WELCOME His Worship the Mayor of Antrim Councillor Oran Keenan
Agenda 9:30 Welcome 9:45 Dare to be Different 10:15 Achieving Excellence in Customer Service 11:00 Refreshments 11:15 Achieving Excellence in Customer Service 12:00 The Outcome for the Customer 12:30 Questions 12:45 Lunch
OPENING REMARKS Ray Wright Deputy Director Delivery and Innovation Division DFPNI
DARE TO BE DIFFERENT Catherine McFarland Director of Corporate Services
ANTRIM BOROUGH COUNCIL Putting the Customer at the heart of Local Government
Putting the customer at the heart of Local Government Setting the Scene Recognising the Challenges Making the Change Looking to the Future
Customer Service Setting the Scene NI Executive – Programme for Government 2008 - 2011 ‘The reform programme, however, is about much more than efficiency savings. It is about bringing government closer to people, revitalising public services and responding to the increasingly diverse nature of our society. It is about ensuring that public services are more accessible, accountable and responsive to individual needs and the lifestyles that people now lead. This means changing the focus from one of administrative boundaries to addressing the needs of people and working together to deliver better experiences and outcomes’.
Customer Service Recognising the Challenges Identifying the Issues – The driver for Change Direct customer feedback RES Surveys – 26 Councils RPA Research Consumer Council Feedback The Changing Public Sector Environment
Customer Service The Issues The Structures were complex – customers had difficultly knowing which number to ring to contact the correct person Customers were frustrated and felt that they were passed from ‘pillar to post’ Customers found difficulty in getting answers to their questions One of the main sources of customer complaints was about the handling of calls/queries
Basic Customer Expectations An immediate answer to simple questions A single number to ring As much help as possible at first point of contact A friendly, helpful and positive response
Delivering the Change – The Customer We need to place the customer at the heart of our services by: Understanding what the customer expects from our services and the values important to them Applying those values to all of our services Empowering our customers through information, support, advice and education Involving our customers in a meaningful way in service development and delivery
Delivering the Change - Internally Basic Requirements – we needed: A fundamental review and transformation of Customer Service - requiring A clear vision and commitment from the Top! Clear Corporate Goals putting the customer at the centre of our services A system which cascades the corporate objectives down to individual level
The Initial Changes Change the Structure – The introduction of a team of professional Customer Service Advisors Change the Culture – Development of a tailored programme of Customer Care for all staff. Change the Number – Remove the Direct Line numbers for the main functions
The Role of the Customer Service Advisor Dealing with customer queries at first point of contact Developing customer care policy Developing a customer care training programme for all staff Reporting back and influencing service delivery Developing systems to support the role
Resourcing the Change In four ways: Human: Professional, capable and well trained staff Technological: Use technology to support service delivery Financial: Build in the necessary resources to your budgets Physical: Utilize your assets to maximum benefit
Our Goal To deliver excellent services to our customers in a challenging and changing environment.
Achieving Excellence in Customer Service Workshop A & Workshop B
The outcome for the customer The Outcome for the Customer A transformation of Customer Service resulting in: Seamless Service A consistent and high level of professionalism An answer at first point of contact for 70-80% of enquiries The Outcome for Elected Members A means of having all enquiries/issues tracked A positive response from ratepayers An immediate response to basic questions/queries on behalf of customers
The outcome for the customer Key Measures of Success Customer Satisfaction Elected Members Satisfaction Staff Satisfaction Positive PR
A Direct Customer Perspective Mrs Cynthia Cherry
IN SUMMARY ‘Hello Mrs. Smith, the DOE is responsible for this, let me find out who can assist you and call you back’ ‘Yes, I can take the details and have your new bin delivered within 3 working days.’ ‘‘Let me just check for you…that class begins at 7.30 pm, runs twice a week and costs £4. Would you like to reserve a place? ‘Sorry’ we don’t deal with street lighting’ ‘Sorry, we don’t have times for that class, I’ll give you another number’ ‘Sorry, bins are dealt with by another dept and they are engaged, can you call back?
A Final Thought Who is our customer: “A customer is the most important visitor in our premises. He is not dependent on us, we are dependent on him. He is not an interruption to our work, he is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider to our business, he is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him; he is doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to do so”. Mahatma Gandhi