ImageToday I got the opportunity to job shadow some council employees working on the frontline of customer service. The variety of issues that they were faced with was pretty staggering and required them to have quite in depth knowledge of a very broad range of subjects.

I experienced them interacting with customers face to face – both at the drop-in centre in the office and in the customers’ homes – by phone, by letter and by email…  pretty much the full complement of methods of communication available to them!

I was struck by the professionalism of the officers and their ability to think on their feet to respond to the issues brought to them by the customers. They had regard both for the individual needs of the customers and the regulations, policies and procedures governing the service, even where the two were in opposition to each other.

They wanted to do the best they could for their customers, whilst remaining mindful of the restrictions placed on them by the finite budgetary resources funded, of course, by tax payers.

It had been a while since I worked in a customer facing environment and was a timely reminder of the pressures facing council workers to deliver excellent customer service within extremely limited resources.

I’m pleased to say that I was pleasantly reassured about the focus that the officers placed on both, and the assured, friendly, helpful way that they dealt with those approaching them for assistance.

All in all, a great, varied, and tiring day! So well done to all you hard working, customer facing council officers out there… and keep up the good work!

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