(Tuesday 15th March 2005)
Customer CharterAn update of the progress of Wycombe Wanderers' Customer Charter is included within a Football League report published recently. The report gives feedback on the three 'promises' made to supporters for the 2003/4 campaign and lists a further three 'promises' for the current season.
The 'Customer Charter' initiative was instigated in 2001 by the Independent Football Commission in an effort to improve customer service to supporters. There has been a varying success of the Charters throughout the Premiership and Football League. Wycombe's own Charter remains virtually unchanged since it was first published nearly four years ago. The promises published last year by COTN and these new promises have yet to be publicised by the Club and a revised Customer Charter remains in the pipeline.

The following is extracted from The Football League Customer Charter Report 2004 - published Dec 2004 -
Promises Made and Action Taken 2003/04
Promise 1
To refine and implement the Travel Plan to the best of our ability. This will aid speed and comfort of access and egress for all customers.
Action Taken
Travel plan meetings with local residents are held quarterly, new parking restrictions have been implemented locally and policed better. Free park and ride has been introduced, at the cost of the Club, from two separate locations. Two subsidised paid bus routes - subsidy from the council and the Club. All aimed at removing cars from the area of the ground on match days.
Promise 2
To improve communication with all supporters, not only the two supporters clubs, but all supporters.
Action Taken
Regular meetings with representatives from the supporters clubs. Request for assistance and input into drawing up a revised Customer Charter. Both supporters clubs given space in the programme to advertise their services and express their views.
Promise 3
To encourage the newly formed Supporters Trust and hopefully welcome a representative onto the Board.
Action Taken
Progress was made in lending active support from the Board of Wycombe Wanderers to the concept of a new Supporters Trust by encouraging the development and early progress of a working party. This work stalled temporarily whilst attention was given to a prospective Scheme of Arrangement designed to convert the existing company limited by a guarantee into a new company with a share capital. The scheme has now been sanctioned by the Court and all interested parties and a Supporters Trust is now an important element of the new constitution arrangements.

Promises Made 2004/05
1. To improve customer service and response times in relation to ticketing and all aspects of matchday delivery to customers covering tickets, food & drink, programmes and merchandising through the publication of local service standards and a formal complaints procedure.
2. To maintain effective communication channels with all supporter groups in the aftermath of the change in the Club's constitution and the creation of two formal bodies e.g. Founder Shareholder Trust and Wycombe Wanderers Supporters Trust by publishing a series of plans covering the use of official website and other media. This is likely to include formal surveys designed to test effectiveness and take feedback, new ideas and initiatives.
3. To redesign the match day proposition in order to improve entertainment value, add to the attractiveness of a day at Wycombe Wanderers and so increase the family of supporters to the benefit of an enhancement to gates. This process has already commenced with an exciting new formula delivered at the first league game of the new season.

The Independent Football Commission issued a seperate report in February 2005 where they comment on recomendations made to improve Charters including validation and and making clear commitments to customers on a rolling basis. However, the IFC comment "Charter awareness continues to be low. This is unsurprising. As the IFC has underlined in the past, public interest is in results achieved, not the small print of charters." They IFC suggest that Club's should at least publish the promises as these are easier to understand and read than the complete charter, adding "Awareness generally would be helped by reference to the existence of the charter, or charter system, in the matchday programmes."

The IFC report concludes its comments on Customer Charters by saying "Customer Services sections of charters tend still to focus on complaints, as if defence of criticism is the main function of a customer services team. The IFC suggests that customer service goes beyond compaints and that complaints could more usefully be regarded as valuable feedback"

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