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Customer Service Standards

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Purpose and scope

The Royal Association for Deaf people (RAD) is committed to providing a high standard of service to all its customers. This document tells you about our code of practice (what you can expect from us).

Definition

We consider everyone we do business with at RAD to be our customers, whether internal or external, including (but not limited to):

  • Colleagues; staff, managers, directors and volunteers
  • External organisations
  • Freelance interpreters
  • Funders and Partners
  • Members of the public
  • Service users/clients
  • Health and other professionals
  • Potential staff (candidates for jobs)
  • Trustees

Standards in General

As part of our commitment to providing the best service possible we will:

  • Be welcoming and friendly
  • Provide a confidential and professional service
  • Use appropriately trained/qualified staff (e.g. Interpreters registered with NRCPD and trained/qualified Advocates)
  • Take time to understand the needs of others
  • Be Deaf aware
  • Communicate in a person’s first/preferred language or use an interpreter
  • Ensure efficient administration of Interpreting/service bookings and provide progress updates
  • Ensure promotional materials are provided where necessary
  • Provide service level agreements to customers where appropriate
  • Confirm terms of business (e.g. cancellation/notice periods) for our services
  • Ensure customers know what to expect
  • Carry/provide business cards where appropriate
  • Signpost people effectively
  • Ensure the information we provide is accurate and up to date by using up to date, recognised and established resources
  • Take time to find and check information is accurate
  • Be responsive
  • Be honest with our customer if we do not know the answer; signpost effectively or take additional time to source reliable information
  • Provide transparent fee/cost information

For internal customers we will:

  • Respect and support our colleagues; adopting a supportive culture
  • Take time to understand colleagues’ roles/responsibilities
  • Use Skype/Facetime or other appropriate medium in order to communicate with colleagues promptly and effectively
  • Ensure our offices are tidy and organised and ensure information displayed is up to date
  • Be aware of and understand RAD’s policies and procedures
  • Understand the principle of the internal customer
  • Provide prompt responses/updates to colleagues
  • Adopt a no blame culture and take ownership of tasks, behaviours and responsibilities

Methods of communicating and responding to customers

For all communications we will use plain English where appropriate.

Letters

When we receive a letter we will:

  • Reply within 3 working days, even if just to acknowledge receipt of the letter and to say that a fuller response will follow
  • Respond more fully within 5 working days. If considerable evidence/information gathering is required in order to provide a detailed and accurate response a maximum of 10 working days might be acceptable in exceptional circumstances

When we write a letter we will:

  • Use RAD’s standard corporate stationery and templates¹
  • Ensure that all letters are logged in the outgoing post log to ensure effective tracking
  • File a copy of the letter on the relevant file/e-file for future reference

Emails

When we receive an email we will:

  • Reply within 3 working days. If it is not possible to reply with a full response, a brief holding email will be sent acknowledging receipt and confirming that a fuller response will follow
  • Respond more fully within 5 working days. If considerable evidence/information gathering is required in order to provide a detailed and accurate response a maximum of 10 working days might be acceptable in exceptional circumstances
  • File the email in an appropriate folder for ease of future reference
  • Ensure up to date and informative out of office responses are set up during absences

When we send an email we will:

  • Use RAD’s standard corporate template
  • Be precise and concise and consider necessary cc’s carefully

Faxes

When we receive a fax we will:

  • Reply within 3 working days even if just to acknowledge receipt of the fax and to say that a fuller response will follow
  • Respond more fully within 5 working days. If considerable evidence/information gathering is required in order to provide a detailed and accurate response a maximum of 10 working days might be acceptable in exceptional circumstances

When we send a fax we will:

  • Use RAD’s standard corporate stationery and templates
  • File in an appropriate file for ease of future reference

Voice Phone, Minicom

When we receive a call we will:

  • Answer with a greeting (including RAD if external caller) and individual’s name
  • Answer within four rings (in person or by answer phone)
  • Be professional, polite and courteous
  • Ensure an effective voicemail system is active through absences and non-office opening hours (landline)
  • Ensure that various contact methods are available at the head office reception e.g. Skype/SMS (alongside phone, minicom and fax)

When we receive telephone messages we will:

  • Return calls as soon as possible the same day or the next day if we are otherwise engaged in meetings etc.

SMS

When we receive an SMS we will:

  • Reply as soon as possible the same day or the next working day (latest)
  • Forward the SMS message to the relevant person upon receipt (the same day) if it is for the attention of a colleague (the sender will be informed of this action)

If we are not at work we will:

  • Ensure our phone is being monitored in our absence

Meetings

When we have meetings arranged we will:

  • Keep to appointments or cancel/rearrange in advance
  • Ensure Interpreters are booked appropriately and promptly
  • Arrive for meetings on time
  • Prepare for meetings in advance
  • Respect meeting timings
  • Allow all those present to contribute
  • Ensure effective communication

How we will measure our performance against these standards

We will:

  • Ask for feedback from our customers
  • Give feedback to each other where appropriate or via line manager if appropriate
  • Monitor/discuss our performance through supervision

You can contact us in a number of ways:

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