At the beginning of this year, we were delighted to make the exciting step of becoming a member of the Institute of Customer Service (ICS). This is an independent professional body, with a core aim of helping its members achieve excellence in customer service.

Being a part of the ICS is a great way for us to compare ourselves against other organisations both inside and outside of the housing sector. By comparing ourselves on factors like customer satisfaction, and cost of service, we can get a good picture of what’s working well, alongside the areas which might need improvement.

This is good news for us, but it’s good news for our customers too! We take the relationship with our customers very seriously and we’re always looking for new and exciting ways to improve our service for them. Being a member of the ICS means that we’ll now have access to brand new training programmes and tools that will help us to provide a better overall quality of service, which we’re sure our customers will feel the benefit of.

One of the services provided with an ICS membership will be a detailed customer survey, to let us know how they think we’re performing. We’ll be able to compare these results against other organisations and learn from areas where others are performing well.

We’ll now have access to a range of different training services provided by the ICS to help us build really great customer service skills. We were recently recognised for the investment we make in our staff, by being awarded the Gold Award for Investors in People. This award was a reflection of the high levels of passion and engagement amongst our staff, and because we’re always looking to find new ways of investing in their development, knowledge and skills. These new training opportunities afforded with an ICS membership continue to demonstrate the commitment we have to our staff development.

Importantly, we’ll be asking ourselves how we think we measure up. The ICS will give us a great insight into the way our staff engage with customers, in relation to our own priorities as a business, which are: 

  • Continuous customer service improvement
  • Delivering our Place Strategy
  • Developing our talents and skills as an organisation

We’ll be working closely with a Regional Client Relationship Manager from the ICS who’ll take these key priorities onboard and build a specific programme of customer service training to fit our needs.

We can’t wait to get started and begin making these improvements to our service. We’re excited about the changes, and most importantly we know that our customers will really see the benefits.

For more information about any of this, please get in touch by emailing businessexcellence@onemanchester.co.uk.