What is involved in Customer First?

In the last blog in this series, we mentioned what drove us to work towards Putting the Customer First and this time, we’re focusing on the work we have to put in to achieve and maintain the standard. This is all part of our accountability to our customers. Thanks to this process we have been able to gain a rare, complete insight into our business, our approach and the wants, needs and expectations of end users and brokers.

Here’s a recap of what Customer First is all about:

Customer First is a national standard for customer service. It was designed to assist businesses in creating excellence in the customer experience by focusing on three pillars:

  • Building Customer Relationships
  • Maximising Market Awareness
  • Developing Your People

There are 30, yes, 30 statements you are assessed against when striving to achieve the Customer First standard. Why are we telling you this? Well, it strikes us that there’s lots of badges and accreditations but they only mean something if we deliver and live up to our promises; by showing you how we’ve been challenged to hold our standard for seven years, you’ll see how passionate we are about always doing the best we can do.

Now we’re not sure listing all thirty statements would make the best reading, so you can find the full list here, but we’ve highlighted some of our favourites, the ones we feel particularly passionate about below.

Customer relationships:

  • We build successful long-term relationships with our customers
  • We deliver services to our customers in a timely manner or within agreed timeframes
  • We gather customer feedback to check the effectiveness of our service delivery and identify opportunities for improvement
  • We always follow up and swiftly resolve customer complaints or concerns

Market awareness section:

  • All our people and those working on our behalf understand the purpose, aims and values of our organisation
  • We develop and improve our services by working in partnership with other organisations
  • We set overall objectives for service delivery which we regularly review to ascertain how our performance affects our customers
  • We support continuous improvement – we are able to demonstrate that we learn from our experience and make improvements to our services as a result

People section:

  • We ensure we recruit the right people with a customer focused attitude by using effective and appropriate recruitment methods in line with equality of opportunity principles
  • Our people understand their role within our organisation and are clear about what we expect from them
  • We use customer feedback to evaluate our peoples’ performance
  • We act in the best interests of our customers at all times

We were, happily, found to be compliant with all thirty statements and in the third and final blog in the series, we will be sharing with you some of the feedback we received, in the interests of complete transparency and so that you can see just how much we put into securing this standard!

Stay tuned for more Customer First insights!