Customer experience is one of the pillars of the way we do business at Harrow Green, and one of the ways we display this outwardly is by service and quality certifications that offer our customers the reassurance that standardised measures of quality assessment are applied to our work.
One such assessment we aimed to renew recently, was our Customer Service Excellence ® (CSE) certification. As the only relocation professional to carry this badge we are very proud to receive it for the third consecutive year, after displaying our expertise in the field of customer service and commitment to making it easy for our customers to do business with us.
What is it all about?
The CSE is a certification awarded by the Government after the company in question has undergone a thorough review by one their certified assessors. The aim behind the certification is to demonstrate that services are efficient, excellent, equitable and empowering by placing the customer in primary focus. Customer Service Excellence ® was developed as a practical tool for driving customer-focused change within service related organisations.
The Customer Service Excellence Standard is made up of 5 criteria with 57 elements in total. Assessment is carried out by an authorised assessor who performs an on-site visit, which can last several days. As well as viewing physical documentation, and carrying out observations, the assessor speaks to customers, staff and partners to review the company's attitudes and working practices.
The CSE standard tests areas that research has indicated are a priority for customers, such as a focus on delivery, timeliness, information, professionalism and staff attitude. Emphasis is also placed on developing customer insight and understanding the user’s experience by a robust measurement of service satisfaction.
The Customer Service Excellence ® certification works on three aspects of service provision, helping us constantly evaluate our approach as:
- A driver of continuous improvement by rigorous self-assessment of our capabilities in customer focussed service delivery.
- A tool for skill development by allowing staff to identify areas where they can acquire new customer focus and engagement skills.
- As an independent validation of achievement by offering us formal accreditation to the Customer Service Excellence ® standard which demonstrates our competence and celebrates our success.
How did we get it?
As already mentioned, self-assessment is a big part of the CSE so we started with examining all aspects of our service provision and identified where our strengths lie but also where we have room for improvement.
For example we looked at how we communicate with our customers and how we receive feedback from them such as our project completion survey, which gets sent to every customer once a project has closed so that they can provide us with objective feedback on how we did. The information gathered from the survey is examined with an individual lens but also quantified, allowing us to look at our service provision as accrued data that we compare against various industry metrics.
This survey approach is critical because each relocation project has its own challenges and being able to identify these is a major part of providing great service for the next time we collaborate with the same or a different customer.
Our communication doesn’t end there however, we also advise customers on the actions we take as a result of their feedback which is particularly beneficial for our ongoing professional partnerships; if our customers know we listen and enforce their requests, they’ll feel comfortable to return to us next time they need our help.
Other elements the CSE auditor looked at was how we make particular efforts to identify hard to reach and disadvantaged groups and individuals, and how we have developed our services in response to their specific needs, such as our Re-fresh programme [link] which enables us to donate unwanted customer assets to charities or schools whose budget cannot stretch to new acquisitions.
Further to the above, our CSE assessment looked at our customer focussed training practises, and how we prioritise customer service at all levels of our organisation by teaching our staff to show initiative, flexibility and ownership in their interactions with our customers.
The CSE accreditation is an important feature of our business methods as it centres on our commitment to putting the customer at the heart of service delivery and to customising our approach to their requirements. Communication is key to the way we operate and we use customer insight to inform our policies and strategy in order to prioritise improvement. We don’t think of ourselves as a removal company but as a service partner that provides removals.
This rigorous assessment process was managed by our Head of Quality and Compliance, who along with key members of our workforce, was interviewed by the CSE auditor in order to provide him with the information he needed to assess and mark us. We are very proud to have acquired the standard for yet another year by exhibiting how customer service and the desire for constant improvement are at the core of everything we do.
View our report here.