Skip to main content
King County logo

News archive



DDES receives high marks for staff professionalism

Summary

King County's Department of Development and Environmental Services has received high customer satisfaction results from a recent survey measuring permit customer satisfaction.

Story

DDES receives high marks for staff professionalism

King County's Department of Development and Environmental Services (DDES) has received high customer satisfaction results from a recent survey measuring permit customer satisfaction. DDES issues building and land use permits in the unincorporated portions of King County. While the survey gives DDES solid marks in multiple areas, this particular survey gives especially high marks to field inspectors, the services provided in the DDES Permit Center, and the overall professionalism demonstrated by DDES staff.

On the customer satisfaction survey's five-point scale, where 5 means "extremely satisfied" and 1 means "not at all satisfied", DDES received the following ratings:

Performance measureCustomer response
DDES staff being courteous and professional 83% rated DDES either a 4 or a 5
Obtaining information from DDES staff in the field 76% rated DDES either a 4 or a 5
Obtaining information from DDES staff in person in the Permit Center   74% rated DDES either a 4 or a 5
DDES staff being available to assist customers 64% rated DDES either a 4 or a 5
DDES inspectors performing inspections when scheduled 88% rated DDES either a 4 or a 5

This survey was conducted by an independent, outside consultant, and secured feedback from a random sample of customers who obtained permits from DDES between January and August, 2008. The survey's margin of error is plus or minus 4.2%.

DDES Director Stephanie Warden said, "We are constantly looking for ways to improve the public's permitting experience. That said, we are a regulatory agency and our customers do business with us because they are required to. For us to receive such high marks for professionalism and overall staff assistance when we function as a regulatory agency is so telling of the commitment to quality and customer service among DDES staff. I am extremely proud to work for this department."

DDES handles between 6,000 and 8,000 permits each year. Service enhancements implemented over the last several years likely contributed to these positive survey results. For example, DDES has developed tools that provide for more accountability and predictability in managing the complex projects the department oversees, including up-front fee estimates and single-point-of-contact permitting. Property owners have also benefited from free technical assistance each morning in the Permit Center, a more user-friendly Web site, and education and outreach programs to help them efficiently navigate the permitting process.

For more information, contact Paula Adams, DDES Public Information and Records Officer, at 206-296-6682 or e-mail paula.adams@kingcounty.gov.