Council creates internal customer service training scheme
Rushcliffe Borough Council has created a training programme on internal customer service aimed at building productive working relationships.
The initiative is built around a training video by Video Arts called Inside Information which shows the adverse effect on customers when different departments work independently, in a silo mentality. It explains how to build productive working relationships with people from different departments and stresses the need for staff to treat their internal colleagues with the same level of respect and courtesy as they would treat an external customer.
"We're a top-performing council that aims to deliver excellent service but sometimes when people are stretched and under pressure, communication can fall down between service areas and departments," said Dan Swaine, operations manager at Rushcliffe BC.
"We wanted to help our staff understand that if our internal customer care falls down, so will our external customer care. We chose Inside Information because it highlights the need to operate as one team. The intelligent use of humour prompts discussion and the very strong learning messages will be remembered long after the training course has finished."
The Inside Information video was initially shown to the council's management team, as part of a training session on the importance of internal customer service.
"We looked at their role as managers in ensuring that each department pulls together for the greater good," Swaine added.
"The video struck a chord with them. It helps people to see the bigger picture that how we treat each other has a knock-on impact on the quality of service that we're able to provide for our customers."
A half-day training programme on internal customer service, featuring the Inside Information content, is now being rolled out by the council for all 360 members of staff. Cohorts of up to 12 delegates, from different service areas, will attend each session. Managers will nominate people from their teams who they think will benefit from the programme and individuals can also make a request to attend.
"Because we're using a video resource that is split into bite-sized clips, we have the flexibility to show specific scenarios and to hone in on particular learning points.
"With service area reviews and changes being undertaken, the 'one team' message is something we're keen to emphasise. If we can achieve excellence in internal customer service then our external service will continue to be strong."