NHS Informatics Merseyside had been talking internally for some time about the need to focus more on their customer service and how they could enable their IT Service Desk staff to develop their soft skills to deliver an exceptional customer experience over the telephone.
Why Ember Real Results
The Informatics Merseyside desk manage around 10,000 contacts per month, with over 70% of those contacts being by telephone call, so whilst the landscape is changing in terms of delivering a multi-channel strategy of voice, online form, and live chat, there are a significant number of NHS staff who still prefer the assurance of actually speaking to an agent.
Although they had delivered generic customer service training to their staff previously, they found it lacked specificity and failed to deliver tangible benefits. With this in mind, they contacted Ember Real Results Training with a view to agreeing a training plan that would be both relevant, specific, and deliver measurable benefits.
“It is now coming up to 12 months since we implemented the quality framework, and whilst we are definitely not perfect (who is?), the customer service and quality ethos is now firmly embedded within the team, and we now deliver a consistently high quality service that always puts the customer at the very heart of what we do. This has been recognised both internally with customer satisfaction scores reaching 97%, and recognised externally by being the first NHS Service Desk in England to achieve SDI 3 star certification, and being judged as Runners-up in the ‘Best Large Service Desk’ award 2015.”
“I was very impressed with the content, delivery style, and staff participation in what was a lively and entertaining training day.”
“In the first few months following the training, there was noticeable improvement in some staff, whereas others were finding it difficult to adopt some of the best practice and mandatory elements of the quality framework. For some staff, this was their first time they had received regular structured feedback in relation to their telephone interactions, and it was a bit of a culture shock! Having the combination of a good quality framework and the right training package to get staff moving through it gave us a great result that’s sustainable over the long term.”
“The Contact Centre Masterclass series of videos provide thought-provoking content for contact centre team leaders covering a wide range of relevant themes. Whilst each video can be viewed in a single sitting, I have found that I quite often come back to view specific content from time to time when we are working on improving a particular aspect of our service.”
Informatics Merseyside is an NHS shared service providing Information Management and Technology (IM&T) services to NHS partner organisations and customers across the regional health and social care economy. Hosted by Mersey Care NHS Trust, Informatics Merseyside was established in 2006 and delivers a range of services including IT infrastructure and operations management. The service delivers IT support to circa 15,000 health and social care professionals and was the first NHS IT Service Desk in England to achieve 3 star certification from the Service Desk Institute (SDI).
Building a Quality Framework
Ember Real Results Training submitted a successful proposal to design and deliver a training solution that would standardise the approach of advisers and provide a structure for call handling. The first part of the solution involved building a bespoke Quality Framework that represented the standards of excellence sought by the client. The new framework enabled managers to have better quality conversations and coach the soft skills performance of call handling against a set of clear guidelines. The Quality Framework was built in a very modern way, without the need for tick boxes or percentages!
The Training Workshops
A series of training workshops provided the perfect platform to launch the Quality Framework with the teams. This allowed time for discussion, exploration and practical call listening activities.
During the first ‘Communication Skills and Customer Care’ workshop, the requirement for the Framework was readily accepted partly because of a ‘Greetings Mix Tape’ that was compiled over a house music beat! This demonstrated all the different permutations of greetings currently used across the team. This humorous and engaging opener started conversations about the behavioural changes needed to become truly excellent.
The coaches and managers participated in the workshops with their teams to ensure all messages were agreed and consistent. There was also a separate 3-day Coaching Skills Workshop which ensured confident support of the framework; and the implementation of the action plans from the team’s training workshops, thus guaranteeing lasting Ember Real Results.
NHS Informatics Merseyside also use our e-learning…
As well as the production of a Quality framework and supporting training programme, the NHS Informatics Merseyside team also use our Contact Centre Team Leader Masterclass e-learning! You can find out more about our e-learning, mobile learning and blended learning offerings on the Ember Real Results website at: http://www.real-results.co.uk/e-learning/.
During a one day intensive workshop a Ember Real Results training consultant spent a day with the NHS Informatics Merseyside team in order to understand what they were trying to achieve and to jointly agree a ‘Quality Framework’ document that would form the basis of how they would score and measure the quality of their customer interactions.
As a result of the initial workshop Ember Real Results produced a tailored training plan consisting of 2 x 1 day Customer Care and Telephone skills sessions for the service desk staff, followed up with a Coaching skills day for those staff who would be coaching the 1st line agents.
We work hard to deliver tangible, measurable results for our customers. NHS Informatics Merseyside were delighted with the results they achieved, which included:
- Customer satisfaction scores reaching 97%,
- Becoming the first NHS Service Desk in England to achieve SDI 3 star certification,
- Being awarded Runner-up in the ‘Best Large Service Desk’ award 2015.
About Ember Real Results
At Ember Real Results we are in the business of delivering lasting performance improvement through bespoke training and coaching. We design and deliver creative, award-winning solutions that generate measurable improvements. As part of the Ember Group we are immersed in contact centre expertise, and help our clients acquire the skills they need to grow – from agent performance to leadership and management solutions. We have over a decade of experience and ideas for you to tap into that guarantee Ember Real Results with your investment.