4 (5%) people were not aware of that

When asked if they knew they could apply for Council Tax Reduction if not working or in receipt of a low income 79 people answered the question:

  • 61 (77.22%) were aware
  • 18 (22.78%) were not aware

This was an improvement to the previous year when only 64.1% of people confirmed they were aware the could apply for CTR.

55 (68.75%) of respondents said they had made contact with the Revenues department over the last few months and 25 (31.25%) said they had not. 

When asked in what capacity did the customers contact the Revenues department, 55 responded as follows::

  • 25 (45.5%) said as a property owner/occupier
  • 25 (45.5%) said as a tenant
  • 2 (3.65%) said as the landlord
  • 3  (5.45%) stated ‘Other’

When asked how they contacted us, 53 people responded (some more than once):

  • 35 said by phone
  • 18 said by email
  • 9 said by online eform
  • 5 said by 24 hour self serve facility
  • 5 said by using the online ‘My Account’ function
  • 3 said by letter

When asked why they contacted us, 52 people responded (some more than once) saying:

  • 19 made contact to tell us of a change of address
  • 12 querying a bill, reminder, summons or bailiff notice
  • 11 contacted us regarding a Single Person Discount
  • 8 contacted us regarding any other discount or exemption
  • 1 contacted us regarding a disabled band reduction
  • 12 said the reason as ‘Other’

When asked if they had visited our website before contacting us, 55 people responded:

  • 42 (76.36%) said they had
  • 13 (23.64%) said they hadn’t

When asked how easy it was to contact us directly 54 responses were received:

  • 37 (68.52%) said they got a response on their first try
  • 10 (18.52%) said they got no response on first try but did on their second
  • 7 (12.96%)  said they had to contact us more than twice before getting a response

These results show that customers have been able to contact us more easily than in the previous year as last year 42.9% had a response on the first try, 28.6% on the second try and 28.6% after trying more than twice.

When we asked respondents who had to contact us more than once if they used the same contact method each time, 35 people answered:

  • 20 (57.14%) said they did use the same method
  • 15 (42.86%) said they didn’t

Finally, when asked how they rated their overall experience when contacting the Revenues Team, 55 people answered:

  • 17 (30.92%) said the experience was ‘very good’
  • 20 (36.36%) said the experience was ‘good’
  • 9 (16.36%) said the experience was ‘average’
  • 5 (9.09%) said the experience was “poor”
  • 4 (7.27%) said the experience was “very poor”

In conclusion it appears:

  • there has been an increased awareness of the Council Tax information available on the Council’s website compared to last year.
  • there has been an increased awareness of the self serve facility compared to last year and 55 (of the 57 who responded regarding usage of self serve) already use it or will consider using it in future 
  • there has been an increased awareness of the My Account facility and 59 (of the 60 people who responded regarding usage of my account) use the facility or will consider using it in the future
  • most contact is made by telephone (followed by email) mostly made regarding a change of address (followed  by a query regarding a bill, reminder, summons or bailiff notice). In the previous year most contact was made regarding single persons discount, followed closely by change of address so there has been some improvement as single persons discount applications can be made online using the self serve facility
  • most people (66  out of 80 responders) are aware our website provides detailed information regarding Council Ta
  • 42 out of 55 customers had to contact us after visiting our website - this is comparable to the previous year which indicates the Council’s website has remained a useful source of reference for customers to find what they need and interact with us online rather than contact us directly 
  • in general customers are happy with the service they receive from us. It was disappointing that out of 55 people who answered the question regarding their experience of contacting Revenues, 5 stated they had a poor experience and 4 a very poor experience when making contact with the Revenues Team. However, by the very nature of the job it is not always possible to give people the answers they wish to hear and at times, when bulk notices have been issued, not always possible to deal with queries as quickly as usual. However the team strive to provide an efficient service which is demonstrated by the compliments and thank yous the team receive directly from customers.