The NVCA’s primary function is to provide environmental services to the public.
Conservation Authorities are community-based agencies dedicated to conserving, restoring and managing healthy waters – rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands – for watershed residents today and for future generations. We work to protect life and property from natural hazards such as flooding and erosion. We also provide opportunities for the public to enjoy, learn from and respect our natural environment.
NVCA’s Customer Strategy is designed to complement the NVCA’s overall Strategic Plan, and is supplemented by a Customer Service Charter that will communicate our commitment to both staff and to all those who use our services. Our Strategy endeavours to ensure excellent customer service, and to embody the following characteristics.
NVCA Customer Service Charter
The NVCA’s overall mission is: Working together to lead, promote, support and inspire innovative watershed management.
To enable staff to achieve this, the first element of our Customer Service Charter states the following mission: We aim to provide a high standard of effective and efficient service to all our customers.
The collaborative efforts of staff and the efficient handling of customer inquiries, issues and responses is fundamental to customer satisfaction. Additionally, the scope of our Strategy includes providing exceptional service not only to external clients, but also to those within the organization. The second element of our Customer Service Charter says:
Who are our customers?
- clients of all programs and services
- community and business partners and key stakeholders
- municipal, provincial and federal governments
- the public, including visitors to our conservation areas
- NVCA staff and members of the Board of Directors
This Strategy is intended to help the NVCA achieve the following:
- a high level of customer satisfaction with NVCA services
- customer service that is accessible to all
- customer service that is reflective of and in support of the NVCA’s overall Strategic Plan and Business Plan
- staff who feel empowered, prepared and supported in their efforts to provide customer-first service
- meaningful dialogue with and input from customers in the development of customer service standards and policies
The third element of the Customer Service Charter lays out the commitments that the organization and the staff must uphold in order for these goals to be achieved:
Our commitment to our customers
- provide customer service that is timely, welcoming and helpful
- provide knowledgeable, professional and courteous service
- treat you with respect, fairness, openness and equality
- ensure it is easy and convenient to contact us
- maintain customer confidentiality and abide by all privacy legislation
- ensure services are accessible to all and provide information in alternate formats upon request
- ensure our customer service locations are accessible, safe and healthy environments
The Customer Service Charter also defines the specific actions that staff and the organization will take and standards that must be met in order for the NVCA to achieve the stated goals:
Our customer service standards
- answer telephone calls to our main reception in person whenever possible during office hours; outside of office hours or when it is not possible to answer a call in person, ensure that messages are responded to or forwarded to appropriate staff within two business hours
- ensure all staff provide a courteous and accurate voicemail greeting indicating when they will be available to respond to messages
- acknowledge receipt of mail, voicemail and e-mail within two working days
- explain our processes and provide a time estimate on all work
- keep customers informed and explain if there will be a delay
- post notice of service disruptions on our website and telephone system
- respect our customers’ time by keeping scheduled appointments, and strive to attend to customers without appointments within 15 minutes
- use plain language wherever possible, and provide more detail or explanation when asked
A key component of the NVCA’s Customer Service Strategy is to ensure that services continue to improve and evolve as we move forward.
The fifth element of the Customer Service Charter describes the means by which the NVCA will utilize a continuous loop of feedback and improvements to meet customers’ needs:
- ensure that all customers have the opportunity to provide feedback on the service received
- monitor feedback and review performance regularly, and provide an annual report to our customers via our website
- respond to all feedback if accompanied by contact information within two working days
- review our commitments and standards annually
The Customer Service Partnership
As NVCA strives to provide the best possible customer service experience, respect for the client is tantamount. In turn, staff must be provided with a safe, healthy work environment in which they are treated with respect by their colleagues and all those who utilize their services.
The final element of the Customer Service Charter explains the role the customer has to play in the customer service partnership, and the behaviours that should be reasonably expected:
What we expect from our customers
We ask that you please:
- behave courteously towards our staff and other customers
- be respectful of posted rules including those regarding parking, entry fees, smoking, motorized vehicles, wildlife and pets
- respect our ‘no gifts’ policy
In conclusion, for NVCA to achieve its overall vision and goals it is essential to maintain a strong and mutually respectful relationship with customers of all programs and services. This strategy provides the template for enhancing those relationships, and relies on the Customer Service Charter as the primary tool for communicating the roles and expectations of all parties.