New drive encourages private sector to strive for better customer service
Under new plans, private sector companies are now being encouraged to apply for the Customer Service Excellence Standard (CSE), set-up to help improve customer service within the public sector.
CSE initially launched five years ago focusing predominately on public sector organisations. The new plans now aim to take this experience and expertise and apply it to the private sector, and help improve customer service within the UK business scene.
The CSE standard tests areas of importance as outlined by customers themselves, such as delivery, timeliness, information, professionalism and staff attitude.
Gary Swarbrooke, spokesperson for the CSE, said: "Since Customer Service Excellence launched in March 2008, we've worked mostly with public sector organisations. We now want to take our proven experience and expertise to the private sector, encouraging them to achieve the high level of standards that are becoming commonplace and expected from customers."
The standard operates on three distinct levels; by allowing businesses to self-assess themselves, by allowing individuals and teams within the business to explore and acquire new customer service skills, and finally by allowing businesses to seek formal accreditation.
Swarbrooke added: "The final element is the key really as this is what makes the standard really stand out. We have very strict criteria when we assess businesses. Companies have to work really hard, and prove that they are at the top of their game when it comes to customer service, in order to be accredited.
"We're keen for CSE to grow as a recognised symbol of excellence, both by businesses themselves and more importantly by the customer. By doing this, our aim is to put the UK business community back on the map, and get this economy growing again.
"At the core of most successful businesses is good people, and good customer service. If you get that right, then you are giving yourself a real platform to succeed. Unfortunately though, a lot of businesses today seem to neglect customer service. We're here to change that and raise the bar, so that both organisations and customers benefit in the future."