Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO) wanted to develop and embed a more customer centric culture, moving ownership away from ‘the organisation’ to individuals – for all staff to understand how important they are in delivering this and that they all have personal responsibility for the service customers receive, not just the Customer Service Team.
As part of our engagement with staff to deliver world class customer service, we designed the Customer Champion role and asked staff to volunteer by explaining their ideas and personal commitment to customer service. We chose a broad mix of people to reflect our diverse customer groups and to ensure coverage from all business and geographical areas, including staff dealing with both UK and international customers.
Customer Champions are genuinely customer focused staff who are motivated to look for ways to improve customers’ experience at every stage of our process. They help us ensure that customers are listened to and their feedback is acted upon. Customer Champions give vital insight into our customers’ needs, based upon their day to day dealings with customers, but also their understanding of our business.
Champions share best practice and success stories to benchmark excellent customer service, ensure improvements are made and inspire colleagues to exceed customers’ expectations. They encourage continuous improvement – looking for opportunities for more efficient ways of working; supporting and helping drive through necessary changes for the benefit of the customer. They provide support for each other, working with a non-hierarchical approach to convert customer feedback into appropriate actions for improvement.
The Customer Champion Network consists of over 100 staff, who are Champions in addition to their ‘day jobs’. They have the full support of the Board including the Director General and the Chief Operating Officer and have been empowered to find resolutions to problems and implement changes. Senior Leaders signed up to Customer Champion Charter/terms of reference to pledge support, guidance and the time to allow Customer Champions to be truly effective. The charter sets out the beliefs, core values, behaviours and principles required by our senior leaders and line managers and our Customer Champions to allow the Customer Champion Network to operate successfully.