News

June QCSN Overview

The Quality Customer Service Network meeting took place on Wednesday 10 June, with the theme of Addressing Covid-19 Customer Service Challenges & Innovating for the Future.

Many of our Public Service organisations have moved quickly to innovate and respond to the challenges presented by the Covid-19 crisis, while continuing to meet the needs of its customers and citizens. There have undoubtedly been challenges and lessons learned. The QCSN considered those lessons from a customer service perspective, to identify emerging best practice and opportunities.

To make an initial assessment of the customer service Covid-19 response across the Public Service in advance of the QCSN, Our Public Service 2020 Action Team 2 & 3 undertook a Survey of the Public Service on Innovative Responses to Customer Service Delivery. We received 123 responses across the Public Service, and presented an overview of these results at the QCSN.

The main finding of this survey was the importance of digitalisation; those organisations with more developed digitalisation capacity were in a position to adapt more quickly. It was also highlighted that during challenging times, people can adapt and learn and work in new ways, and that it is possible to maintain a customer service remotely, with built in flexibility. The need to have contingency plans to manage future exceptional events, to enable the roll out of remote access to staff at all levels at short notice to continue delivering services to the Public was also noted.

Speakers at the QCSN included Michael Owens & Nicola Walshe, Citizens Information Board on Enhanced Customer Service to Meet Emerging Public Need, which detailed the reconfiguration of the Citizens Information and Advice services during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

John Rea, Revenue’s National Employer Helpline, outlined the approach to Adapting a National Employer Helpline to Support Employers Participating in the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme during the COVID Pandemic.

Sarah O’Callaghan, Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection presented on Customer Service in a Crisis- a DEASP Perspective, which covered the many challenges faced in customer service delivery during this time, and the innovative approach that has been taken.

A recording of the June QCSN will be available to view this site shortly. For more information about the QCS Network, or to join as Quality Customer Service representative of your Public Service organisation, please contact qcsofficersnetwork@per.gov.ie.

As mentioned at the QCSN, the QCS Secretariat will be in touch in the coming weeks in relation to the forthcoming OPS2020 Survey of Customer Service across our Public Service and look forward to working with you on this.