Archive for November, 2011

Customer First! Training for Council Staff

Sheffield City Council have embarked on a programme of Customer Service training for their staff at their walk-in centre (First Point) and at their centralised telephone contact centre.

Crucible Learning and Development are proud to have been awarded the contract to deliver this training, which has included Understanding Communication Styles, Listening Skills, Telephone Skills, Body Language recognition, Workplace Coaching to Improve Performance, and First Line Supervisor Skills.

We continue to work with the Council to expand this programme into other service areas.

We are proud to be working with Sheffield City Council to enhance the skills of their staff in providing

excellent service to the citizens of Sheffield.

Sheffield is one of England’s largest cities and a metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire, England. It gained its city charter in 1893 and officially became titled the City of Sheffield.

With a population of 555,000, the City of Sheffield is England’s third largest metropolitan authority and the fourth largest City outside London.

The city has two universities – the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University – with over 61,300 students.


South Yorkshire Police employ in excess of 500 staff at their centralised contact centre in Sheffield. Staff at the location are responsible for managing contact from the public and other agencies through the 999 and 101 numbers in addition to the local police switchboard.
Dispatchers are responsible for the effective management of incidents and resources and for providing officers with information to ensure they are both effective and safe while dealing with incidents.

South Yorkshire Police is the thirteenth largest of the 44 police forces within England, Wales and Northern Ireland, policing Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield covering 600 square miles.

The force employ over 3,160 police and over 2,500 police staff, supported by 245 special constables and more than 350 police community support officers (PCSOs).

We have recently completed delivery of Communications Training to Police Dispatchers on behalf of South Yorkshire Police.

This involved delivery of training in the use of Airwave Digital Radio sets and the use of Airwave Speak (National Standard for Police Radio Communication). The delivery also involved refresher training in the ProCAD Incident Management Software, Geographical Information System (including Automatic Vehicle Location Service), and various Police National Computer applications.

An extract from From Customer Service Magazine – The eMagazine for Customer Service Professionals

  • 68% of customer defection takes place because customers feel poorly treated. Source: TARP
  • It can cost five times more to buy new customers than retain existing ones. Source: TARP
  • 1% cut in customer service problems could generate an extra £16m in profits for a medium-sized company over 5 years.

Why customers quit: 

  • 1% die
  • 3% move away
  • 68% quit because of an attitude of indifference towards the customer by the staff.
  • 14 % are dissatisfied with the product.
  • 9% leave because of competitive reasons.

Source: How to win customers and keep them for life (2000) – Michael Leboeuf

  • – For every customer who bothers to complain, 26 other customers remain silent. 
  • – It takes 12 positive service incidents to make up for 1 negative incident. Source:
  • – The average “wronged customer” will tell 8-l6 people about it. Over 20% will tell more than 20.
  • – 91% of unhappy customers will not willingly do business with you again. Source:
  • – 70% of complaining customers will do business with you again if you resolve the complaint in their favour.
  • – 95% of complaining customers will do business with you again if you resolve the complaint instantly.
Source: Lee Resource Inc
  • Reducing customer defections can boost profits by 25-85%. In 73% of cases, the organization made no attempt to persuade dissatisfied customers to stay; even though 35% said that a simple apology would have prevented them from moving to the competition. 
Source: NOP
  • 80% of complaints received by an organisation are likely to have poor communication as their root cause, either with the customer or within the organisation itself. Source: Unknown
  • 56%-70% of the customers who complain to you will do business with you again if you resolve their problem. If they feel you acted quickly and to their satisfaction, up to 96% will do business with you again, and they will probably refer other people to you. 
  • A dissatisfied customer will tell 9-15 people about it. And approximately 13% of your dissatisfied customers will tell more than 20 people about their problem. 
  • Happy customers who have their problems resolved will tell 4-6 people about their positive experience. 
  • It costs five to six times as much to get a new (first time) customer as it does to keep a current one. 
  • – Customer loyalty can be worth up to 10 times as much as a single purchase.
Source: the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, Washington, DC.
  • It costs 6 times more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an old one.
  • Customer loyalty is, in most cases worth 10 times the price of a single purchase.
  • A typical business hears from only about 4% of its dissatisfied customers. 96% just go away and 91% will never come back.
  • 13% of the people who have service problems tell 20 others.
  • It takes 12 positive service incidents to make up for one negative incident.
  • 7 out of 10 customers will do business with you again if you resolve the complaint in their favour.

Source: “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner

So, just how good is your service?

What are you doing to keep your existing customers happy – or are you spending your profits unnecessarily on finding new customers?