NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED FORCE PROCEDURES. Customer Service Desks Processes and Working Practices. Procedure Review Date: September 2010

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1 FORCE PROCEDURES Customer Service Desks Processes and Working Practices Procedure Reference Number: Procedure Author: Inspector Welsted, Performance Development Procedure Review Date: September 2010 At the time of ratifying this procedure, the author is satisfied that this document complied with relevant legislation and Force requirements. Sign and date M Welsted, 19 th August 2009 (Author(s)) V CSD NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED 1

2 Procedure Index ELECTRONIC NAVIGATION: - move the cursor over the page number in the index or blue underlined text until a hand appears. Click the left mouse button once and it will jump to the specified part of the document. 1. Responsibilities Guidance Customer Service Desks Opening Hours Customer Service Desk Opening Hours for Receiving Calls from the Public (Public Opening Hours) Bank Holiday Working Minimum Staffing Levels Method of Contacting the Customer Service Desks Types of Calls that should be forwarded to the Customer Service Desks by the Switchboard Types of Calls that should NOT be forwarded to the Customer Service Desks by the Switchboard Process of Dealing with Misdirected Calls The Source of Calls coming into Customer Service Desks The Level of Service Customer Service Desks are expected to provide when Receiving Calls Data Protection and Security Protocols The Process of Getting Calls to the Customer Service Desks from the Switchboard Making proactive contact with the Public Individual Officer Positive or Negative Feedback: Guidance Aide Memoir to Making Calls to Victims Tasking Officers / Units Managing Demand in the Customer Service Desk Procedure Aim Appeals Review Appendix A... Error! Bookmark not defined. Dealing with Misdirected Calls... Error! Bookmark not defined. Appendix B... Error! Bookmark not defined. Workflow Diagram... Error! Bookmark not defined. Appendix C... Error! Bookmark not defined. Positive Feedback ... Error! Bookmark not defined. Appendix D... Error! Bookmark not defined. Aide Memoir to Making Calls to Victims... Error! Bookmark not defined. V CSD NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED 2

3 1. Responsibilities NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED 1.1 That the guidance and procedures relating to the roles and responsibilities of the police officers and police staff contained within Section 2 of this document, are Constabulary Policy. 1.2 The Supervisors in each Customer Service Desk will be responsible for ensuring that these policies and procedures are adhered to on a day to day basis. 1.3 The Customer Service Desk Inspector for each area will have overall responsibility for ensuring adherence to this and related procedures. 2. Guidance 2.1 Customer Service Desks Opening Hours Click Here to Return to Index The Customer Service Desks will adhere to the following opening hours: - Monday to Saturday Sunday 07:00 hrs to 22:00 hrs* (local arrangements may differ) 08:00 hrs to 18:00 hrs 2.2 Customer Service Desk Opening Hours for Receiving Calls from the Public (Public Opening Hours) The Customer Service Desks will take calls from the public (via the switchboard) during the following hours: - Monday to Saturday Sunday 10:00 hrs to 20:00 hrs 10:00 hrs to 18:00 hrs Outside of these hours the Call Management Bureau will either request the caller to ring back during Customer Service Desk opening hours or if appropriate deal with the call. If the Call Management Bureau have to action the Customer Service Desk then they should use the templates as is the current procedure. 2.3 Bank Holiday Working The Customer Service Desk will provide a minimum cover Sunday service (i.e. 4 members of staff 08:00 hrs to 18:00 hrs) on all bank holidays with the exception of Christmas Day and New Years Day. 2.4 Minimum Staffing Levels The minimum staffing levels for the Customer Service Desk will be as follows:- Monday to Saturday Sunday 4 members of staff on days and 4 members of staff on lates 4 members of staff on Sunday shift V CSD NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED 3

4 2.5 Method of Contacting the Customer Service Desks All members of the public wishing to contact a Customer Service Desk will use the Constabulary s non emergency number of The switchboard will then forward the call to the correct location as appropriate. 2.6 Types of Calls that should be forwarded to the Customer Service Desks by the Switchboard The following types of call should be forwarded by the switchboard to the relevant Customer Service Desk: Calls requesting information relating to a previously reported occurrence; Calls asking to speak to a specific officer; Updates on stolen property, and Out of force enquiries (not grade 1 / 2). 2.7 Types of Calls that should NOT be forwarded to the Customer Service Desks by the Switchboard The following types of call should not be forwarded by the switchboard to a Customer Service Desk, but should be dealt with within the Call Management Bureau. 999 calls; Any call reporting a new incident regardless of grade; Calls relating to a missing person; Calls asking for general advice; Insurance calls and Calls relating to an incident which is still being dealt with within the Call Management Bureau. 2.8 Process of Dealing with Misdirected Calls It is to be expected that some calls will be incorrectly forwarded to the Customer Service Desks. Appendix A gives guidance on how to deal with these misdirected calls. 2.9 The Source of Calls coming into Customer Service Desks The Customer Service Desks will receive calls from 2 sources:- Calls from members of the public forwarded to the Customer Service Desks by the switchboard, and Internal calls. V CSD NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED 4

5 2.10 The Level of Service Customer Service Desks are expected to provide when Receiving Calls Customer Service Desks exist to benefit the customers of the Cheshire Constabulary whether internal or external. Although the needs of the customer must be balanced with operational effectiveness, every action taken by Customer Service Desk representatives should reflect this mandate. What is Expected of the Customer Service Assistant when they Answer a Call When a Customer Service Assistant answers a call from the public it should be with a positive, can do attitude If possible, the callers needs should be dealt with during the call Before personal data is given out the Customer Service Assistant must satisfy themselves of the identity of the caller. For guidance please see If the call relates to an occurrence then the details of the call should be recorded on the occurrence enquiry log, using the pre-formatted text when appropriate If a caller must be put through to another department then a handover should take place. The caller should not be given an extension number to ring If an officer needs to be tasked as a result of the call then the Atlas system must be used. For guidance on this please see Tasking of Officers and Units Data Protection and Security Protocols Victims of crime have a right to privacy. The Constabulary also has a duty under the Data Protection Act to prevent information being released or used incorrectly. Therefore when a Customer Service Assistant either makes a call to the public/other agency or receives a call from the public/other agency they need to satisfy themselves that it is appropriate to release the specific information to the person they are talking to. Information can be Given to the Following People Where the victim is over 12 years old: Information can be given to the victim/caller, or An authorised person An authorised person is any person previously authorised by the victim to act on their behalf. Although the Data Protection Act does not specifically allow the release of information to a parent, guardian, spouse, partner or other close family member of the victim/caller, the core principle of the Data Protection act is that of fairness. Therefore the Customer Service Assistant should, on a case by case basis, balance the victim/callers protection awarded by the Data Protection Act with a common sense view of the circumstances and the information being exchanged. V CSD NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED 5

6 Where the victim is under 12 years old: Information can be given to the victim, or An authorised person, or The primary carer of the victim. Vulnerability/Accessibility With regards to vulnerable persons or persons who have difficulty in gaining access to this service, a common sense approach should be applied under the mandate that the Customer Service Desks exist to benefit victims. Security Protocols The Customer Service Assistant should satisfy themselves that they know who they are talking to When taking an incoming call from the public or other agency, the Customer Service Assistant could consider calling the caller back on the details already held to improve security It is recommended that the name and date of birth of the caller are routinely checked against the data on our system If for whatever reason this is not possible then a common sense approach should be applied considering the specific information in question and the mandate that the Customer Service Desks exist to benefit our customers. In these circumstances the reasons for the decision should be recorded on the occurrence enquiry log The Process of Getting Calls to the Customer Service Desks from the Switchboard All members of the public wishing to contact a Customer Service Desk will use the Constabulary s non emergency number of All of these public calls will be answered by the switchboard. The switchboard will then forward the call to a queue within the respective Customer Service Desk. Each of these queues can hold 8 calls waiting. Calls in a Customer Service Desk Queue Once the switchboard has successfully forwarded a call to a Customer Service Desk queue the call will be queued until the call is answered by a Customer Service Desk representative. The call will not be returned to the switchboard or diverted to an answering service. Switchboard Action if a Customer Service Desk s Queue is Full If a Customer Service Desk s call queue is full, the switchboard will receive a busy tone. In this case the switchboard will explain to the caller that the Customer Service Desk is experiencing high demand and select one of the following options:- V CSD NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED 6

7 1. Advise the caller of times of low demand and ask if they would like to call back then, or 2. Forward the call to the Call Management Bureau Service Desk to be dealt with. If the Call Management Bureau has to action the Customer Service Desk then they should use the templates as is the current procedure The above selection should be made giving due consideration to the needs/expectations of the caller A call should never be forwarded to an alternative Customer Service Desk. Switchboard Action outside Customer Service Desk Public Opening Hours The Customer Service Desks public opening hours are:- Monday to Saturday Sunday 10:00 hrs to 20:00 hrs 10:00 hrs to 18:00 hrs If a call of the type usually dealt with by the Customer Service Desks is received by the switchboard outside of the above hours the Call Management Bureau will do the following. 1. Explain to the caller that the Customer Service Desks are currently closed and advise them of the above opening hours; 2. The caller should be asked to call back during these opening hours only after giving due consideration to their needs and expectations; 3. If option 2 above is inappropriate then the call should be dealt with by the Call Management Bureau Making proactive contact with the Public Who will be Contacted by the Customer Service Desks? The Customer Service Desks are expected to proactively contact all victims of crime and persons reporting crime or non crime occurrences, where appropriate, unless the type of occurrence is excluded. Excluded Occurrences Excluded occurrences will include: - Matters of domestic violence Sexual offences Serious and organised crime Civil Neighbour disputes Any occurrence which by its nature does not require the caller to be updated, e.g. abandoned 999 calls If the victim or reporting person of an excluded occurrence makes contact with the Customer Service Desk they should be dealt with as usual. However in each case consideration should be given to referring the matter to the investigative unit. V CSD NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED 7

8 The Time Periods for the Customer Service Desks to make Proactive Contact with the Public Subject to the wishes of the victim or the occurrence being excluded, Customer Service Desks have the following responsibilities relating to proactive contact:- Screened out occurrences Subject to the exclusions above, these contacts relate to any occurrence which is finalised on first submission to the Customer Service Desks. Crime - The Customer Service Desks will proactively contact the victim of all crime occurrences within 4 days of the occurrence being screened out. Non Crime - The Customer Service Desks will proactively contact the reporting person for all non crime occurrences usually the same day but in any case within 24 hours of the occurrence being screened out. Allocated occurrences Subject to the exclusions above, these contacts relate to any occurrence which is allocated out to any investigative unit by the Customer Service Desks. The Customer Service Desks will proactively contact the victim or the reporting person the same day but in any case within 24 hours of the occurrence being allocated for further investigation. 14 Day update calls Subject to the exclusions above, these contacts relate to any occurrence which has not been finalised 14 days after being allocated for further investigation. The Customer Service Desks will proactively contact the victim and provide an update within 14 days of the Customer Service Desks previous contact. Monthly update calls Subject to the exclusions above, these contacts relate to any occurrence which has not been finalised 1 month after the previous victim update by the Customer Service Desk, on an ongoing basis. The Customer Service Desks will proactively contact the victim to provide an update on the investigation at monthly intervals after the 14 day contact. These contacts must take place within the month and will continue until the occurrence is finalised. Finalisation of occurrences Subject to the exclusions above, these contacts relate to any occurrence which is finalised by the Customer Service Desk after it has been allocated out for further investigation. The Customer Service Desks will proactively contact the victim and inform them of the result of the investigation when an occurrence in finalised. This contact will usually occur at the point of the occurrence being finalised but in any case within 5 days. Times for Proactive Victim Contacts A large proportion of the Customer Service Desks workload will be to make proactive calls to the public. There are only certain times during the day that making phone calls will be considered acceptable by the public. V CSD NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED 8

9 The Customer Service Desk should make its proactive victim calls between:- 9am 9pm Mon Sat 9am 6pm Sun An acceptable exception to this rule would be in response to a request from the victim, i.e. if they work unusual hours. Managing the Proactive Public Contacts The management of proactive public contacts is done by the use of tasks allocated to the Customer Service Desks. These tasks are generated automatically by the system with the use of workflows There are two starting points for these tasks, the initial assessment and finalisation tasks on both crime and non crime occurrences. When each of these tasks is completed the Customer Service Assistant is presented with a choice of options on further contacts, which will either end the workflow or generate new tasks as appropriate. Specific care should be taken when ending a workflow as that occurrence would be lost to the Customer Service Desks and the victim or caller would be denied the future services of their Customer Service Desk The diagram shown at Appendix B will give further details of this workflow. Successful and Unsuccessful Victim Contacts The Customer Service Desks will be attempting to make contact with very large numbers of victims on a daily basis. Not all of these attempts will be successful A successful contact will include: The Customer Service Desk speaking via phone with the victim or the reporting person if appropriate If appropriate, the Customer Service Desk making contact with an authorised person, primary carer or other suitable person, or The Customer Service Desk reaching a voic system and leaving a message with the below information:- o Time and date of call; o Name of the Customer Service Assistant making the call; o How to call the Customer Service Desk back; o The purpose of the call e.g. to give the update, and o The occurrence number An unsuccessful contact will include: The Customer Service Desk receiving no answer, or a busy tone; The call being answered by a person other than the victim or authorised person, All attempts at contact whether successful or otherwise must be recorded on the occurrence enquiry log using the appropriate pre-formatted text. V CSD NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED 9

10 How many Attempts at Contact are Made? In each case 2 attempts will be made to contact a victim or reporting person at different times of the day, e.g. one in the morning and one in the evening. What Happens if Both Attempts to Contact the Victim Fail? If both attempts to contact the victim fail then a letter should be sent to the victim including the following information:- The service desk has tried to make contact with you by phone; The update of the occurrence, and How to make contact with the Customer Service Desk if they wish to. Feedback from our customers A key benefit of the Customer Service Desks proactively contacting our customers is to gather feedback from the customer on the service they have received from Cheshire Police Customer Service Assistants and Constables will, during the proactive calls with customers, ask for feedback on the service they have received from Cheshire Police on this occasion. Although guidance is given on how to ask for this feedback it is expected that the agents will use their own communication skills to gather the feedback It is expected that the agents communicate the following:- What do you think of the service you have received so far? Is there anything that we [Cheshire Police] could have done better? The Customer Service Assistants and Constables must record the feedback as accurately as possible, on the relevant occurrence enquiry log, preceded by the pre-formatted text that has been provided on the Atlas system. This entry reads:- CSD SUCCESSFUL CONTACT [CSD:SC]: I have made contact with the customer and communicated the following points: * I have confirmed the information on Atlas to be accurate (circumstances and personal details) * I have explained the actions we have taken so far * I have tried to set realistic expectations as to what will happen next * I am satisfied that customer has been given a crime number and knows how to re-contact us if required Customer Service Desk FEEDBACK [Customer Service Desk :F]: The customer made the following comments about the service they have received, If the Customer Service Assistant or Constable cannot gather feedback from a customer for any reason they must record the following on the pre-formatted text on the occurrence enquiry log selecting the most appropriate category:- V CSD NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED 10

11 CSD NO FEEDBACK [CSD:NF]: I have not been able to gather feedback from the customer on this occasion because of category xxxxxx (please select number) 1. The phone number was incorrect 2. I have not be able to make direct contact with customer (no answer/answered by 3rd party) 3. No answer so message left on personal answer machine 4. Other If "Other" please explain xxxxx Analysing Feedback The Customer Service Desk Performance & Research Officers will monitor the quantity and quality of feedback gathered on behalf of their respective Customer Service Desk and inform the Customer Service Desk Supervision accordingly Each month the Customer Service Desk Performance & Research Officers will analyse at least 1000 pieces of feedback gathered by their respective Customer Service Desk. This analysis will be provided to the Customer Service Desk Supervision in the form of a monthly report. On a rotational basis, a Customer Service Desk Performance & Research Officer will report at Force level with the aggregated forcewide analysis of the three Areas in the agreed format Where there is negative feedback regarding our service this is to be brought to the immediate attention of the Customer Service Desk supervision for Service Recovery i.e. to attempt to quickly put things right where possible. Details of those occurrences service-recovered will also be collated separately by the Customer Service Desk supervision Individual Officer Positive or Negative Feedback: Guidance In addition, during the feedback collation process Customer Service Desk Performance & Research Officers will identify and record in a separate format details of officers who gain positive or negative feedback. Positive Feedback Customer Service Desk Researchers will send all recipients of positive feedback an (see Appendix C) informing them of positive comments each and every time it is recorded Details of staff who gain five clear examples of positive feedback in a rolling three month period will be forwarded to the Deputy Chief Constable s Office (copied to Area Senior Management Teams) in order that they receive a Letter of Recognition. The Deputy Chief Constable s Office will copy this to the Area Senior Management Teams It is proposed that staff gaining consistent positive feedback in a 6 or 12 month period are nominated for local Area or Force awards as deemed appropriate. V CSD NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED 11

12 Negative Feedback NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED All feedback which has been graded as most dissatisfied will be subject to service recovery. Actions taken will be recorded locally within the Customer Service Desk Details of staff who gain three clear examples of negative feedback in a rolling three month period will be referred to the Customer Service Desk Inspector Customer Service Desk Inspectors will re-evaluate the feedback to ensure the correct individuals have been identified and determine whether intervention is warranted. Initial liaison will also take place with Professional Standards Department, on every occasion, prior to forwarding the matter to the Departmental/Unit Head for action. The Department/Unit Head will report back to Customer Service Desk Inspector with details of the action taken Aide Memoir to Making Calls to Victims Appendix D shows an aide memoir for staff making calls to victims Tasking Officers / Units A key element of the Customer Service Desk is the desire that all calls from the public or other agencies to the Customer Service Desk are dealt with and resolved by the Customer Service Desk at the time of the call However this will not always be possible and from time to time officers or units will need to be tasked by the Customer Service Desk If a call relates to an occurrence already on the system then the Customer Service Desk will update the occurrence enquiry log and start the Customer Service Desk Contact task workflow to inform the investigating officer of the update If a call does not relate to an occurrence already on the system then a new occurrence must be created. Once created the Customer Service Desk Contact task workflow should be started to task the officer/unit concerned Managing Demand in the Customer Service Desk The processes described within this document are designed to deliver an excellent level of customer service and therefore should be achieved wherever possible. It is recognised however, that the Customer Service Desks are by their nature likely to suffer fluctuating levels of demand. In order to manage high demand the following should be considered:- All staff within the Customer Service Desks are omni-competent to allow movement of the resources to meet demands; Although all staff have the shared responsibility to meet the demands of the department, the primary purpose of the supervisors is to effectively manage the demand coming into the Customer Service Desks, and The priorities of the Customer Service Desk will change throughout the working day, e.g. during public opening hours, calls from members of the V CSD NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED 12

13 public forwarded to the Customer Service Desks by the switchboard should be the highest priority. Options Available to Supervisors to Manage High Demand The intention is for the level of service to be reduced in stages towards the minimum or Bronze standard as demand increases beyond capacity. The level of service should be returned to the desired level or Gold standard as soon as possible as demand subsides The main opportunities to manage the demands of the Customer Service Desks are with the prioritisation of proactive calls to the public. Although all of these calls bring benefits to both the Constabulary and the Public, some are more important to our business than others The calls have been grouped into the following categories:- The most essential victim contacts or the minimum, Bronze standard of service relates to victims and callers of:- o Violent Crime o Vehicle Crime o Burglary Dwelling o Race Hate Crime o Antisocial Behaviour The middle, or Silver standard of service includes all the Bronze victims but also the victims and callers of:- o Criminal Damage The Gold standard of service includes all the Bronze and Silver victims but also relates to victims and callers of:- o All other occurrences Therefore all calls relating to Bronze occurrences should take priority over all calls relating to Silver occurrences which in turn will take priority over all calls relating to Gold occurrences There is also a scale of call types within each category from highest priority to lowest priority as follows:- Calls relating to screened out crime Calls relating to the finalisation of the occurrences Calls relating to a monthly update Calls relating to the allocation of an occurrence Courtesy calls V CSD NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED 13

14 Therefore the following scale should be used Lowest Priority ----> Highest Priority Bronze Silver Gold Calls relating to screened out crime Calls relating to the finalisation of the occurrences Calls relating to a monthly update Calls relating to the allocation of an occurrence Courtesy calls Calls relating to screened out crime Calls relating to the finalisation of the occurrences Calls relating to a monthly update Calls relating to the allocation of an occurrence Courtesy calls Calls relating to screened out crime Calls relating to the finalisation of the occurrences Calls relating to a monthly update Calls relating to the allocation of an occurrence Courtesy calls There are two important notes relating to managing proactive public contact tasks:- 1. There should be no management of demand at the time of assessing occurrences. That is to say that demands should not form part of the decision of whether to generate a task to contact a member of the public when assessing occurrences. Contact tasks should be created unless a reason for exclusion exists. 2. Victim contact tasks should not be cancelled. If they are cancelled then the occurrence would be; lost to the Customer Service Desks and the victim or caller would be denied the future services of their Customer Service Desk. Instead the task should be started and completed and the most appropriate workflow option selected. 3. Procedure Aim Click Here to Return to Index 3.1 The aim of this procedure is to give clear guidelines in relation to Customer Service Desks and their processes and working practices. 3.2 To provide clear guidance and an expected standard of delivery from Customer Service Desks concerning the management of crime and non-crime occurrences. It also gives guidance as to the types of external calls they should and should not receive and the processes required to forward misdirected calls back to the relevant departments. Click Here to Return to Index V CSD NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED 14

15 4. Appeals NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED 4.1 Appeals and complaints may be made verbally or in writing by members of the public via the police complaints procedures or internally via grievance procedures. 5. Review Click Here to Return to Index 5.1 This procedure will be formally reviewed annually to consider: Its effectiveness in the business area concerned Any changes to legislation Challenges to the procedure Any identified inefficiencies in relation to implementation Impact on diversity and equality (Low on the Race Diversity Impact Assessment Template) Click Here to Return to Index V CSD NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED 15

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