Customer Service. Level 2 & Level 3 Certificate in. Specification. Including Guidance on the Customer Service Apprenticeship Framework

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1 Level 2 & Level 3 Certificate in Customer Service Specification Including Guidance on the Customer Service Apprenticeship Framework Ascentis Level 2 Certificate in Customer Service: Ofqual Accreditation Number: 600/4724/0 Ofqual Accreditation Start Date: 01/03/2012 Ofqual Accreditation End Date: 31/08/2014 Ofqual Certification End Date: 31/12/2015 Ascentis Level 3 Certificate in Customer Service: Ofqual Accreditation Number: 600/4738/0 Ofqual Accreditation Start Date: 01/03/2013 Ofqual Accreditation End Date: 31/08/2014 Ofqual Certification End Date: 31/12/2015 Page 1 of 36

2 ASCENTIS MISSION STATEMENT Building Partnerships to Advance and Accredit Lifelong Learning for All. About Ascentis Ascentis was originally established in 1975 as OCNW, a co-operative scheme between Universities and Colleges of Further Education. Ascentis was the first Open College in the UK and served the needs of its members for over 34 years. Throughout this period, OCNW grew yet maintained its independence in order that it could continue to respond to the requirements of its customers and provide a consistently high standard of service to all centres across the country and in recent years to its increasing cohorts of overseas learners. In 2009 OCNW became Ascentis - a company limited by guarantee and a registered educational charity. Ascentis is distinctive and unusual in that it is both: and An Awarding Organisation regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) an Access Validating Agency (AVA) for Access to HE Programmes licensed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). Ascentis is therefore able to offer a comprehensive ladder of opportunities to centres and their students, including Foundation Learning, vocational programmes and progressing to QAA recognised Access to HE qualifications. The flexible and adult-friendly ethos of Ascentis has resulted in centres throughout the UK choosing to run its qualifications. Ascentis Contact Details Ascentis Office 4 Lancaster Business Park Mannin Way Caton Road Lancaster LA1 3SW Tel: Company limited by guarantee. Registered in England and Wales No Registered Charity No Page 2 of 36

3 TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE LEVEL 2 & LEVEL 3 CERTIFICATE IN CUSTOMER SERVICE Introduction 4 Aims 4 Target Group 4 Rationale for Rules of Combination 5 Rules of Combination 5 Recommended Prior Knowledge, Attainment and / or Experience 6 Age Range of Qualification 6 Opportunities for Progression 6 Mapping / Relationship to National Occupational Standards 6 Opportunities for the Development of Functional Skills and PTLS 6 Spiritual, Moral, Ethical, Social, Legislative, Economic and Cultural Issues 6 Sustainable Development and Environmental Issues, Health and Safety Considerations and European Developments consistent with International Agreements 6 Centre Recognition 6 Qualification Approval 6 Registration 6 Status in England, Wales and Northern Ireland 6 Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations 7 Enquiries and Appeals Procedure 7 ASSESSMENT AND VERIFICATION ARRANGEMENTS Assessment 8 Internal Assessment 8 External Assessment 8 Verification 8 Internal Verification 8 External Verification 9 Knowledge, Understanding and Skills Required of Assessors and Internal Verifiers 9 The Apprenticeship Framework for Customer Service 9 UNIT SPECIFICATIONS Delivery of Effective Customer Service 11 Supporting the Customer Service Environment 14 Principles of Customer Service Delivery 17 Developing and Improving the Customer Service Process 19 Appendix 1 Summary Record of Achievement 21 Appendix 2 Tracking Sheet 22 Appendix 3 Functional Skills Opportunities 30 Appendix 4 Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS) Opportunities 33 Appendix 5 The Apprenticeship Framework for Customer Service 34 Appendix 6 Spiritual, Moral, Ethical, Social, Legislative, Economic and Cultural Issues; Sustainable Development and Environmental Issues, Health and Safety considerations and European Developments consistent with International Agreements;Health and Safety 36 Page 3 of 36

4 Customer Service Introduction These qualifications are for learners who want to work or are already working in customer service roles in public and private sector organisations. The qualifications are knowledge based, containing mandatory units covering core knowledge for working within Customer Service. There are several features of the qualifications that make them very appropriate for their target learners: Unit certification is available for each of the units Verification and certification can be offered throughout the year, allowing maximum flexibility for centres Can be delivered either as a classroom based course or as a blended learning programme Evidence can be generated within a wide range of organisational contexts allowing the qualification to meet the specific occupational requirements of the learners. Forms part of the Customer Service Apprenticeship Framework. Aims The aims of the qualification are to enable learners: To gain knowledge, understanding and skills, specific to their individual customer service needs in either a work or school/college environment. To study a flexible programme, combining bite-sized chunks of learning to build a complete qualification in a timescale convenient for them. To study core Customer Service units, combining them within a portfolio of evidence to complete a qualification. Target Group This qualification is aimed at a range of learners, including: Employees and work-based learners Full time students Unemployed learners wishing to enhance their work-related skills Page 4 of 36

5 Rationale for the Rules of Combination The core knowledge of good working practice within Customer Service at Levels 2 & 3 is included in the mandatory units. Level 2 Certificate in Customer Service There are two units in this qualification and it is necessary to complete them both to the value of 13 credits to achieve the qualification. Level 3 Certificate in Customer Service There are two units in this qualification and it is necessary to complete them both to the value of 13 credits to achieve the qualification. Rules of Combination Level 2 Certificate in Customer Service Minimum credit value: 13 Mandatory units Level Credit Value GLH QCF Unit ref Title Delivery of Effective Customer Service hours J/600/1003 Supporting the Customer Service Environment hours J/600/0658 Credits from equivalent Units: Please contact the Ascentis office to request equivalences, and ask to speak to a member of the Qualifications Development Team. Credits from exemptions: Please contact the Ascentis office to request exemptions and ask to speak to a member of the Qualifications Development Team. Level 3 Certificate in Customer Service Mandatory units Title Minimum credit value:13 Level Credit Value GLH QCF Unit ref Principles of Customer Service Delivery hours L/600/0659 Developing and Improving the Customer hours F/600/0660 Service Process Credits from equivalent Units: Please contact the Ascentis office to request equivalences, and ask to speak to a member of the Qualifications Development Team. Credits from exemptions: Please contact the Ascentis office to request exemptions and ask to speak to a member of the Qualifications Development Team. Unit certification is available for any unit. Page 5 of 36

6 Recommended Prior Knowledge, Attainment and/or Experience There are no mandatory entry requirements for this qualification; however, it is likely that learners who enrol onto the Level 3 qualification will have some prior experience in a customer service role, although this is not a formal requirement. Any learner wishing to take the Level 2 or Level 3 qualification should first be assessed to ensure that they can meet the demands of the qualification at this level. Age Range of Qualification The Level 2 Certificate in Customer Service is suitable for young people aged and adult learners. The Level 3 Certificate in Customer Service is suitable for young people aged and adult learners. Opportunities for Progression It is anticipated that learners may progress from the Level 2 Certificate to the Level 3 Certificate in Customer Service, or to other Level 3 qualifications such as Business and Administration. Mapping/relationship to National Occupational Standards The units are fully aligned to the CfA NOS for Customer Service. Opportunities for the development of Functional Skills at Level 2 and Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS) at Level 2 & 3. Opportunities for the development of Functional Skills are shown in Appendix 3. Opportunities for the development of PLTS are shown in Appendix 4. Spiritual, Moral, Ethical, Social, Legislative, Economic and Cultural Issues This qualification offers opportunities for learners to develop an understanding of a number of these issues. Specific opportunities relevant to this qualification are given in Appendix 6. Sustainable Development and Environmental Issues, Health and Safety considerations and European Developments consistent with International Agreements This qualification offers opportunities for learners to develop an understanding of a number of these issues and considerations. Specific opportunities relevant to this qualification are given in Appendix 6. Centre Recognition This qualification can only be offered by centres recognised by Ascentis and approved to run this qualification. Details of the centre recognition and qualification approval process are available from the Ascentis office (tel ) or from the website at Qualification Approval If your centre is already a recognised centre, you will need to complete and submit a qualification approval form to deliver this qualification. Details of the qualification approval process are available from the Ascentis office (tel ) or from the website at Registration All learners must normally be registered within seven weeks of commencement of a course via Rhombus (the Ascentis learner registration portal), contact the Accreditation Unit, for the Rhombus Step by Step Guide. Status in England, Wales and Northern Ireland This qualification is available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is only offered in English. If a centre based overseas (including Scotland) would like to offer this qualification, it should make an enquiry to Ascentis. Page 6 of 36

7 Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations In the development of this qualification Ascentis has made every attempt to ensure that there are no unnecessary barriers to achievement. For learners with particular requirements reasonable adjustments may be made in order that they can have fair assessment and demonstrate attainment. There are also arrangements for special consideration for any learner suffering illness, injury or indisposition. Full details of the reasonable adjustments and special considerations are available from the Key Information area of the Ascentis website or through contacting the Ascentis office. Enquiries and Appeals Procedure Ascentis has an appeals procedure in accordance with the Regulatory arrangements for the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF, 2008). Full details of this procedure, including how to make an application, are available from the Key Information area of the Ascentis website or through contacting the Ascentis office. Page 7 of 36

8 ASSESSMENT AND VERIFICATION ARRANGEMENTS Assessment All units are internally assessed through the learner building up a portfolio of evidence that covers the relevant assessment criteria, internally assessed and verified by the centre and then externally verified by Ascentis. On completion of the learners evidence for either the individual units or the certificate, the assessor is required to complete the Summary Record of Achievement for each learner. The Summary Record of Achievement asks assessors and the internal verifier to confirm that the rules of combination have been followed. The Summary Record of Achievement form is provided in Appendix 1. Centres are required to retain all evidence from all learners for external verification and for 4 weeks afterwards should any appeal be made. Internal Assessment Evidence for each unit is through building up a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate that all the assessment criteria within the unit have been achieved. The evidence will be assessed by the assessor at the centre, who may or may not be the tutor teaching the course. Portfolios of evidence should include a variety of evidence to demonstrate that the assessment criteria for each unit have been met. Examples of evidence that could be included are: Observation record Questions and discussions Photographs Video Worksheets Tape recordings Self assessments Workbook activities If the learner fails to meet the assessment criteria on the first attempt at an activity they may redraft the work following feedback given by the tutor. However tutors must not correct the work of the learner, and all feedback given by the tutor must be included within the learner s evidence. Learners portfolio work should include a tracking sheet to show where the evidence for each assessment criterion is to be found. Some activities could produce evidence for more than one unit, which is acceptable as long as there is clear reference to this on the tracking sheet. Examples of tracking sheets are found in Appendix 2. Verification Internal Verification Internal verification is the process of ensuring that everyone who assesses a particular unit in a centre is assessing to the same standards. Internal verification of this programme will be co-ordinated by a named co-ordinator at each centre, who will liaise with Ascentis. The co-ordinator may also act as the internal verifier. Internal verification will be carried out through standardisation activities including the internal verification of portfolio evidence across all the groups of learners, to include all the assessors and the full range of units. It is the responsibility of Internal Verifiers to ensure that assessors decisions are sampled and monitored throughout the qualification to ensure consistency and fairness. Internal Verifiers are also responsible for supporting assessors by offering advice and guidance. Further information is available from the Key Information area of the Ascentis website or through contacting the Ascentis office. Ascentis External Verifiers will confirm the Internal Verification activities at their visit. Page 8 of 36

9 External Verification Accredited centres will normally be visited twice a year for external verification although more frequent verifications can be requested from Ascentis, for which there is usually an additional charge. The focus of the external verification visits will include: Verification of a sample of the learners evidence to ensure that internal assessment decisions are valid, reliable, fair and consistent with standards across other centres Confirmation of coverage of all the assessment criteria required for each unit and the rules of combination required for the full certificate. Staff development, including guidance and support for all assessors and internal verifiers Knowledge, Understanding and Skills required of Assessors and Internal Verifiers The delivery of the knowledge required within this qualification should be carried out by qualified teachers or those working towards a teaching qualification who ideally should hold a qualification in Customer Service or related field at Level 3 or above. Assessment decisions for knowledge based Learning Outcomes must be made by an occupationally knowledgeable assessor, qualified to make assessment decisions. Relevant qualifications include a teaching qualification, the Award in Assessing Vocationally Related Achievement, Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement or an A1, D32 or D33 qualification. Internal Verifiers need to be competent assessors with knowledge of the requirements of the internal verification process. They need to be qualified to make quality assurance decisions which could include a teaching qualification, the Award in Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice, or a V1 or D34 qualification. The Apprenticeship Framework in Customer Service The Apprenticeship Framework in Customer Service includes the Intermediate Apprenticeship and the Advanced Apprenticeship. Within the Apprenticeship are the following elements: Intermediate Apprenticeship Vocational Qualifications in Customer Service Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Customer Service (QCF) (Competence) Level 2 Certificate in Customer Service (QCF) (Knowledge) Functional Skills/Key Skills/GCSE/ A Levels/AS levels Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS) Employee Rights and Responsibilities (ERR) these must be delivered through the CfA ERR Workbook, available from the CfA website ( Advanced Apprenticeship Vocational Qualifications in Customer Service Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Customer Service (QCF) (Competence) Level 3 Certificate in Customer Service (QCF) (Knowledge) Functional Skills/Key Skills/GCSE/ A Levels/AS levels Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS) Employee Rights and Responsibilities (ERR) these must be delivered through the CfA ERR Workbook, available from the CfA website ( The Apprenticeship Framework will benefit learners by offering a range of opportunities to progress in their careers or further education. Page 9 of 36

10 The Apprenticeship Framework will benefit employers by encouraging a workforce who have skills, knowledge and competence to support business systems, processes and services and who can contribute to making businesses more efficient and productive. Entry conditions for this framework Intermediate Apprenticeship All new entrants to the Intermediate Level Apprenticeship must be at least 16 years of age and must have a keen interest in customer service. Employers expect applicants to demonstrate a can do attitude and have at least basic numeracy and literacy skills on which the Apprenticeship will build. Advanced Apprenticeship All new entrants to the Apprenticeship must be at least 18 years of age. People under the age of 18 (and above the age of 16) may be considered for entry to the framework by exception, providing they can demonstrate their suitability in terms of their outlook and maturity for working at this level. There are no specific qualification requirements for entry onto the Advanced Level Apprenticeship although it would be desirable for individuals to have some prior experience in a customer service or administration role to allow them to complete the Advanced Apprenticeship. Page 10 of 36

11 UNIT SPECIFICATIONS Delivery of Effective Customer Service Credit Value of Unit: 6 GLH of Unit: 50 Level of Unit: 2 Introduction This unit is about the basic principles surrounding the delivery of effective Customer Service. It requires the learner to be aware of what constitutes good Customer Service, different customer expectations, how to deal with complaints, working within a team and the legal aspects surrounding the delivery of Customer Service. Learning Outcomes Assessment Criteria The learner will The learner can 1 Describe the principles of customer service 1.1 Identify the purpose of customer service 1.2 Describe how customer service affects the success of the organisation 1.3 Describe different types of customers of an organisation 1.4 Identify the range of customer needs 1.5 Identify the customer service information which may be retained 1.6 Identify the difference between providing a product and providing a service 1.7 Describe what is meant by an after-sales service 1.8 Describe what is meant by a Unique Selling Point (USP) and a Unique Service Offer (USO) 1.9 Identify the methods a customer service deliverer can use to keep product and service knowledge up-to-date 1.10 Describe how an organisation can promote its products and/or services 2 Understand how customer needs and 2.1 Describe the purpose of an organisation s service expectations are formed offer 2.2 Describe how customer expectations are formed 2.3 Describe the interrelationship between customer satisfaction and customer expectations 2.4 Describe how customer needs can be identified 2.5 Identify the methods of obtaining customer feedback 2.6 Describe how an organisation can maintain customer loyalty 2.7 Identify why it is important to ensure effective customer relationships are maintained 2.8 Describe why it is important for a customer to be 3 Understand principles of responding to customers problems or complaints able to identify a brand 3.1 Identify common causes of customer problems and complaints 3.2 Identify different methods of communication 3.3 Describe the importance of adapting methods of communication and behaviour to meet the individual needs of customers 3.4 Explain how the non-verbal communication of the service deliverer can affect the behaviour of the customer 3.5 Describe how personal presentation, approach and attitude will influence the perception of the service delivered Page 11 of 36

12 Learning Outcomes The learner will 4 Identify the interpersonal and team working skills required in the customer service environment 5 Identify the legislation which supports the customer service process Assessment Criteria The learner can 4.1 Describe the skills required for effective team working 4.2 Describe how to maintain effective working relationships within a team 4.3 Describe the range of interpersonal skills required for effective customer service 5.1 Identify the key aspects of the legislation relating to consumer law 5.2 Identify the main principles of equal opportunities legislation in relation to providing customer service 5.3 Identify the responsibilities of the employer and employee under the Health and Safety at Work Act 5.4 Describe why it is important to respect customer and organisation confidentiality 5.5 Identify the main principles of the Data Protection Act 5.6 Identify how a code of practice or ethical standards can impact upon the activities of a service deliverer Indicative Content 1.1 Customer Service: What is meant by Customer Service? What effect does it have on an organisation? 1.2 How Customer Service affects an organisation: Consider the results of delivering good and bad Customer Service 1.3 Different types of customer: Describe the difference between an internal and external customer 1.4 Customer needs: e.g. financial, delivery, service 1.5 Customer Service Information: Sales records, personal details (names, addresses), purchase history 1.6 Difference between providing a product and a service: How will Customer Service differ when delivering these? e.g. a product is a short term sale whereas a service is a long term relationship 1.7 After-sales Service: What support is provided once the product or service has been delivered to the customer? 1.8 USP/USO: The one aspect that makes an organisation s product or service different from everyone else s 1.9 Methods to keep product and service knowledge up-to-date: Self-study, internal training, asking questions, external training 1.10 How an organisation can promote its products and/or services: Various forms of advertising, word of mouth, E- commerce, direct marketing 2.1 Purpose of an organisation s service offer: To enable customers to understand what they can expect from the organisation, to set a standard for employees to work to 2.2 Customer expectations: Level of service, price, opening hours, availability, delivery times 2.3 Interrelationship between customer satisfaction and customer expectations: Usually, a customer is satisfied when their expectations are met but consider the advantages of exceeding the customer s expectations and how this can increase the perception of satisfaction 2.4 How to identify customer needs: Asking questions, observing body language, questionnaires, surveys 2.5 Methods of obtaining feedback: Formal (surveys, questionnaires, letters, s), Informal (asking the customer, noting customer comments) 2.6 Maintaining loyalty: Consistently good service, loyalty schemes (points, cards etc), special offers 2.7 Importance of maintaining effective customer relationships: Consider the advantages of keeping existing customers over the cost and difficulty of obtaining new business 2.8 Importance of customers identifying a brand: Comfort from familiarity, trust, professional image, Page 12 of 36

13 brand recognition 3.1 Causes of problems and complaints: Poor service, late delivery, high prices, faulty goods, poor quality, incorrect stock, stock shortages 3.2 Methods of communication: Face to face, telephone, letter, , text 3.3 Importance of adapting methods of communication and behaviour: Adapt in response to those with language difficulties, health issues, learning difficulties, cultural differences, different age groups 3.4 Non-verbal communication: Gestures, body language, posture, eye contact, personal presentation 3.5 Personal presentation, approach and attitude: Dress, personal hygiene, posture, manner of speech, general demeanour 4.1 Skills required: e.g. tolerance, listening skills, ability to work with others 4.2 How to maintain effective working relationships: Be able to work with others to complete a task, be sensitive to the feelings and needs of others, know when to ask for help and support 4.3 Interpersonal skills required: Team working skills, questioning and listening skills, verbal communication skills, written communication skills, personal development skills, problem-solving skills, decision-making skills, patience, tolerance 5.1 Legislation relating to consumer law: Sale of Goods Act, Trade Descriptions Act, Supply of Goods and Services Act, Consumer Credit Act, Distance Selling Regulations 5.2 Equal opportunities legislation: Sex Discrimination Act, Race Relations Act, Disability Discrimination Act, Age Discrimination Act, The Equality Act 5.3 Responsibilities: Recognise that there are some responsibilities that are those of the employer, some that are those of the employee and some responsibilities that are common to both. 5.4 Importance of respecting confidentiality: Legal responsibilities, moral responsibilities, customer confidence 5.5 Main principles of the Data Protection Act: Data must be processed fairly and lawfully, processed for limited purposes, adequate, relevant and not excessive, accurate and up to date, not kept for longer than is necessary, processed in line with the rights of individuals, secure, not to other countries without adequate protection 5.6 Code of Practice: The rules and principles that uniquely apply to a particular organisation or sector body. Ethical standards: Any moral obligations that an organisation might have towards its customers Page 13 of 36

14 UNIT SPECIFICATIONS Supporting the Customer Service Environment Credit Value of Unit: 7 GLH of Unit: 65 Level of Unit: 2 Introduction This unit looks at how an individual provides effective Customer Service by supporting the organisation in which they work. It explores personal attributes, customer expectations, communication skills and selfdevelopment. All of these are considered essential to delivering high levels of Customer Service. Learning Outcomes Assessment Criteria The learner will 1 Apply the practical skills required to deliver effective customer service 2 Demonstrate how to meet customer needs and expectations The learner can 1.1 Identify the type of organisation 1.2 Identify the organisation's customers including internal and/or external and those with specific needs 1.3 Illustrate a customer service supply chain within an organisation 1.4 Maintain established customer records 1.5 Suggest a unique selling point or unique service offer for a product or service 1.6 Suggest ways of promoting a product or service to increase customer awareness 1.7 Compare the strengths and weaknesses of the promotional methods available 2.1 Identify how customers demonstrate their own individual needs and expectations 2.2 Identify customers with special requirements 2.3 Identify how to use methods of communication and behaviour to meet the individual needs of specified customers 2.4 Identify and use methods of checking customer satisfaction 2.5 Identify ways in which an organisation might improve its reputation 3 Communicate effectively with customers 3.1 Use different methods of communication 3.2 Identify the interpersonal skills which are required for effective team-working 3.3 Describe how to adapt own behaviour to meet the individual needs of the team 3.4 Use the telephone system efficiently and effectively 3.5 Identify the personal qualities required to deal with customer problems 3.6 Describe the skills required to deal with potentially stressful situations 3.7 Apply problem solving theories to resolving a customer service problem 3.8 Identify the process of solving a customer problem or complaint Page 14 of 36

15 Learning Outcomes The learner will 4 Apply customer service improvements and develop self Assessment Criteria The learner can 4.1 Devise a method for obtaining customer feedback 4.2 Identify why it is important to give a positive impression to customers about changes made to customer service procedures 4.3 Identify how own behaviour might affect the behaviour of others 4.4 Identify how to obtain useful and constructive feedback from others about own performance 4.5 Identify own strengths and weaknesses in relation to working within a customer service role 4.6 Apply the techniques of self assessment to look at strengths and weaknesses 4.7 Produce a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) for self 4.8 Prepare an individual learning/development plan which could be used as a basis for discussion with a relevant person, e.g. tutor, line manager, HR, training department Indicative Content 1.1 Type of organisation: Public sector, private sector, voluntary, PLC, not-for-profit, charity 1.2 External customers: Individuals, members of the public, other businesses Internal customers: Colleagues, anyone from within the same organisation 1.3 Supply chain: Identify where products and services come from before reaching your organisation and what happens beyond your organisation s involvement 1.4 Customer records: Paper based or electronic 1.5 USP/USO: The one aspect that makes an organisation s product or service different from everyone else s 1.6 Ways of promoting a product or service: Advertising, leaflet drops, poster campaign, direct marketing 1.7 Strengths and weaknesses: Look at each of the promotional methods chosen and consider the advantages and disadvantages of each 2.1 Customer needs and expectations: What they expect from your organisation. Consider how these expectations are arrived at. Reputation, advertising, image etc 2.2 Special requirements: Disabilities, language difficulties, health issues, learning difficulties, cultural differences, different age groups 2.3 Methods of communication and behaviour: Face to face, telephone, letter, , text, posture, manner of speech 2.4 Methods of checking customer satisfaction: Surveys, questionnaires, direct questioning 2.5 Ways of improving reputation: Meeting needs and expectations, being reliable, being ethical 3.1 Different methods of communication: Identify which method is the most appropriate for different types of customer 3.2 Interpersonal skills: Team working skills, questioning and listening skills, verbal communication skills, written communication skills, personal development skills, problem-solving skills, decision-making skills, patience, tolerance 3.3 Own behaviour: manner of speech, body language, posture, facial expressions 3.4 Efficiently and effectively: Meeting organisational guidelines for the receiving of calls (e.g. number of rings, standard greeting), preparing properly to make calls, transferring calls, putting callers on hold, taking messages 3.5 Personal qualities required: Listening skills, patience, tolerance, problem-solving skills 3.6 Skills required: Calmness, focus, tact, patience 3.7 Problem solving theories: Following a structured sequence of events to bring about a solution 3.8 Process: e.g. gathering information, identifying possible cause, identifying solutions, analysing best solution for all parties, communicating solution, application Page 15 of 36

16 4.1 Methods for obtaining feedback: Surveys, questionnaires, direct questioning 4.2 Changes to procedures: e.g. new stock, changes to terms and conditions, price increases, updated website 4.3 Own behaviour: Manner of speech, body language, gestures, facial expressions, verbal comments, personal appearance 4.4 Feedback from others: From colleagues, managers, subordinates, personnel specialists 4.5 Identify own strengths and weaknesses: e.g. carry out a personal SWOT analysis 4.6 Self-assessment techniques: Setting and checking self against targets, goals etc., comparing performance against benchmarks, comparison with performance of peers. 4.7 Training Needs Analysis (TNA): A means of assessing your current skills and knowledge and comparing it with what training is required to upskill to the required level. 4.8 Individual learning/development plan: Using your TNA as a starting point, draw up an individual learning/development plan giving details with timescales of how you intend to progress within your organisation Page 16 of 36

17 UNIT SPECIFICATIONS Principles of Customer Service Delivery Credit Value of Unit: 6 GLH of Unit: 50 Level of Unit: 3 Introduction This unit tackles the practical aspects of Customer Service delivery. The learner is required to understand customer expectations, identify essential behaviours, communication and interpersonal skills, know how to solve various problems and complaints and, finally to understand the legal implications of Customer Service delivery. Learning Outcomes The learner will 1 Describe the principles which impact on customer expectations 2 Identify how behaviour, communication and interpersonal skills affect customer expectations and satisfaction 3 Describe solutions to customer service problems and complaints within organisational constraints 4 Explain how legislation affects the customer service process Assessment Criteria The learner can 1.1 Identify the differences in working in a customer service role within different sectors 1.2 Explain what is meant by customer expectations and how these are formed 1.3 Describe how to balance the needs and expectations of the customer with those of the organisation 2.1 Describe how the individual s and the customer s behaviours affect expectations 2.2 Identify and use different methods of communication to meet a range of customer expectations 2.3 Identify different types of non-verbal communication and their impact 2.4 Explain the interpersonal skills which can be used to achieve customer satisfaction 2.5 Identify possible barriers to effective communication 3.1 Describe techniques for dealing with customer service problems or complaints 3.2 Describe the factors that need to be considered when finding a solution to a customer service problem 3.3 Identify solutions to customer problems and complaints 3.4 Explain why a complaint should be viewed in a positive manner 3.5 Describe how the use of record keeping systems help manage and support the customer service process 4.1 Identify and explain how relevant legislation affects the customer service process 4.2 Identify and explain the relevant legislation relating to customer record keeping and its implications 4.3 Explain the importance of maintaining security and confidentiality of data 4.4 Define different forms of contracts and describe what makes a contract binding 4.5 Explain the purpose of codes of practice and describe their relationship to customer service Page 17 of 36

18 Indicative Content 1.1 Different sectors: Public sector, private sector, not for profit organisations, voluntary sector 1.2 Customer expectations: What the customer expects to receive from an organisation in respect of e.g. price, quality, range of product, speed of delivery etc. 1.3 Balancing the needs and expectations of the customer with those of the organisation: Often, the customer will have needs and expectations which are different from those of the organisation. Consider how to reach a compromise to balance these to the mutual satisfaction of both parties 2.1 Behaviours: Confusion, aggression, people with particular needs (social, cultural) 2.2 Methods of communication: Face to face, telephone, written, letter, , text, via social networking sites 2.3 Non-verbal communication: Written, letter, , text, via social networking sites. Also be aware of the importance of positive body language as a non-verbal communication tool. 2.4 Interpersonal skills: Personal presentation and behaviour, eye contact, speech and mannerisms, body language, confidence, assertiveness 2.5 Possible barriers: Ambiguity, confusion, language problems, misunderstanding, poor communication, lack of concentration, apathy 3.1 Techniques: Adopting a logical approach (listening, analysing, presenting options, solving problem, communicating to all involved, adapting systems to avoid repetition) 3.2 Factors: Cost, time, resources available, organisational requirements, legal obligations 3.3 Identifying solutions: Be aware of the factors mentioned above. Also consider the need to negotiate and know limitations to personal authority 3.4 Why complaints should be viewed in a positive manner: Customers are wanting to stay with the organisation, opportunity to amend systems or procedures, shows the organisation in a positive light 3.5 Record keeping systems: Electronic, paper based. These may be used for a variety of reasons e.g. stock control, customer personal information, purchasing history 4.1 Legislation: Sale of Goods Act, Trade Descriptions Act, Supply of Goods and Services Act, Consumer Credit Act, Data Protection Act 4.2 Legislation relevant to record keeping: Data Protection Act. Know and explain the main principles of the Act 4.3 Importance of maintaining security and confidentiality of data: Legal requirements, moral obligations 4.4 Types of contract: Written, verbal, implied, service level agreements 4.5 Code of Practice: Written guidelines issued by an official body or a professional association to its members to help them comply with its standards Page 18 of 36

19 UNIT SPECIFICATIONS Developing and Improving the Customer Service Process Credit Value of Unit: 7 GLH of Unit: 55 Level of Unit: 3 Introduction An important part of developing the quality of Customer Service delivery is measuring performance. This unit looks at analysing the service offer, obtaining feedback, promoting the product or service and monitoring the performance. The unit concludes with a look at teamwork and the part it plays in Customer Service delivery. Learning Outcomes The learner will 1 Explain how customer feedback can improve the customer service process 2 Describe the process of promoting products and services 3 Explain the importance of effective teamwork and the monitoring of performance Assessment Criteria The learner can 1.1 Describe the benefits of evaluating the customer service experience 1.2 Describe and compare a range of techniques used in monitoring customer service delivery 1.3 Design a method of obtaining customer feedback 1.4 Explain how the outcome of an organisational SWOT analysis can be used to promote a cycle of continuous improvement 1.5 Explain the techniques used to monitor and review the impact of any changes introduced in an organisation to customers, employees and the organisation 2.1 Explain how Unique Selling Points (USP) can influence the customer choice of products and services 2.2 Define what a Unique Service Offer (USO) is and how it is used to differentiate service offers from that of competitors 2.3 Explain how organisations promote their products and services 2.4 Describe how cost benefit analysis would influence the method used to promote a product or service 2.5 Describe the importance of evaluating promotions 3.1 Identify different communication techniques used when managing a team 3.2 Describe the interpersonal skills required for effective team working 3.3 Explain the importance of effective service partnerships for the delivery of excellent customer service 3.4 Explain the dynamics of team working 3.5 Explain why it is import to agree set goals with team members 3.6 Explain the methods used by organisations to set levels of customer service performance 3.7 Identify methods for monitoring the performance of individual and teams 3.8 Explain how team members can self -assess and develop their customer service skills and knowledge 3.9 Complete a personal development plan Page 19 of 36

20 Indicative Content 1.1 Benefits of evaluation: Enables the organisation to check that customer needs and expectations are being met, enables the identification of any necessary improvements 1.2 Techniques: Customer feedback, sales monitoring, analysis of advertising campaigns 1.3 Customer feedback methods: questionnaires, surveys, direct mailings, face to face questioning 1.4 SWOT analysis: Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Continuous improvement cycle: Plan, implement, evaluate, review 1.5 Techniques used: Employing similar evaluation and customer feedback methods to analyse the effectiveness of changes introduced 2.1 Unique Selling Point: The one (or more) factor that makes an organisation s product better, more desirable or superior in some way to give it an advantage over competitors 2.2 Unique Service Offer: What it is that makes the organisation's service offer more desirable than that offered by other companies? 2.3 How organisations promote their products and services: Advertising, TV, radio, press releases, word of mouth, campaigns 2.4 Cost benefit analysis: A process of estimating expected costs against expected benefits to decide upon the best (or most profitable) course of action 2.5 Importance of evaluating promotions: Ensure value for money has been achieved, to influence choices regarding future promotions, to ensure organisational objectives have been achieved 3.1 Communication to individuals: Face to face, reviews, appraisals, memos, s Communication to teams: Meetings, team briefings, memos, group s 3.2 Interpersonal skills: Oral and written communication skills, problem solving skills, decision-making skills, tact, diplomacy, assertiveness 3.3 Service partnerships: A relationship between two parties that assumes an equal status rather than one being the customer of the other. Less formal than a contractual agreement, there will often be a Service Level Agreement between the parties. 3.4 Team dynamics: The intangible factors that make a group of individuals become a team e.g. personalities, co-operation, physical location 3.5 Why it is important to agree set goals: To aid planning, to ensure organisational objectives are achieved, to ensure best use is being made of the team s time, to help instil a sense of ownership in the team 3.6 Methods used to set levels: Benchmarks, Key Performance Indicators, Service Level Agreements 3.7 Methods for monitoring performance: Reviews, appraisals, observation, testing, measuring against objectives 3.8 Self assessment: A process whereby the individual measures their own performance against a set. This is often used as a tool ahead of a formal third party assessment so that a comparison may be made. 3.9 Personal development plan: Can be drawn up alone or as part of a formal review. Is usually used to list agreed areas for development as well as when and how this should be achieved. Page 20 of 36

21 APPENDIX 1 Level 2 and 3 Certificate in Customer Service Summary Record of Achievement Learner Name Unit Title Level Credit Value Date completed Assessor Signature Internal Verifier Signature (if sampled) Delivery of Effective Customer Service 2 6 Supporting the Customer Service Environment 2 7 Principles of Customer Service Delivery 3 6 Developing and Improving the Customer Service Process 3 7 Level Claimed Minimum Credit Value of Qualification Total Credit Value at Level being claimed I confirm that the minimum number of credits at the appropriate level have been achieved in order for a claim for certification to be made. I can confirm that the credit has been achieved from the correct combination of mandatory units as specified within the Rules of Combination. Assessor Signature Internal Verifier Signature (if sampled) Page 21 of 36

22 APPENDIX 2 Tracking Sheet Delivery of Effective Customer Service Criteria 1.1 Identify the purpose of customer service 1.2 Describe how customer service affects the success of the organisation 1.3 Describe different types of customers of an organisation 1.4 Identify the range of customer needs 1.5 Identify the customer service information which may be retained 1.6 Identify the difference between providing a product and providing a service 1.7 Describe what is meant by an after-sales service 1.8 Describe what is meant by a Unique Selling Point (USP) and a Unique Service Offer (USO) 1.9 Identify the methods a customer service deliverer can use to keep product and service knowledge up-to-date 1.10 Describe how an organisation can promote its products and/or services 2.1 Describe the purpose of an organisation s service offer 2.2 Describe how customer expectations are formed 2.3 Describe the interrelationship between customer satisfaction and customer expectations 2.4 Describe how customer needs can be identified 2.5 Identify the methods of obtaining customer feedback 2.6 Describe how an organisation can maintain customer loyalty 2.7 Identify why it is important to ensure effective customer relationships are maintained 2.8 Describe why it is important for a customer to be able to identify a brand Assessment Method Evidence Details Portfolio Reference Completion Date Page 22 of 36

23 Criteria 3.1 Identify common causes of customer problems and complaints 3.2 Identify different methods of communication 3.3 Describe the importance of adapting methods of communication and behaviour to meet the individual needs of customers 3.4 Explain how the non-verbal communication of the service deliverer can affect the behaviour of the customer 3.5 Describe how personal presentation, approach and attitude will influence the perception of the service delivered 4.1 Describe the skills required for effective team working 4.2 Describe how to maintain effective working relationships within a team 4.3 Describe the range of interpersonal skills required for effective customer service 5.1 Identify the key aspects of the legislation relating to consumer law 5.2 Identify the main principles of equal opportunities legislation in relation to providing customer service 5.3 Identify the responsibilities of the employer and employee under the Health and Safety at Work Act 5.4 Describe why it is important to respect customer and organisation confidentiality 5.5 Identify the main principles of the Data Protection Act 5.6 Identify how a code of practice or ethical standards can impact upon the activities of a service deliverer Assessment Method Evidence Details Portfolio Reference Completion Date The above evidence has been assessed against the standards and has been judged for validity, authenticity, currency, reliability and sufficiency. Learner Signature Assessor Signature Internal Verifier (if sampled) Date Date Date Page 23 of 36

24 APPENDIX 2 Tracking Sheet Supporting the Customer Service Environment Criteria 1.1 Identify the type of organisation 1.2 Identify the organisation's customers including internal and/or external and those with specific needs 1.3 Illustrate a customer service supply chain within an organisation 1.4 Maintain established customer records 1.5 Suggest a unique selling point or unique service offer for a product or service 1.6 Suggest ways of promoting a product or service to increase customer awareness 1.7 Compare the strengths and weaknesses of the promotional methods available 2.1 Identify how customers demonstrate their own individual needs and expectations 2.2 Identify customers with special requirements 2.3 Identify how to use methods of communication and behaviour to meet the individual needs of specified customers 2.4 Identify and use methods of checking customer satisfaction 2.5 Identify ways in which an organisation might improve its reputation 3.1 Use different methods of communication 3.2 Identify the interpersonal skills which are required for effective teamworking 3.3 Describe how to adapt own behaviour to meet the individual needs of the team 3.4 Use the telephone system efficiently and effectively 3.5 Identify the personal qualities required to deal with customer problems 3.6 Describe the skills required to deal with potentially stressful situations Assessment Method Evidence Details Portfolio Reference Completion Date Page 24 of 36

25 Criteria 3.7 Apply problem solving theories to resolving a customer service problem 3.8 Identify the process of solving a customer problem or complaint 4.1 Devise a method for obtaining customer feedback 4.2 Identify why it is important to give a positive impression to customers about changes made to customer service procedures 4.3 Identify how own behaviour might affect the behaviour of others 4.4 Identify how to obtain useful and constructive feedback from others about own performance 4.5 Identify own strengths and weaknesses in relation to working within a customer service role 4.6 Apply the techniques of self assessment to look at strengths and weaknesses 4.7 Produce a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) for self 4.8 Prepare an individual learning/development plan which could be used as a basis for discussion with a relevant person, e.g. tutor, line manager, HR, training department Assessment Method Evidence Details Portfolio Reference Completion Date The above evidence has been assessed against the standards and has been judged for validity, authenticity, currency, reliability and sufficiency. Learner Signature Assessor Signature Internal Verifier (if sampled) Date Date Date Page 25 of 36

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