Good customer service requires that an organisation should plan and manage the required competency needs of its key staff.

Staff deployed to front line activities that might interface with consumers should have suitable behaviours and aptitudes to deliver customer service consummate with the organisation’s services or products.

People specifications should be developed for roles that require good standards of service. The required behaviours and skills needed should be clearly defined in a way that can be measured further down the line.

Staff involved within customer service should have a positive frame of mind, a commitment to the customer charter aligned with the values sought by the business.

Good examples of behavioural competence might include:

  • Good communication
  • Working well under stress
  • Listening skills
  • Empathy
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Being flexible
  • Proactive
  • Willing to go that extra mile

The type of skills needed include: a good knowledge of the organisation’s products and services, understanding the contract terms of offerings, appreciation of customer needs, identification of vulnerability in certain customers, provision of clear information and dealing with complaints.

Staff should receive regular feedback on achievement of their competency profiles. Where there are shortfalls or omissions management should aim to rectify this as soon as possible.

Using BS8477 the British Standard for Customer Service an organisation can be assured that it is using a world class Standard to support its policies and processes.

A business seeking to stand out as a beacon of good customer service, can consider BSI’s Customer Service Kitemark award. The author is qualified in providing advice on this path.

For further information and to book your BS 8477 – Customer Service survey please contact: Marcus J Allen at Thamer James Ltd. Email: marcus@thamerjames.co.uk

Marcus has twenty years’ experience in delivering Governance, Risk and Compliance solutions to over two hundred organisations within the UK. Marcus holds the respected Diploma in Governance, Risk and Compliance from the International Compliance Association and holds a master’s degree in Management Learning & Change from the University of Bristol. Marcus is a Fellow of the Institute of Consultants and Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.