Consumer Priorities

This week it is Customer Service Week, an opportunity to celebrate all that is customer related.  Yes, I know that every week should be the week that we focus on our customers.  They are of course the life blood of any organisation yet this week is like their birthday, we are going to mark each day out as a special occasion.

So, this week I am going to try and blog every day about something customer related. The Institute of Customer Services, of which I am a member, has identified a theme for each day and today’s is Consumer Priorities.  Now, I will not go into the differences between a customer and a consumer at this point as I don’t have enough time but suffice to say that in the public sector there is often a complicated relationship between the two.

Our theme is to make it easier for our customers and we’re making the Durham students aware of the new student app.  Both themes, however, are apt as today we launched our new Customer Relationship Management board.

The CRM system has been live since the end of July and, in the main, has been a great success.  Almost overnight we have gone from one fully online transaction to ninety.  Almost a quarter of these transactions are now down online and we are demonstrating channel shift in action.

Then why have we set up the board today?  In truth there is still so much more of the business to address.  The launch of the CRM was just the thin end of a very big wedge and we need to work out what next.  We have moved from a systems implementation project to a business improvement project.  We could not have hoped to use the CRM to transform our approach to customers without having the system in place first.  We have something meaningful to work with now.

There are so many priorities to consider, those that would improve efficiency, those that would reduce complexity, those that would simplify the process and, certainly not least those that will make it easier for the customer.  We’re going to try a more agile approach, with smaller planning horizons and more frequent releases.

The meeting showed good progress and we are making it both easier for our customers and prioritising for our consumers.

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