Our overall aims for customer care are:

  • to meet peoples’ needs
  • to be polite and professional
  • to be helpful and knowledgeable
  • to strive to resolve as much as we can at first point of contact
  • if we can’t resolve queries at first point, to give customers a realistic and reasonable expectation of when we will get back to them
  • to listen to and act on feedback

Opening times:

All of our services are open and available from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, including lunchtime periods.

Digital services and emails

We aim to provide as many of our services digitally as possible. Almost all transactions that can be done over the phone are now available through our customer portal.

Our digital services aim to be:

  • simple to use
  • quick
  • easy to find
  • intuitive
  • accessible

When you contact us online or via email, we will:

  • send an acknowledgement back to you so you know your contact has been received
  • include in the acknowledgement a reasonable and realistic idea of when we will get back to you, if it can’t be answered immediately
  • respond digitally, not by letter

Telephones

We aim to answer telephones in a friendly and professional manner stating our name and our department. We aim to answer phones quickly although at busy times, there may be a short wait.

If we need to transfer your call, we will ensure we explain the nature of your call to the person you need to speak to. If their voicemail is on, we will retrieve your call, take a message and ask the person to make contact with you.

Occasionally, you may get through to an answerphone. These are checked regularly and you should get a call back within 24 hours.

Letters

If you write to us, if we are unable to answer you within a few days, we will send you an acknowledgement, giving you an idea of when you will receive a response which will be within a reasonable timescale. If we are unable to meet the date we have set, we will keep you updated on our progress.

Face to face public areas

We have three face to face offices where we receive customers – Lynton House in Barnstaple, The Ilfracombe Centre and the Amory Centre in South Molton.

In our public, face to face areas, we will:

  • acknowledge you as quickly as possible
  • smile and politely welcome you
  • find out the reason for your visit
  • be friendly and helpful; listen to you, giving you our full attention
  • use plain language and avoid jargon
  • make sure the public area looks professional, clean, tidy and welcoming
  • be mindful of your confidentiality

If you have come for a meeting, we will contact the person you are visiting who will come and collect you and ensure you have been given a visitor’s badge.

Rude and aggressive customers

  • It is reasonable for us to expect our customers to:
  • be polite, courteous, non-abusive and non-threatening at all times
  • treat staff and other customers with respect and not behave in an anti-social manner
  • not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • never resort to physical violence or commit illegal acts on our premises
  • not behave in a way that exposes themselves and others to risk
  • provide all relevant documentation/information when they visit us comply with all our reasonable requests

Accessibility

We are committed to providing quality services for all our customers and ensuring there is no discrimination when we deliver our services. We will do our best to provide access to information and services to suit everybody’s needs. For people with physical or language barriers, we will try to provide extra help, such as:

  • ensuring our information is available in appropriate formats (for example, on audio tape, in Braille, or in large print) on request
  • providing a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, if necessary
  • offering to provide an interpreter for anyone who needs it
  • providing a portable induction loop if necessary
  • provide our documents in a language other than English, upon request
  • using the Type talk telephone service