Business and IT training courses from QA

Gloucestershire Constabulary

QA provides a bespoke training solution to improve Gloucestershire Constabulary's internal and outgoing communications.

The Challenge

When Gloucestershire Constabulary embarked on its People First initiative to increase the customer-focus of its services, its Information Systems Department (ISD) felt its staff could benefit from a more customer service-oriented approach to end-user communication, aligned to its technical function.

Although ISD does not handle enquiries from the general public, its role involves processing a large volume of in-coming correspondence from 'internal customers' across the Constabulary. It wanted to achieve a more efficient and coordinated service through improved communication between its teams and a greater awareness of the behaviours that contribute to a positive customer experience.

To ensure service levels were maintained, ISD could not remove its staff from their day-to-day roles for extended periods of time. In order to keep disruption to a minimum, it needed a training solution that could be structured in short sessions, attended by groups made up of employees from different teams across the department.

The main driver behind the programme was to improve the customer service we deliver to our endusers. We wanted our staff to understand the importance of their outgoing demeanour – either on the phone or face-to-face.

Brian Lewis

IT Service Support Manager | Gloucestershire Constabulary

The Solution

QA worked closely with the ISD Management Team to develop a customer service training programme specific to the needs of the ISD teams. The development began with a standard course outline that was adjusted to maximise its relevance to the teams' roles. Following the initial development, a pilot session was delivered to ensure that the content and pitching was correct for ISD's technical audience.

The resulting, instructor-led programme was designed to challenge delegates' current behaviours, analysing the reasons particular actions are taken, and how they could be improved.

Particular attention was paid to relationship management, demonstrating how delegates could identify and handle behaviours that had a negative or unhelpful impact on overall efficiency. This was combined with modules such as How to Handle Difficult Conversations, which focused on how communication could be kept quick, positive and effective.

Attendance was limited to eight delegates per course, each selected from different teams. This immediately fulfilled two of the programme's objectives: ensuring the impact on service levels was kept to a minimum, whilst stimulating interaction between individuals from different teams.

The programme was split between two half-day sessions, delivered a week apart. This provided time for delegates to reflect on the content and apply it to the workplace before sharing their experiences in the second session.

To facilitate continuous improvement, QA provided the Constabulary with resources to help sustain motivation around the learning and continue its teams' development in-house, including PDF files that could be used as posters or reference sheets.

Gloucestershire Constabulary

Gloucestershire Constabulary’s Information Systems Department delivers technical support across the Constabulary, acting as first point of contact for 2,300 Police staff in the event of any technical issues or queries.

www.gloucestershire.police.uk

The Outcome

Over the past 12 months, ISD's internal customer surveys have demonstrated increasingly positive feedback. ISD has identified the programme as a significant factor in this improvement.

ISD has observed that its team members now display:

  • Greater awareness of the consequences of their actions
  • A more coordinated approach, with individuals showing a greater awareness of how their role contributes to the achievement of wider objectives
  • Increased interaction, including the use of more face-to-face communication within the office, as opposed to email

Following the success of the programme, Gloucestershire Constabulary has since recommended the training to other Constabularies throughout the UK.

The customer service course was very good, and well put together. Since I have been here we have had many courses over the years, and this is one where I think people can take something away. It was delivered in a way that it does not tell you how to do your job.

Duncan Woodland

Network Manager | Gloucestershire Constabulary

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