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The Leisure and Culture Service at Enfield Council achieved certification in the Customer Service Excellence (CSE) Standard with the support of SGS United Kingdom Ltd.

The council’s Leisure and Culture Service has been working to deliver a better quality customer service experience and expand their businesses.

“At Enfield Council there’s a corporate leaning toward Customer Service Excellence, and the Leisure and Culture Team have now joined this corporate approach,” said Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport, Youth and Public Health, Cllr Rohini Simbodyal.

“Once the Leisure and Culture service got involved with the CSE awards process, we realised that some of the other benchmark assessments we’d used were not as comprehensive. A lot of the projects and services we are delivering are more customer focused. For example, we’re looking to further develop our websites to deliver an online booking service.

“Work toward CSE began in 2013. The service set up a project team of four who owned and delivered the project; this included the management team who led the project. However, the entire service was involved because CSE affected so many parts of their work and the process helped encourage all our staff to work more closely together.”

The team chose SGS because they were recommended by the council as their preferred supplier, thus ensuring a level of consistency across the council. SGS arranged a training day early in 2013 for the Leisure and Culture team. The SGS assessor had a background in the team’s field, so he could support the team through his understanding of the CSE criteria and what was expected in the context of the team’s work.

“Our SGS CSE auditor encouraged the Leisure and Culture Team to look at what we were doing well, and to build on their strengths,” said Enfield Council’s Director of Finance, Resource and Customer Services, James Rolfe.

“At first, criteria four and five (delivery, timeliness and quality of service) proved difficult to evidence. But fortunately our SGS assessor had a background in our field, so he understood the complexities. This helped us to look at areas where we were doing well, and those where we could improve.”

Councillor Simbodyal said: “Customers and staff are benefiting. Certification means the team delivers more of what customers want – in the ways that suit them.

“Internally, the Service is collaborating better too, creating further efficiencies in these financially pressured times. We have a more joined-up approach across our Service. We’re now looking at a joint strategy for the different areas in Leisure and Culture – addressing common themes and how we all communicate with our customers. CSE is definitely worth pursuing. The benefits for our residents are worth the hard work.”

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognised as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 80,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,650 offices and laboratories around the world.