Customer Service Excellence
The Independent Living Fund has successfully reached the Government's Customer Service Excellence standard.
The Government wants public services for all that are efficient, effective, excellent, equitable and empowering – with the citizen always and everywhere at the heart of public service provision. With this in mind Customer Service Excellence was developed to offer public services a practical tool for driving customer-focused change within their organisation.
Customer Service Excellence is designed to operate on three distinct levels:
1. As a driver of continuous improvement. By allowing organisations to self assess their capability, using our new online self-assessment tool, in relation to customer focussed service delivery and to identify areas and methods for improvement;
2. As a skills development tool. By allowing individuals and teams within the organisation to explore and acquire new skills in the area of customer focus and customer engagement, thus building their capacity for delivering improved services;
3. As an independent validation of achievement. By allowing organisations to seek formal accreditation to the standard, demonstrate their competence,identify key areas for improvement and celebrate their success.
The ILF has reached the standard convincingly by complying with 53 out of the 57 different elements that are looked at as part of the assessment, with only four areas of partial compliance.
In his report about the assessment of the ILF, the assessor said, "It was clear throughout the process that the organisation has a clear and effective commitment to developing and maintaining a high level of customer service. The users of the fund are central to the work of the fund and staff recognises this and take account of it in all they do. Many staff pointed out that in processing applications and payments they are constantly aware of the person behind the file they are dealing with."
During the assessment process the assessor also identified some key areas of strength for the ILF. These are:
- staff show a high degree of engagement and ‘buy in’ to the customer focussed ethos. All staff who were involved in the process share a passion for what they do and this comes across very clearly.
- there is a very clear understanding of the needs of service users and of the way that the service provided can impact on the quality of life of service users. Staffs were keen to point out that the files they deal with aren’t just paperwork, but each file represents an individual with specific needs and expectations. This approach clearly helps staff to maintain their enthusiasm for the work and their determination to deliver consistently good services.
- the range, type and impact of user involvement is impressive, especially considering the diverse nature of the service user group and the geographical challenges involved in consulting and engaging them. Users who were interviewed as part of the assessment process were appreciative of the level of involvement they are afforded.
- there is a sense of continuous development and improvement about the organisation which is shown in many ways. Physical changes have been made to the office environment, the branding is more clearly defined, changes have been made to a lot of the literature that is available for service users and staff reports a state of constant change and development. This also adds to the staffs’ motivation and helps maintain their enthusiasm for the job they do.
We are proud of our achievement, and will build on this success to continually develop and further improve all areas of our service.
Click the Customer Service Excellence hallmark at the top of this page to read more about the standard.