Ambition to transform the entire customer experience of HMRC

21 July 2016

Alongside their Annual Report and Accounts HMRC has also published Your Charter Annual Report which monitors their progress on how Your Charter is applied across the business.

Your Charter sets out the relationship between HMRC and their customers, what customers can expect from them, and the behaviours they expect of customers. The latest Charter Report covers April 2015 to March 2016.

The report introduces the new Charter Committee which is now an HMRC Board sub-committee. Members recruited to the new committee are not HMRC employees, but individuals who represent HMRC’s customers. The Charter Committee scrutinises how HMRC are performing against their Charter commitments and as part of that process, the committee have observed a range of HMRC front line services and reviewed new digital services and channels. They have also observed how data analysis contributes towards more targeted compliance activity, improving the customer experience.

The report covers transforming tax and payments which is building Your Charter rights into the design and delivery of their services and is fundamental to the continued improvement and sustainability of service to customers. The report says:

“We have an ambition to transform the entire customer experience of HMRC. We want it to be consistently excellent by building on our progress in rolling out new digital services that will make dealing with tax and payments quicker, easier and more efficient for millions of our individual and business customers, and allow them to meet their Charter obligations more easily.

While we brought in record total tax revenues in 2015-16, we recognise our service to our customers was not acceptable at times last year, particularly in the first quarter, when service levels dropped substantially below our targets.

We took swift action to recruit 3,000 additional customer service staff on flexible contracts to deliver improvements, to provide extended support to customers at the Self Assessment peak, and during evenings and weekends. In addition, we gave 1,600 staff training to enable them to handle a wider range of customer queries, and moved 900 staff to deal with post.

Call answering levels in Quarter 2 recovered to 76% and rose to 87% by Quarter 4. Customer waiting times were too lengthy at the start of the year, but are now around an average of five minutes and on an improving trend.”