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University estates department achieves UK first

City University London's Property and Facilities team is the first UK university estates department to achieve the Institute of Customer Service (ICS) ServiceMark Accreditation.
by Ruth Shepherd

Property and Faci...The University achieved a UK first when ICS presented the Property and Facilities team with a ServiceMark accreditation for excellent customer service at the end of July.

Presenting the award, Bob Winnington of ICS said of the accreditation visit: "The assessor reported that the improvements he'd seen and the standards of customer service are the highest he'd seen at any assessment."

The accreditation was awarded after a detailed two-day assessment by ICS when the department's approaches to customer service were measured against rigorous standards.

The estates department has worked hard to improve services, introducing a new account management programme that has greatly improved relationships with University customers.

A new complaints procedure has also been implemented and there has been a department-wide customer service training programme to support colleagues to take the new procedure forward. The new complaints procedure has resulted in improved staff confidence to take ownership of complaints and ensure that customers are communicated with regularly until complaints are resolved.

Kathy Bird, City's Property and Facilities Customer Service Manager, who co-ordinated the accreditation process says: "The successful outcome is a major achievement for a department that has large and varied customer service responsibilities to staff, students and visitors. Accreditation will help the department to identify areas for further improvements; develop action plans for service enhancement; demonstrate continuing commitment to service development and improve customer relations whilst reducing our service costs to these customers."

ICS works with a large number of public and private sector organisations to help drive up standards in customer service. Last year, City's Services for Students department became the first accreditation holder in the UK higher education sector and this second award demonstrates a real and continued commitment to providing excellent customer service at the University.

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.