8.1 Making contact with the building standards service
On a scale from 1 'very difficult' to 10 'very easy', customers were asked to rate how easy they found making contact with their local authority building standards service. Average ratings are similar for each contact channel, with email appearing to be the easiest.
Figure 27 Ease of contacting the local authority building standards service
Those customers finding it generally easy to make contact described a great and efficient service with few or no issues, supported by helpful and approachable staff.
Customers providing lower ratings have had opposing experiences referring to unanswered emails, slow response times to communications, staff not being available and phones going to voicemail and messages being unanswered.
It is common for responses and rationale for the response to vary by type of communication, suggesting that once applicants or agents have a preference that is working they will opt for what works best. This is reflected in some respondents rating 10 for one method and 1 in another for example.
More than half of surveyed customers (57%) agree that building standards service staff are accessible if they want to meet with them in person, matching 2017 figures. Applicants are more satisfied than agents, with 61% and 51% in agreement (Figure 28).
Figure 28 Building standards service staff are accessible to meet in person
Over two thirds of customers (73%) agree that building standards service staff are approachable. This is a slight increase from 70% in 2017. The results are similar between applicants and agents, but again greater agreement is found in applicants (Figure 29).
Figure 29 Building standards service staff are approachable
8.2 Visiting the offices of the building standards service
Less than half of surveyed customers (42%) reported having visited the offices of their local authority building standards service - a 1% decrease from 2017. Instances of customers visiting the offices are lower among direct applicants (34%) than agents (56%) - Figure 30.
Figure 30 Whether visited the offices of the local authority building standards service
Most customers who visited the offices of their local authority building standards service (84%) are satisfied with the reception service (Figure 31). This is a slight increase from 82% in 2017 and follows on tend from 81% in 2016.
Figure 31 Satisfaction with specific aspects of the building standards service offices