Customer Service Standards Procedure

Purpose statement

The purpose of this procedure is to establish customer service standards for the Corporation of the Town of Oakville (the town) to ensure a consistent, standard practice that reflects the town’s commitment to customer service excellence and accessibility.


This procedure applies to all forms of customer service by town employees to each other and the community and includes but is not limited to online, electronic, print and verbal communications.


All communications should follow the town’s customer service values:

  1. Accountability – customer service is everyone’s responsibility.
  2. Dedication – our customers are the reason we are here. “Go the extra mile” to provide excellent service to our customers.
  3. Honesty – always fulfill your commitments. If you say you are going to do something, do it!
  4. Innovation – strive to continuously improve service. Leave our customers feeling satisfied with the information, program or service they receive from the town.
  5. Respect – treat customers with respect and build strong, lasting relations wherever possible.
  6. Teamwork – we are one town. Through teamwork and sharing of our knowledge and experience, we will achieve our commitment to customer service excellence.

The following customer service standards shall be followed by town employees and where applicable, shall be applied in accordance with the town’s Electronic Messages and Anti-Spam Compliance procedure, corporate identity standards (Cid), accessibility and other related policies and procedures:  

Telephone/voice mail

  • Answer calls within three rings
  • Update voice mail with an informative message daily
  • Check voice mail daily, unless there is an extended absence notification
  • Provide an alternate contact on voice mail
    • If alternate contact is a department line, ensure the voice mail has been updated with the date and response time
    • Senior management voice mail should link to live reception
  • Respond to high priority (related to non-emergency public safety) voice mail within one business day
  • Respond to voice mail by end of next business day

Written correspondence (emails, letters, memos, faxes, etc.)

  • Respond to email by end of next business day
  • Respond to high priority (related to non-emergency public safety) emails within one business day
  • Ensure automatic or same business day acknowledgments for high volume areas or when unable to respond fully within the required amount of time. Provide a response time estimate based on the complexity of the inquiry and availability of staff. Total time should not exceed 15 business days
  • Respond to faxes, letters and memos within 15 business days of receipt

In person

  • Attend to walk-in customers immediately
    • Serve customers in the order in which they appear, except when a customer has a scheduled appointment

After-hours inquiries

  • All after-hours high priority or public safety issues should be directed to the town’s after-hours emergencies line at 905-845-6606.
  • To maintain work/life balance, respond to general inquiries received during non-business hours (evenings, Saturdays, Sundays, and statutory holidays) within two business days of the next business day.

Response times

  • If unable to respond fully within the required amount of time, provide a response time estimate based on the complexity of the inquiry and availability of staff. Total time should not exceed 15 business days.


Employees are responsible for:

  • Complying with this procedure


Corporate identity standards: the town follows corporate identity standards (cid), which outline proper use of the corporate logo, typography and colours. The standards also address proper use of editorial style, plain language and accessibility considerations.

Procedure details

Procedure Number: G-COM-001-005
Parent Policy: G-COM-001
Section: Governance
Sub-Section: Communications
Author: Strategy, Policy and Communications department
Authority: CAO
Effective Date: 2006 Jul 04
Review by Date: 2021
Last Modified: 2016 Nov 14