About our service standards
As our service is customer based we are committed to dealing with your requests and understanding your needs.
These service standards will tell you what you can expect from the benefits service at Surrey Heath Borough Council.
It also tells you how you can help us and what to do if things go wrong.
We will put our customers firmly at the centre of everything we do. We aim:
Helping us to help you
To help you as quickly and efficiently as we can we ask you to:
Giving you advice and information
We always do our best to explain things clearly, but if you are not sure ask us to explain things again.
We provide a full range of leaflets about our services which are easy to understand.
Leaflets are available in, large print and can be provided on request. If you have special needs or language requirement we can provide help or an interpreter if you advise us prior to your appointment.
We will provide help filling in our forms over the telephone or in person if you are unable to use the phone.
When you telephone us
We are available to take phone calls during our opening hours of 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 5.00pm Friday.
Outside of our normal hours and if all our lines are busy we have an easy to use voicemail system which lets you leave a message for us. We will return any messages within one working day.
We aim to answer your call within 5 rings.
Our staff will always answer the phone with a standard greeting, be polite, helpful and give you their name.
We aim to answer all of your questions and ask for all the information we need in one call.
We can ring you back. We will give you a time to expect a return call and tell you who will contact you.
When you visit us
When you visit our frontline counter our customer service team will always wear a name badge and greet you in a friendly and professional way.
Our counter is open between 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 5.00pm on Friday.
Our counter will be maintained with up to date and relevant information at all times.
If you need help completing a form or have a complex query please telephone us to book an appointment.
If you ask for your interview to be private we will use a private room if available.
When we visit you
All of our visiting officers will show you their identification card, give you their name and explain the reason for their visit.
All of our visiting officers carry mobile phones to contact our office if necessary to ask any queries that may arise.
Where appropriate we will make an appointment. We will let you know if there are any documents that you might need to have available. Please tell us if you would prefer a visiting officer of the same gender as you. If our officer is going to be delayed they will try to let you know.
If you cannot leave your house to visit us we provide a home visiting service. This service is limited and whether we can call will depend on your needs. We are unable to collect money.
When you contact us by letter, fax or e-mail we aim to reply fully within 7 working days of the date we receive it. If we cannot reply within 7 days we will acknowledge your enquiry in 3 working days and reply within 21 working days.
Our letters to you will:
In most instances we will reply using the same method of correspondence.
If you give us written permission we can reply to a person who is helping you.
Helping us to improve our service to you
We welcome your comments on the service we provide. We will use them to improve our service.
We will regularly publish how well we are meeting our standards on our website.
Making a complaint
If you think something has gone wrong we appreciate the chance to put things right.
You can make a complaint in the way that suits you including:
If you remain dissatisfied the council has established a complaints policy, view further details on complaints.