Unfolding plans 150 – Wear your badge

Day three of National Customer Service Week.  I’m cheating a bit today as I’m not involved in any specific event to celebrate the week and so I’m going to  talk about what I got up to yesterday afternoon.  Having said that, focussing on customers should be and is a constant activity.  Peter told me that his wife had asked why we had a week focussing on the customer when we should be doing it all the time.  Of course she is right yet it is nice to take time out to remind yourself occasionally.  We all like people to be extra nice to us on our birthday and so we should think about National Customer Service Week as a big celebration.  Happy birthday customers!

I used to work with Helen.  It was a few years ago but she wrote to me yesterday and reminded me how I used to wear my Institute of Customer Services badge.  I am a gold member.  I’ve dug it out again and am wearing it with pride.  I even posted a picture of it on Twitter.

Today we have kicked off one of our MOT days, where a small team works with our customers to identify ICT issues, process changes and learning opportunities.  This time it is with part of Regeneration and Economic Development on floor four of County Hall.  I wasn’t involved though.

Anyway, back to yesterday afternoon.  Mary and I swopped locations.  She looks after Customer Services across the Council.  She looks after Customer Services and not servicing our customers.  There is a difference and the latter is all of our responsibility.  Sometimes we forget that (hence National Customer Service Week).  Mary went to work on our Service Desk and I went to visit the Customer Contact Centre.

I spent most of my time with Claire. She worked mostly on dealing with emails that come into the Contact Centre which are mostly to do with Revs and Bens and mostly from landlords and housing associations.  So she had to work between two main systems, the Revs and Bens as well as the Customer Relationship Management one.

On top of this she was given the task of looking out for contact from social media, predominantly Facebook and Twitter, not just general contact but stuff which needs to be actioned.  She’d only been working on this for a fortnight and so wasn’t fully up to speed but she is now in new media.  We do get more contact from Facebook than Twitter and we do get the odd photograph of pot holes or broken pavements.

There is more though.  In between all this she had to take calls for the Registrar Service for replacement birth and marriage certificates.  She also had to take some payment at which point I looked the other (for compliance reasons).

So there was a lot of flicking between different applications, lots of cutting and pasting, as well as a lot of rekeying of data.  She seemed to have two or three jobs open at any time and so had to concentrate really hard to not mix everything up.  To be honest I don’t know how she kept it all in her head.  It did mean a lot of checking to make sure that nothing had slipped.

I then met up with Vicky, the Customer Relations Team Manager.  We talked about what was going well and what things could be better.

It was a really useful session.  There is no substitute for getting amongst people to understand what they do.

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