Unit 20: Principles of Customer Service Management A/506/4217

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  1 Understand the principles of management in customer service

1.1 Evaluate how management and leadership styles impact on customer service
1.2 Explain how customer service systems and processes balance:
● customer satisfaction
● financial considerations
● legislation
1.3 Evaluate the importance of developing customer service policies that support the culture and ethics of the organisation
2 Understand how to manage recruitment and training to support customer service
2.1 Analyse the personal and professional skills required to deliver effective customer service in the organisation
2.2 Explain how to recruit and select staff for a customer service role
2.3 Analyse methods used to train and develop staff in customer service delivery
2.4 Explain the relationship between staff training, experience, personality and customer service delivery
3 Understand the management of customer service delivery
3.1 Analyse the roles and responsibilities of customer service management in relation to:
● the organisation’s service offer
● customer expectations
● customer satisfaction
3.2 Appraise the use of customer service as a competitive tool by the commercial sector
3.3 Appraise the use of customer service as a contribution to best value in the public or third sector
3.4 Evaluate how customer service values and ethics are demonstrated and maintained
3.5 Appraise the key features of a customer service culture within an organisation
3.6 Analyse how technology can be used to improve customer service delivery
4 Understand the value of monitoring, evaluating and continuous improvement in customer service delivery
4.1 Explain the importance of monitoring the delivery of customer service within the organisation
4.2 Evaluate the methods for monitoring customer service performance
4.3 Explain how risk assessment is applied within customer service delivery
4.4 Evaluate ways in which an organisation can seek continuous improvement in customer service
4.5 Explain the importance of establishing collaborative partnerships in customer service
1 Understand the principles of management in customer service
Customer service management: definition of customer service; customer service management role, e.g. setting SMART team objectives, linking performance to customer-focused objectives, creating a customer-focused culture, motivating and leading a team to deliver effective customer service, communicating, building customer relationships, managing conflict, handling customer complaints, effective decision making; identifying key features of good customer service in other organisations; understanding organisation’s aims for customer service excellence; translating organisational aims into team actions
Management and leadership: management, e.g. planning, organising, co-ordinating, controlling; leadership attributes and skills, e.g. delivering results, showing enthusiasm, integrity, courage, sensitivity, commitment; communicating the vision clearly; cultivating key relationships; creating sense of common purpose with team; taking responsibility for making things happen; encouraging and supporting others; application of leadership behaviours and styles to work groups, having a good cultural fit within the organisation; theories of leadership qualities, e.g. Adair, Peters, Kanter, Mintzberg; emotional intelligence
Impact of management and leadership style: styles, e.g. autocratic, charismatic, persuasive, participative; influences on style, e.g. culture of organisation, beliefs and values of manager/leader; Blake and Mouton’s Managerial Grid
Organisational systems and processes: importance, e.g. for developing plans for customer service operations; working within budgets and balancing financial considerations, e.g. investment in staff, materials; compliance with legislation and regulatory organisations, e.g. Ofsted, Ofqual, Financial Services Authority, Office of Rail Regulator, Ofcom; balancing needs of organisation, e.g. role of regulations with setting standards, ensuring parity across sector, ensuring range of services offered, consumer protection, health and safety, equal opportunities and discrimination, data protection; surpassing customer needs and/or expectations, providing a personal service
Customer service policies: types, e.g. staff training, handling customer queries and/or complaints, keeping customer records, updating customers; procedures for improving or introducing new products and/or services; pricing strategies; adapting policies and procedures to find solutions to customer problems; communication within organisation; completing financial transactions; importance of developing a customer service strategy, e.g. to gain a competitive advantage, ensure customer satisfaction; contributing to the ethical and values base of the organisation, e.g. sourcing raw materials, reducing carbon emissions, fair trade; being consistent with organisational practice; using ethics base as part of customer service promise; impacts of unethical behaviour, e.g. reduction in customers; recommending changes to policies and procedures
2 Understand how to manage recruitment and training to support customer service
Skills to deliver effective customer service: personal skills; importance of interpersonal communications, e.g. body language, active listening, questioning, assertiveness, successful negotiation; personal presentation; professional skills; the importance of coaching and mentoring staff; using occupational standards to identify competencies, product knowledge
Recruitment and selection: scope of job role; meeting organisational policies and procedures for recruitment and selection; employment legislation relating to pay, discrimination, equality, contractual terms and conditions
Training and development: importance of staff development in customer service delivery, e.g. to improve customer service, implementing standards, to maintain team focus, to motivate; identifying training needs; ways of developing the team, e.g. on-site and off-site training, identifying appropriate qualifications, making it systematic with service standards, service measurement; benefits and drawbacks of different training and development methods; reward and recognition for team members, using technology in the team to support customers, using systems and processes; supporting team, e.g. through delegation and empowerment, motivation and inspiration; assessing impact of training on customer service performance, e.g. planning appraisals, knowing team’s strengths and weaknesses, providing feedback via appraisal, meetings, email, newsletter; threats to team development, e.g. high turnover, weak or authoritarian leadership, poor definition of goals; importance of developing own team leader/manager performance; relationship between staff training, experience, personality and customer service delivery
3 Understand the management of customer service delivery
Customer service delivery: the organisation’s service offer; the extent and limits of the offer according to type of sector, e.g. private sector as a competitive tool, public and third sectors to provide best value; aim to be over and above what an organisation would usually do; customer service promise, e.g. several customer service offers packaged together
Customer expectations: meeting and exceeding expectations, e.g. anticipating customer needs, prompt and polite service, availability of products, and services, ensuring safe and hygienic products, services and environment, providing accurate and up-to-date information, ensuring appearance meets organisational profile/image
Establishing customer service culture: key features of a customer service culture, e.g. having a customer focus, demonstrating good customer service skills, demonstrating communication and listening skills with internal and external customers, managing change, service recovery and complaint handling; importance of maintaining customer service values and ethics, e.g. competitive advantage, enhanced public image, repeat business
Use of technology to improve customer service delivery: website forums for customers to access; email for quick responses to customer enquiries and requests; customer relationship management software, e.g. data-gathering tools to analyse customer behaviour; features and functionality of technology; evaluating options for using technology
4 Understand the value of monitoring, evaluating and continuous improvement in customer service delivery
Monitoring: purpose, e.g. to evaluate quality of customer service, meeting organisational standards, enhanced public image, customer satisfaction; monitoring customer loyalty, e.g. repeat business, new customers; monitoring techniques, e.g. mystery shoppers, comment cards, observation; monitoring and measuring team performance, e.g. staff turnover, customer feedback via surveys, informal comments, level of complaints; benefits and drawbacks of options for monitoring performance; using financial data, e.g. turnover, repeat business; analysing statistical data; taking corrective action, e.g. supporting and developing under-performing team members, reviewing and evaluating team responsibilities and working arrangements; making recommendations and presenting information
Risk assessment: importance of managing risk; carrying out risk assessment and implementing it in relation to customer service problems, e.g. identifying risk in different stages of customer service process and its consequences, probability of the risk occurring; types of customer service risk, e.g. financial, reputational, health and safety, delivering sub-standard services or products; importance of identifying and assessing individual risks so that they can be classified and prioritised; identifying trends and patterns; actions to minimise risks, e.g. carrying out a cost benefit analysis, SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis; developing staff awareness of identified risks
Continuous improvement: importance of monitoring for future performance of customer service, e.g. efficiency of operation, to bring about improvements; methods, e.g. staff training, staffing levels, employee of the month, reviewing products and services offered, loyalty schemes’ assessment criteria; planning for change in competitive environment, e.g. improvements to quality of service, reliability, keeping staff by improving job satisfaction, working environment, attracting new customers, increasing turnover, complying with legal obligations; establishing collaborative partnerships and network of contacts

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