KITCHENER – Today, city staff unveiled 15 recommendations from its customer service review that are strongly grounded in the input of more than 3,500 citizens and 1,700 city staff. The recommendations are intended to improve service and ensure friendlier, easier and more positive customer experiences for citizens.  

At today’s strategy session, council heard the findings and recommendations from the eight-month review which focus on key areas including: 

  • Improving the city’s offering of e-services, including adding online payments and developing a centralized online service portal where citizens can perform all of their e-service transactions in one place, improving online program registration and enabling bookings of city facilities online.
  • Simplifying processes that citizens identified as difficult including: callers being bounced between city staff, checking the status of a service request and getting updates on road closures.
  • Setting and communicating service standards and service levels for frequently asked about city services including: tree maintenance, parking, property standards, snow clearing and grass cutting.
  • Creating a customer satisfaction program as a way for customers to provide more frequent feedback about their customer service experiences
  • Developing an extensive public awareness campaign for the city’s corporate contact centre to ensure citizens are aware that they can speak to a live voice 24/7.
  • Ensuring staff have the tools and training they need to deliver excellent service.

“We spent lot of time hearing from citizens this past year – at city facilities, at events, through surveys and social media – about their service experiences and where they see opportunities for us to improve. And, we spent a lot time learning from staff about where they face barriers in delivering great service,” said Jana Miller, director of corporate customer service. “Together, they’ve painted a very clear big picture for how we need to improve services and make it easier to interact with the city.”

Key review findings 

  • The most important factors influencing customer satisfaction include getting service in a reasonable amount of time, dealing with knowledgeable staff, and getting the answer they need the first time.
  • The city must maintain a multi-channel approach (phone, in-person and online) to service delivery. Almost 70 per cent of citizens indicated that they continue to access city services in person or by phone.
  • Six of the top 10 frustrating experiences identified by citizens involve getting or sharing information with the city.
  • When asked why they experienced frustration when accessing city services, the most frequently cited source of frustration was ‘Not knowing who to reach/call/talk to answer my questions or inquiries.’

At Monday’s session, staff also sought direction on the prioritization of e-services improvements and areas identified for service reviews to reduce red tape. An implementation plan will now be developed and the recommendations will form the bulk of the work of the corporate customer service division over the next four years.

A full list of recommendations can be found in today’s council report.

To learn more about customer service at the City of Kitchener, visit


For more information:

Marissa LaBianca
Communications and Marketing Associate
City of Kitchener
519-741-2200 x7191