Voluntary Action Barnsley
“Customer First demonstrates our organisation’s wide commitment to the provision of delivering excellent customer service in the community & voluntary sector”
Who are you?
Voluntary Action Barnsley (VAB)
What’s your Customer First Status?
VAB achieved the Customer First Standard in January 2007
Why go for Customer First?
We acknowledge Customer First as an accepted Standard recognising the level of customer service delivered by a wide range of businesses and voluntary and community organisations
With the Standard adopted by funding bodies it gave us the opportunity to validate our services in the relevant manner, improving and strengthening our organisational practices
What were the Benefits of Assessment?
The assessment ensured all our practices were consistent and embedded across the whole organisation. Customer First gave us the chance to bring staff together in pursuit of one common goal
The Customer First assessment raised awareness and enthusiasm throughout VAB and as a result teamwork has prospered
What Improvements Followed?
We have improved and unified our database, standardised customer contact records and achieved better communication of our services
The VAB brand has been communicated more effectively and our personal development procedures have been enhanced
Why are you recommending Customer First?
Customer First will strengthen communication systems and encourage the collection of useable customer service data
Customer First accreditation will extend funding and tendering opportunities for the community and voluntary sectors
“By achieving the Customer First Standard we were able to acknowledge existing good practices, bring teams together, break down barriers and obstacles in order to standardise our approach
to delivering excellent customer service”
Putting the Customer First®
Voluntary Action Barnsley (VAB) plays a crucial role in bringing together the community, offering a wide range of support services to community and voluntary organisations in the Barnsley area and helping to build strong and cohesive communities.
Ian Ireland, Deputy Chief Executive of VAB is a firm champion of the Customer First Standard, “Customer First acknowledges the very high level of customer service delivered by a wide range of businesses and voluntary/community organisations. The Customer First Standard gave us a method of measuring customer service and helped us to work through the different components that needed to be in place in order to provide an excellent, high quality service”
VAB saw a number of changes within their organisation during their Customer First journey, Ros Winsor VAB Development Worker explains, “The assessment was rigorous but also friendly, fair and logical. The whole Customer First experience was extremely useful in helping VAB analyse current practices and identify realistic areas for improvement. Nine months prior to our formal assessment the team self assessed ourselves against the Standard and made considerable improvements to ensure we adhered to the principles of Customer First."
Ros goes on to commend the support VAB had from Customer First, “The Customer First assessor was available to answer any questions we had prior to our assessment, as were the Customer First team. Workshops we attended helped us to clarify concerns we had and the Customer First Online Resources helped us to develop templates and documentation. At first assessment we were accredited with the Customer First Standard”
Through ‘Quality Working Groups’ and ‘Customer First Away Days’, VAB have worked hard to gain Customer First accreditation, so what impact has it had?
The main impact of undertaking the Customer First Standard has been to give a real boost to team morale and an organisational wide commitment to the provision of excellent customer service. Customer First has unified our database, standardised customer contact records, achieved better communication of our services and our brand and enhanced personal development procedures, we now have a culture of “can do”!
Would VAB recommend Customer First to other organisations?
Yes, absolutely! Especially in our sector as it will strengthen communication systems and encourage the collection of useable customer service data which helps the delivery of the best possible service to your customers.