Complaint Resolution Team in the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire

Why did you wish to achieve the Customer Service Excellence Standard?

We wanted a nationally recognised certification to show that we are meeting the high customer service level standards to the public. We wanted something to recognise our hard work and almost to vindicate we are doing as we should.

What was your approach to assessment?

We sought the teams’ thoughts through team meetings and in person. Drawing on their experiences and
encouraged feedback to support evidence against each section. There was a dedicated SPOC within the
team who gathered evidence from various sources, emails, reports, surveys to scrutinise all areas while
identifying areas that we could perhaps improve upon.

All the team were involved and updated with the progress on sections during the process and senior staff
worked tirelessly to bring together evidence to support our application by way of reports, presentations, emails to the Constabulary and workshops given to external partners. Feedback was also provided via our survey and complimentary emails of thanks/praise from members of the public to the team and individuals.

Members of the public were individually contacted to invite them to share their experience of the complaint
process, confidentially with the external assessor which they were more than happy to do. And in additional
external partners and senior officers from the Constabulary were also invited for feedback interviews based on reports and advice provided by the team and CRT management’s involvement with boards and meetings that provided useful data to improve performance and service to the public and pin point key areas of learnings.

All feedback was very positive and supported the evidence that had been submitted which is testament to the strong commitment by the whole team.

All members of the team were interviewed confidentially by assessor to air their thoughts of how they were
valued and supported within the team and feedback on how management treated them as individuals and
encouraged team commitment and work ethic. Again, all the feedback given was very positive which resulted in all sections reaching minimum standard of Compliance and many sections above the average that met Compliance Plus which we were extremely pleased with.

What have you experienced as the impact/benefit of the CSE Standard?

The team are now including the Award logo in their strapline when sending emails internally and externally
which instantly announces our commitment to not only providing an excellent service when dealing with
members of the public and officers within the Constabulary but also to improving public confidence in the
complaint process.

The team feel more valued and inspired to maintain higher standards when their hard work and efforts has
been recognised not only by other colleagues and senior management within the office but nationally by
other similar forces and offices dealing with complaints. The importance on feeling proud that the work
you are doing is improving standards/performance.

Provides a strong platform when contacting other similar offices that we have achieved the Award, so they
are aware of the team’s strong commitment to providing a high standard and increasing public focus when
dealing with their complaints while remaining independent from the Constabulary.

Builds a strong culture and reputation of the high standards we as a team set ourselves and encourage
other to do the same through sharing practices and processes of how we have achieved the results we do
consistently. Numerous forces and OPCC offices are in constant contact with the team to explore what we
do and how they can learn from our practices and processes.

How did the assessment feedback support you?

Any areas which were recommended for continued improvement were limited however all these no matter
how minor have been taken on board and reviewed by CRT Management. We are currently looking at
reviewing our Survey questions, simplifying information provided to complainant on our process and ways to further investigate quality and performance of the team.

In addition, enquiries or information sought from members of the public about other teams/depts and external agencies were not included in any survey feedback as we had only sought feedback on complaints. Since the feedback assessment we have asked the team to include the survey link to these members of the public to gauge their satisfaction and increase our level of feedback on any areas for improvement.

Another area for review was the survey questions which could be improved in relating to soft skills by complaint handlers and how they show empathy, understanding and were they friendly, polite, helpful, and professional. As a result, questions have been rewritten to include some soft skill areas for feedback.

We are currently looking into a Simple Customer Charter of information on what complainants can expect and the standards of service i.e. timeliness and quality which is a work in progress and will be concluded in the coming months.

Another area we have identified to increase feedback on quality and performance is the undertaking of Monthly Dip Sampling on teams’ cases by senior management independent from the CRT team within the office of the PCC. Introduced as another way to ensure high standards are maintained and any learnings to improve performance will be feedback to team.

Why did you choose Assessment Services Ltd for your assessment?

We were aware that other organisations have used Assessment Services namely other OPCCs and IOPC.

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