“Working towards the Customer First Standard will allow us to realign our strategic focus in line with the University’s objectives, as well as improving key operational practices. The assessment has boosted staff morale as we continue to build a culture of “can do” attitudes within our team. The knock on effect such gains will have in the overall customer journey will be key to the culture of positivity and flexibility our customers will experience. “

Who are you?

Oxford Brookes University - Brookes Sports


When did you achieve Customer First?

August 2012


Why did you choose to go for the Customer First Standard?

This was Brookes Sports' first Customer First assessment. We wanted to highlight to our customers how important good levels of customer service provision were to our business and considered at all stages of the customer journey. This assessment allowed us to find out where we needed to make improvements and consider appropriate interventions. The standard was based around staff engagement which made sense to me as this is where the service delivery comes from, not what we’ve got, but who we’ve got…


What methods did you use to approach assessment or re-assessment?

We worked closely with one of the University’s Business Development Managers who facilitated workshops relating to customer journey mapping and engaged in a pre-assessment consultancy which was hugely useful. I also facilitated smaller workshops with my own team to help put the assessment into context.


What were the benefits of the assessment process?

The assessors one on one interviews with members of the Brookes Sport staffing team improved staff engagement levels and boosted morale within the team, especially with the positive outcome we received as a result of receiving full compliance status. The assessment highlighted some operational aspects we needed to improve on, as well as a more long term strategic focus with regards to where we sit within the customer (or student) experience, where we want to be, and what interventions are needed to get us there. Immediately after receiving the assessment report we have implemented bite size training; “Putting (customers) Students at the Centre” which I will facilitate along with our Directorate’s staff development consultant.


Why would you recommend the Customer First Standard to others?

The Standard is not overly paperwork based. The 30 statements can be answered in bullet point fashion and be accompanied with a portfolio of work (which can be pulled together gradually). The assessment is largely focused on staff members regarding the service they provide and is not based on the facilities you have or have not got. The Standard is people centred which is fundamental to successful customer service delivery.

Putting the Customer First®