Sunday, 12 October 2008

Customer Service Week

Last week the University took part in National Customer Service week. Lots of events all week, with the main one on Friday - the Customer Service awards. All staff and students are invited to nominate staff who have shown excellent customer service. This year we were very pleased to have 8 departmental nominations – 4 individual nominations and 4 team ones. Unfortunately we didn’t get one of the awards, but it was an excellent achievement to get so many nominations. I would like to congratulate the concierge team in the Information Commons who won one of the team awards – very well deserved. The building is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – they are the first point of contact for all visitors to the building, and the only point of contact when the IC staff are not there. There are nights when there are several hundred students in the building and the team have to deal will every eventuality - which as you can imagine are many and varied! Well done to the whole team.

As part of the award ceremony we had a talk from Andy Hanselman on "Creating Devoted Customers". In a world of rising customer expectations and demands, how do you provide customer service that not only delights them, but keeps them "devoted' to you as a service provider? And just as important, how do you deal with their disappointments when the service isn't up to scratch and stop them becoming disaffected? Word of mouth - and word of mouse - is increasing and poor service can't be hidden. Andy gave some great examples, and provided a number of tips and ideas to answer the above questions. A few I remember are: stand in your own queues, ring up your own business, give your customers a damn good listening to, delight your customers, spot disappointment and address it immediately. All common sense, but easy to not do.

I'm committed to CiCS providing excellent customer service, and it's the reason we have a dedicated section to it in the department. BUT - it's everyone's responsibility, and just because we have a Customer Services Section it doesn't mean everyone else can just sit back. We're doing regular reviews of our services to get the views of our customers but over the next few weeks I want to get the views of those who provide the services - so I'll be walking a floor near you soon.....

1 comment:

Graham Hill said...

Its an old maxim but one delighted customer keeps it to themselves but one disatisfied customer tells ten others. Celebrating customer service in this way is fantastic and a great University initiative we should all try and copy. Congratulations to you and team for the nominations and awards. I'd nominate From a Distanec for the award of best IT Director blog in Higher Education 2008! Always a good read.