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The charity making life better by water

Customer service standards

We put all our customers at the very heart of what we do. Making sure we consistently provide you with the best experience. To help us achieve this, we have our customer service standards. You can view our standards below.

These standards reflect the vision and values of the Trust, ensuring that we are best placed to achieve our ambitious ten-year strategy. We continue to work to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction across all of our services and welcome feedback on these areas. We will monitor our performance against any customer feedback and report on the measurable service standards. Individual performance targets are reviewed annually.

We will always:

  1. Be polite, friendly, patient, honest, helpful and listen whenever you deal with us
  2. Resolve your enquiry fully, but if for any reason we cannot do this straightaway we'll explain this to you fully with appropriate timescales on expected resolution
  3. Keep you informed on our timescales and the progress of your enquiry
  4. Provide accessible services for all in our offices and in many of our attractions and canal side locations. We do our best to advise on any access issues affecting customers using any of our offices, attractions or key destinations
  5. At many of our offices and all of our attractions, we have disabled toilets and hearing loop facilities. Contact us to find out where these services are
  6. Work to provide the information you need in alternative forms on your request eg. large print, audio format, Braille and arrange telephone translations with the Language Line service. (Please note - the written translation service takes up to seven days).

When you visit one of our offices, we'll:

  1. Clearly display our advertised opening hours and ensure our offices are accessible, welcoming, clean and tidy
  2. Have a wide range of customer information available on display
  3. Aim to greet you within five minutes, in public offices where we don't have a dedicated reception desk. In offices with a reception, we aim to greet you within two minutes
  4. Try to see you if you don't already have an appointment, or make another suitable appointment with the person you need to see
  5. Provide private meeting rooms where available

When you call us, we'll:

  1. Aim to answer 80% of calls within 30 seconds
  2. Ask you to confirm your name, address, telephone and email details
  3. Aim to answer your enquiry in full at the first point of contact
  4. If we cannot fully resolve your enquiry at the first point of contact, where possible we'll pass you on to the right person or service that can
  5. Reply to any call back requests, left on our customer service voicemail, within one working day
  6. Reply to any call back requests, left with the customer service team within 48 hours
  7. Have up to date voicemail greetings in place, if we cannot answer calls
  8. Provide an out of hours emergency service, when our offices are closed. This service makes sure emergency situations are appropriately responded to. For any routine or non-emergency enquiries please use the normal channels of communication rather than the emergency line.

When you email or write to us, we'll:

  1. Acknowledge receipt of your email or letter promptly
  2. Respond to your enquiry within 5* working days
  3. Answer any complaint within 15* working days after it has been acknowledged
  4. If we cannot achieve these timescales we'll contact you to explain why and update you on a fresh timescale
  5. Use plain, jargon free language

* Working days don't include weekends or public holidays

When a Canal & River Trust colleague or a contractor visits you in your home, they will:

  1. Allow time for you to answer the door or the telephone
  2. Provide their name and show you their identity badge
  3. Respect your property and your personal belongings
  4. Leave you a calling card where possible, with the name and a contact telephone number, if you are not at home
  5. Notify you in advance if we are unable to keep our appointment and rearrange it at your convenience

If you are happy or unhappy with our customer service:

We welcome feedback so we can continually improve how we do things. Your views are important to us and we treat them seriously.

  1. If you're happy with our service or would like to leave us feedback, please tell us via our Contact us form, so we can pass on your compliments to our staff and use your feedback to improve our services
  2. If we've done something that you're not happy with, please tell us so we can fix things as soon as possible
  3. If however we cannot resolve your concerns, you may wish to complain. We welcome your feedback on areas which have not gone well so we are given the opportunity to improve

For any general enquiries or information:

Call: 0303 040 4040

Use our email form on our ways to contact us page

Use Facebook: or Twitter: @CanalRiverTrust

When contacting us on social media

We'll work to answer your enquiry quickly and accurately within office opening hours. However not all social media accounts are monitored daily and none are monitored outside of office hours.

Out of hours emergency contact

If you've an urgent or emergency enquiry please contact us using the telephone number or email address provided above.

If reporting an out of office hours emergency, please use the out of hours emergency procedure.

How you can help us to provide an excellent service:

  1. Providing as much information as you can, so we understand how best to help you
  2. Supporting our work by reporting issues that you come across on our canals and rivers. This may include reporting low water levels, damage to banks or bridges or fly tipping on our land
  3. Knowing what your responsibilities are as our customer. This may include ensuring you comply with the terms of your licence or simply acting in a sensible and caring manner while using our waterways
  4. Completing customer satisfaction surveys or by getting involved in our customer events
  5. Being honest with your feedback, so we can use this to continually improve our services
  6. If someone is speaking to us on your behalf, please ensure we know that you have given them permission, otherwise we will not be able to help
  7. Dealing with our staff and volunteers in a pleasant manner. We will not tolerate any rude, abusive or threatening behaviour. If this does happen, we will take the appropriate action. We may report incidents to the Police or other relevant authority or consider implementing our unacceptable behaviour policy, which could result in restricted access to our services

Safety Standards
Customer Service Standards 2020

Last Edited: 24 August 2023

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