In November 2022, the Library Services at the University of Essex was awarded the Customer Service Excellence (CSE) standard for our customer focused Library Services across our three campus libraries in Colchester, Loughton and Southend.
Customer Service Excellence (CSE) is a government national standard, awarded by the Cabinet Office. It ensures organisations put the customer at the core of everything they do to help drive continuous improvement, develop staff skills, and independently validates achievement.
To achieve this accreditation, Library Services were assessed against 57 elements in the areas of:
The assessment included a formal documentation review where Library Services provided evidence to show how we felt we met all the criteria, followed by meetings with a range of library staff and users of our service (students, professional and academic staff, alumni).
Some of the things Library Services have achieved on our quest for Customer Service Excellence are:
Having reviewed our evidence and meeting responses, our assessor felt we ‘met the CSE Standard – and in some style!!’.
We are ‘fully compliant’, with it being unusual to have no ‘partial compliance’ scores in the first submission. Not only this, but we achieved ‘compliance plus’ (exceptional practice) in:
‘There is corporate commitment to putting the customer at the heart of service delivery and leaders in our organisation actively support this and advocate for customers’.
We will continue to build on our success and commitment in involving users of our service to shape and develop our service offering.
Regular visits by our assessor are required to maintain the award, so we have already begun working on preparing for the next on site visit in November 2023.
We also want to encourage other University of Essex services and departments to work towards achieving CSE and would be very happy to help them with this, by sharing our experience and offering support along the way.
If you are interested in learning more about the standard and how it might apply to your service and would like an informal chat, or you would like to join our Library Advisory Group to contribute to shaping our future services, you can contact Sarah Boateng email@example.com and/or Kirstie Clarke firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to chat with you.