COUNTY'S TOP HIGHWAYS SERVICE

The team that maintains the county's roads has been praised for its excellent customer service. East Sussex Highways has once again been awarded the Government-backed Customer Service Excellence award, being ranked as ‘fully compliant’ in all areas.

Assessors said the organisation put the customer ‘at the heart’ of its service and staff showed a ‘clear commitment to understanding customer needs’ and delivering ‘excellent customer service’.

The assessment included visits to Highways depots and the contact centre in Ringmer, speaking to staff and customers and reviewing the ‘customer journey’ of people who reported issues to Highways.

Cllr Claire Dowling, East Sussex County Council lead member for transport and environment, said: “Our highways team is on the frontline when it comes to providing a service for residents.

“If there’s a problem with a road, pavement and street light, it affects people’s day-to-day lives so it’s vital these issues are resolved quickly and efficiently and people are kept up-to-date.

“This award is recognition of the tremendous work the highways team does to put customers at the heart of everything they do and to provide a first-rate service to the residents of East Sussex.”

Assessors said an increase in staff at the Highways contact centre had led to improved response times and enquiries being dealt with more quickly.

Other improvements included significant investment in new technology, a ‘Think like a Customer’ initiative rolled out across all staff and a ‘Back to the Floor’ scheme, where senior managers spend time working alongside frontline staff.

East Sussex Highways first received the Customer Service Excellence status, awarded by national accreditation body UKAS, in 2015.