What made you choose to go for Customer First?
We have set a standard of customer service, which we adhere to at the university.We wanted to ensure that the standards we have set are aligned to the standards laid out by Customer First UK. By aligning our standards we can ensure that our approach to customer service is relevant and is the right one.Working to a recognised set of standards allows us to continuously approve the customer service we provide and allows us to raise awareness of customer service to members of staff across the university.
What did you hope to get out of the Customer First accreditation?
We wanted confirmation that the processes we have in placing for providing excellent customer service are meeting the standards set by Customer First UK.It’s always helpful to have somebody external identify areas of improvement as that allows us to drive change and move forward in improving the customer service we provide.
How did you and your team feel about the assessment?
The assessment allowed us to re-focus on the services we provide and look at how these are delivered.It gives us the opportunity to gain external feedback on our processes so that we can make improvements, where identified, and use this to drive change.
How long did the process take from initial enquiry to accreditation?
We have had accreditation since 2004.
How did you and the team feel when you were told you were compliant?
It is reassuring to have validation that the processes we have in place are in alignment with the standards set by Customer First UK.A great deal of work goes into obtaining accreditation and gaining this status allows us to promote the customer service values throughout the university.
What recommendations and feedback did you get from your assessor?
The advisor suggested a CRM system would be good to have to aid the management of relationships with external organisations and this is something that was investigated and implemented due to the recommendation.Gaining and recording customer feedback was suggested as an area for improvement.
How has the feedback and recommendations impacted on your organisation?
The positive feedback that is provided by the assessor allows the organisation to work on improving areas and processes to enable the continuous customer focus.Receiving feedback allows us to focus on what we do and see how we could improve areas to improve the overall customer experience.
How have you and your staff benefitted from going through the Customer First journey?
The process has enabled staff to focus on the way that customer service is delivered and to look at areas that were identified for improvement. It allowed staff to meet to discuss the ways in which they worked and shared ideas.The re-accreditation has led to members of staff undertaking training in customer service and the customer culture to help continue to improve the services that are delivered to the customers.
What recommendations or Top Tips would you give other organisations just starting out on their Customer First journey?
To get buy-in from everyone involved so that all the processes are followed in the same way by all employees.
Within your industry, what challenges do you face and how has Customer First supported them?
Each service within Universities works differently in how they deliver the service they provide.Although services are delivered to customers in different ways, having a basic set of procedures and standards for delivering customer service will allow universities to be working to a consistent set of standards.
Why would other organisations in your sector benefit from the Customer First process?
It is a standard that brings people together in the way they work, to ensure that the customer is the focus of all the services a university provides.It is a useful tool for looking at the way a university works and examining how processes can be improved.
“The Customer First process has helped us identify the areas we are strong in and the areas that require improvement. It has helped focus employees on the goals of our organisation and the processes we have in place to meet those goals”