In hopes of speeding up response times between the City of Prince Albert and its residents, council wants to set a 24-hour response time policy for administration.
“In today’s world, two days is a long time,” Mayor Jim Scarrow said. “I want it and I want it now — we should be in that kind of business.”
Response times were a central point of discussion during council’s deliberation of a customer services standards policy during Monday’s executive committee meeting.
“By the time a resident picks up a phone to call city hall, they’ve stewed about that issue for a while, so although it may be 24 hours, that 24 hours quickly turns into four or five days,” Coun. Ted Zurakowski said.
“This is one item we can move on quickly. I like the policy of 24 hours after we get a call.”
“By the time somebody phones me … I agree, they have stewed about it,” Coun. Martin Ring said.
“In my business, I have to respond within 24 hours, whether it’s a phone call or through our computer-based customer management.”
As such, council resolved to alter administration’s initial report, bringing response times to 24 hours from the 48 initially proposed.
These response times take into account telephone calls and messages, voice mail and email correspondence. Written correspondence will be acknowledged within 10 business days.
By the time a resident picks up a phone to call city hall, they’ve stewed about that issue for a while. - Coun. Ted Zurakowski
A second proposal put forth by Scarrow, which council tentatively approved, would see a central operator or two hired to direct calls in city hall.
“I think a lot of the complaints we get is because the citizen called the wrong number, and the person wasn’t qualified to respond,” Coun. Jayne Remenda said, agreeing with Scarrow’s notion.
“If we’re looking at a central reception, and that’s all that person does, that person can have some customer care training.”
Decisions related to the city’s proposed customer services standards policy will be made during the city’s Thursday, Oct. 11, city council meeting.
Monday’s executive committee meeting signals the final round of city council meetings with the current incarnation of city council. With executive committee meetings serving as preparation for the subsequent week’s city council meeting, Oct. 11 will hold the present city council’s final decisions.
More on Monday’s meeting will be reported in subsequent issues of the Daily Herald.