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Glasgow Life is a charity delivering cultural, sporting and learning activities on behalf of Glasgow City Council.

Its vision is to inspire Glasgow’s citizens and visitors to lead richer and more active lives through culture and sport.

Its purpose is to provide Glasgow’s residents and visitors with greater access; to deliver better cultural, sporting and learning services and opportunities, and inspire everyone to make the most of them. In doing so, it aims to make a positive impact on individuals, the communities in which they live and the city as a whole.

“Our staff are central to this commitment,” says Harry Bisset, Organisational Development Practioner. “And CSE enables us to measure the quality of our service delivery. It gives us insight into what our customers actually want. CSE is nationally recognised. This means we are acknowledged externally for delivering excellent services to our customers.”

SGS involvement

Glasgow Life’s performance is monitored annually by SGS.

“SGS were chosen initially for the company’s Charter Mark certification. So it was a natural progression to continue with SGS for CSE certification.”

The typical stages in a project plan prior to a new CSE certification include:

  • Initial meetings (introducing and discussing CSE, outlining the application process, templates etc.).
  • Establishing a working group to complete a template and gather evidence.
  • Assessing CSE compliance and identifying areas for improvement.
  • Creating and implementing an Action Plan.
  • Conducting internal assessments to monitor progress.
  • Completing the application paperwork.
  • External assessment.

Benefits of CSE accreditation

Better service standards

Glasgow Life has developed and implemented service standards, now displayed in all venues. Customers know the standard of service to expect.

Established mystery visitor programme

An independent visitor goes to venues to evaluate the actual service delivery. This mystery visitor’s report helps venues to improve their service. Now Glasgow Life is more outcome driven, less process driven. The company uses the results of the programme to improve customer service.

Developed customer insight

Glasgow Life produces, discusses and reviews strategic documentation relating to customer insight. This informs marketing strategies, customer engagement and audience development plans.

Presented a clearer image to the customer

CSE has helped to improve corporate branding. Following staff and customer research, the company undertook a major rebrand in 2010. This has led to the customer having a better understanding of the Glasgow Life brand and services. Consistent branding means customers engage more.

“Above all, CSE has given us a strong customer focus across all our accredited services and a consistent level of understanding of what is excellent service delivery,” adds Harry Bisset.

“We now have an organisation with a service quality standard shared by all staff, a stronger brand, more employee loyalty, motivation and identity.”

Staff identification

All staff are easily identifiable to customers (by wearing a Glasgow Life name badge).

Advice to others taking the CSE journey

Glasgow Life recommends:

Identifying current and potential customers, both internal and external, and reviewing these regularly.

  • Building customer consultation into service delivery.
  • Understanding your services.
  • Staff involvement (for example, discussing CSE at local team meetings).
  • Empowering staff to resolve customer issues before they become complaints.
  • Gathering evidence of good customer service.
  • Actively seeking benchmarking opportunities and record your journey.
  • Using a CSE Improvement Action Plan to drive forward improvements to customer service.

Harry Bisset adds:

“The Commonwealth Games in 2014 represented one of the largest sporting and cultural events which Glasgow will ever host and Glasgow Life was integral to the delivery of a successful sporting and cultural programme in the city. The Games impacted on all staff across Glasgow Life and our front-line staff were directly involved in delivering a high standard of customer service.

“Glasgow Life has used the Customer Service Excellence standard to embed the principles of delivering excellent customer service within our accredited services. The games were eloquently summed up by HRH Prince Imran, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation who praised the success of the Games, saying ‘Scotland, you have made the best Games ever. Glasgow, you were pure, dead brilliant.’”

SGS auditor Robert Sullivan adds:

“It has been a great pleasure to work with the Glasgow Life team in its continuing journey towards Customer Service Excellence. In its many facets, Glasgow Life touches the lives of Glaswegians and visitors to the city.

“Glasgow is a world class city attracting tourists and visitors from every country in the world  and many of these visitors will use the services delivered by Glasgow Life.

“The 2014 Commonwealth Games was a great sporting and cultural occasion that utilised many Glasgow Life venues across the City – supported by Glasgow Life staff.

“It is pleasing to note that many of these services are CSE Certificated and that we know they have benefitted from the rigour of the process, internal and external audit and assessment.

“We look forward to many more years of supporting Glasgow Life in driving a customer focused culture forward and to delivering high quality outcomes for the people of Glasgow and beyond.”

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.