Customer Experience Strategy

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1 Customer Experience Strategy

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3 Contents Introduction...1 Our future...2 Commitment to our customers...3 Our values...4 What is customer experience?...6 Researching the customer experience...8 Our pathway...9 Measuring our success...12 City of Tea Tree Gully Customer Experience Strategy 3

4 Feelings have a critical role in the way customers are influenced. David Freemantle 4 City of Tea Tree Gully Customer Experience Strategy

5 Introduction This strategy is part of a comprehensive framework of plans, processes and projects that will enable us, the City of Tea Tree Gully (CTTG), to achieve excellence in customer experience. It articulates a long-term vision associated with developing a strong, organisation-wide customer focus. Specifically, it directs us to: Promote customer satisfaction with our services Increase public awareness of Council facilities and services Consider the needs of customers when applying service efficiencies Attract more interest in the City from current and future residents or businesses Seek positive engagement with potential funding bodies in order to relieve financial pressure on ratepayers in the long term Develop a feeling of pride in the City Encourage innovation in all Council planning and activities. City of Tea Tree Gully Customer Experience Strategy 1

6 Our future In applying this strategy we envision a future where: Council staff are compassionate, responsive and helpful, and model our customer-focused values. Customers place value on our services and are involved in their development. Council services are delivered promptly and efficiently. Customers feel that they are correctly and clearly informed and able to access Council services via multiple channels. Customers feel connected to the Council and the wider City community. 2 City of Tea Tree Gully Customer Experience Strategy

7 Our commitment to our customers In applying this strategy we are committed to providing: Caring Council staff who are knowledgeable about our services Information that is consistent, easy to read and understand, customer-focused and accessible Services that are delivered consistently and in a timely fashion Services that are continuously reassessed, reviewed and, where applicable, improved Multi-channel, 24/7 access to Council information and services An open, trusting Council customer relationship. Our organisational response to this commitment will be to: Empower and equip Council staff to operate with a customer-centred focus Offer Council staff professional development in customer service excellence Provide customers with quality, current and relevant information Streamline processes to improve customer experience Improve accessibility to Council staff and services. City of Tea Tree Gully Customer Experience Strategy 3

8 Our values We believe our customers deserve a positive experience when dealing with us. This means consistent interaction, reflecting our values of: Accountability Set out clear, complete information about services Accept responsibility for service delivery Fulfil customer services as promised and expected. Communication Make communication targeted and meaningful Communicate consistent messages Provide clear, relevant and up-to-date information Expand communication channels Be transparent in communications. Customer focus Listen to and reflect on customers concerns Treat customers with empathy Identify solutions to address customer concerns Seek to resolve customer concerns wherever possible. Innovation Enable customers to give feedback on processes and services Listen to and reflect on customers concerns Treat customers with empathy Identify solutions to address customer concerns Seek to resolve customer concerns wherever possible. Integrity and honesty Be open and honest in dealings with customers Act ethically and morally Make available quality information about services Set out clear expectations about the delivery of services. Respect Acknowledge customer concerns Understand the customer s point of view 9 9 Treat every customer with professionalism and courtesy. 4 City of Tea Tree Gully Customer Experience Strategy

9 Reward and recognition Give customers the opportunity to recognise and reward staff who demonstrate excellence in customer relationships. Teamwork Be willing to work jointly with customers to achieve a positive experience 9 9 Openly share knowledge, experiences and ideas with customers. Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. Bill Gates City of Tea Tree Gully Customer Experience Strategy 5

10 What is customer experience? Customer experience is a combination of the emotions, perceptions and needs of the customer are expressed during the service lifecycle. As shown in Figure 1, for a customer experience to be positive, it needs to be useful, easy and enjoyable. Figure 1 Hierarchy of customer needs There are many factors that shape a customer s perception of service, including personal, financial, economic, social, environmental and political issues. These may be outside our sphere of influence and it is also the case that some of our legislated services have limited flexibility Nevertheless, good customer service is about understanding what is important to our customers in order to continuously improve our services and their delivery. To achieve this we first need to identify which Council services are important and then design them to operate in a way that meets our customers needs. This process involves making a critical assessment of the channels we use to connect to our customer base and consider how they can help to build positive relationships. In our approach we are following the model 6 City of Tea Tree Gully Customer Experience Strategy

11 of successful companies who are transitioning from the Age of Information to the Age of the Customer, as identified by Forrester Research. Figure 2 illustrates the transition process currently occurring within the business world. Figure 2 The Age of the Customer City of Tea Tree Gully Customer Experience Strategy 7

12 Researching the customer experience Every year we gather information about our services from a number of sources. Recently we aggregated this information for the period 2010 to 2013 and analysed it afresh from the point of view of customer experience. From this we concluded that our customers are essentially happy with the services delivered from our front line (i.e. the call centre or reception areas) but they are disengaged and less than satisfied with the overall level of service and value for money that we provide. Based on these findings, we carried out a detailed investigation into how we provide end-to-end services. This took a whole-oforganisation approach, exploring many facets of people, systems, structure, process and strategy. As a result, we identified four key customer pain points or issues that demand our immediate attention: 1. Value for money our customers feel that we do not always live up to our promises 2. Consistent information our customers perceive inconsistencies in the clarity, accessibility, relevance and timeliness of the information they receive from different sources across Council 3. Delivery expectations our customers experience service delivery times that fall below their expectations 4. Honesty and transparency our customers feel that we fall short in this area in the way we communicate about services or time frames. If you build a great experience, customers will teach each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful. Jeff Bezos 8 City of Tea Tree Gully Customer Experience Strategy

13 Our pathway This strategy represents the first step in what will be an ongoing commitment to an organisational focus on customer experience. It starts our journey and will cover the period July 2014 to June We recognise that engaging with our community is the key to our success as a council. This strategy recognises three key goals towards achieving the excellence in customer experience that will in turn facilitate engagement. Goal 1 Customer needs Identify and understand better the needs of the customer. Goal 2 Service delivery Establish and embed the notion of positive customer experience into all services. Goal 3 Relate Connect with our customers and relate more closely to their perceptions and experiences. Within the scope of each goal we will be reviewing factors such as organisational culture, structure, process and systems to ensure that the idea of customer experience is embedded into all the ways we function as an organisation. Goal 1 Identify and understand better the needs of the customer Customer needs are fluid and will vary according to multiple social and demographic factors. Key objectives for this goal 1. Increase the level of customer engagement with all of our services. 2. Create and implement a sustainable framework that incorporates and reflects common points of interest for our customers. This framework must achieve a balance between providing services and meeting Council s need to operate within a budget and with a limited set of resources. 3. Ensure all contact with Council has a customer focus i.e. maximum customer satisfaction occurs with minimal effort from the customer. Our strategies for improvement: Create new or enhance existing feedback mechanisms to allow the customer to contribute to the development and operation of services. Continuously improve our customer experience framework in collaboration with our customers. City of Tea Tree Gully Customer Experience Strategy 9

14 Develop and maintain customer interaction channels that are tailored to customer needs. Examine and improve current data collection mechanisms to enable evidence-based decision making. Goal 2 Establish and embed the notion of positive customer experience into all services Our core business is to provide services, and so integrating positive customer experience into the design and delivery of these services is essential to the long-term success and viability of our organisation. Key objectives for this goal 1. Survey customer needs to identify improvements that can be built into the design and delivery of our services. 2. Establish processes and tools that allow continuous review and consistent design of the customer experience. 3. Deliver our services in a way that enhances customer experience. Strategies for improvement Clarify and then publish service standards both externally and internally across the organisation. Increase the number and type of communication channels in use, with a focus on digital media. Establish a single location for the storage of customer-focused information in order to improve consistency of Council-to-customer communication. Develop feedback mechanisms to keep customers informed on the status of their requests. Improve tools and processes to track and quality control customer interactions. 10 City of Tea Tree Gully Customer Experience Strategy

15 Goal 3 Connect with our customers and relate more closely to their perceptions and experiences There is more to customer experience than how and within what time frame a service is delivered. The complete experience also factors in what the customer feels about the design and delivery of the service and the organisation. This goal is about establishing positive rapport, addressing customer concerns, and fostering good relationships. Key objectives for this goal 1. Show understanding, compassion and courtesy in our interactions and communications with customers. 2. Provide information that is relevant, current and meaningful through channels that the customer finds accessible. 3. Anticipate and address customer concerns through multiple communication channels. Strategies for improvement Foster an internal organisational culture that is customer-centred. Standardise written communications from high-volume areas. Provide staff training in customer experience, including how it applies in particular staff roles. Make sure that all induction and employment processes include customer experience. Develop a communications model that sends a consistent message about organisational values and creates a positive image of the organisation. City of Tea Tree Gully Customer Experience Strategy 11

16 Measuring our success Success in customer experience needs to be measured. The following matrix lists customer Commitment Caring Council staff who are knowledgeable about our services. experience commitments and a range of strategies that we will adopt as measures. Measurement strategy Feedback indicating that our staff model our values. Feedback indicating that service delivery occurred within specified time frames. Increase in the overall satisfaction of customers with Council. Information that is consistent, easy to read and understand, customer-focused and accessible. Services that are delivered consistently and in a timely fashion. Services that are continuously reassessed, reviewed and, where applicable, improved. Multi-channel, 24/7 access to Council information and services. Feedback indicating that information is accessible, consistent and easy to read. Feedback indicating that services were provided as per service levels and within specified time frames. Number of services formally reviewed. An increase in the use of digital media to provide and access information. Feedback indicating that channels used match the channels preferred by customers. An open, trusting Council customer relationship. Increase in community engagement via social media. Increase in the perceived value for money that Council offers. 12 City of Tea Tree Gully Customer Experience Strategy

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18 City of Tea Tree Gully 571 Montague Road, Modbury SA 5092 PO Box 571, Modbury SA 5092 Telephone

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