We use the ‘Service Quality Model’ developed by Parasuraman et al (1988) to help us identify, understand and reduce any shortfalls of our service delivery. By closing the five ‘gaps’ in service quality below we aim to improve our service to students.
Closing Gap 1: Learn what customers expect and their exact wants
The concept of our CRM system, GRACE was developed in 2007, on a summer’s day on a beach in North Cornwall. I had been manager at SSiD for a couple years but realised I needed better management information to understand the needs of the service and its customers. I wanted to be able to collect data that reflected the actual activity of the service and reinforced the anecdotal evidence of team members. At the time, the activity of the service was recorded (or not) across a series of spreadsheets and tick sheets.
Our Customer Relationship Management system, webGRACE provides us with rich information and useful information about our service activity. It reports not only how many students we have served but who they were, when on how they accessed our service and which of over two hundred enquiries or requests were made. Continue reading
These are the questions I think we should reflect upon to get a greater understanding each of our information service’s core competences with a view to develop them for the challenges of the future. Continue reading
A core competence is “a bundle of skills and technologies rather than a single discrete skill or technology.” (Hamel and Prahalad)
From my observation the Student Services Information Desk (SSiD) has a specific set of core competencies that deliver additional value to students and their supporters which are difficult to imitate. These are described below.
As an information service we are always looking at ways we can understand and improve the quality of service we provide to students and their supporters.
We have developed our service value statement collaboratively as a team to make sure that the values that have served us well in the past continue to underpin our service delivery well into the future. Continue reading
We recognise that we need to continue to improve the quality, speed and effectiveness of our delivery to service users. To this end we will:
- Continue to grow our capacity to be a “One Stop Shop” by anticipating and exploiting opportunities to develop, co-create or provide student related information and services.
- Commit ourselves to develop a motivated, engaged staff through opportunities for increasing product knowledge and empowerment, customer service skills and other relevant staff development.
- First line of student support
- Improve our signposting and referral service to specialists in the department/University