Nearly everyone likes to be listened to -improve life by listening.
Just listening will improve life for everyone in Surrey.
My vision is a suite of methods where residents and customers can just talk and feedback - most people liked to be listened to. A whole suite of channels - a consumer style telephone line (perhaps manned by our Contact Centre colleagues), every web page (as it is now), feedback cards at all the local committees, local libraries, schools, everywhere. A properly branded campaign with a eye-catching logo that looks like a picture of an ear, and importantly, a well structured way that all feedback is stored and acted upon by every service.
Customers and residents know what they like and what they don't like, and if we act on this by truly listening to small and big stuff, it will improve the life of all in Surrey.
I just called the Diet Coke consumer line, as a test, and asked how many calls they roughly receive. Unsurprisingly I was advised that this was private/commercially sensitive information however, what I can say is that the member of staff did not appear stressed, and there was no background chatter noise. It was a pleasant experience calling them.
I have recently made a vow to listen to at least one highway customer a week and have been allocated the most prolific customers (according to my colleagues). It has been a very liberating experience for me and also I believe for the customers. Some of my common frustrations are shared by the customers and just talking it through is like therapy! I have also heard some amazing stories and ideas, some of which I have come straight back and implemented.
There are loads of feedback channels out there, too many and too unstructured in my view. A branded, eye-catching campaign, similar to commercial companies, with a structured way of listening and acting, will give the council an image of a 'listening', John Lewis style organisation.