A Local Council client had issues with their customer satisfaction ratings, so after a redesign of their support services, they wanted everyone who worked in the various parts of the council to attend a Customer Service workshop to explore the issues they were facing and to reinforce the strong messages from their charter. The idea was that everyone – contact staff, housing, parking services, debt collection, street cleansers, refuse collectors, parks and recreation – at all levels from the Mayor downwards would attend, but they knew it would be hard to get the staff to participate fully and enthusiastically.

We devised with them a Town Hall style, half day, fully interactive session that could accommodate an audience of around 25 delegates per session. We rolled these sessions out over several months, which gave the flexibility for everyone to participate, with special early and late ‘out of hours’ sessions set up for shift workers in different parts of the organisation.

The challenge was how to let them all have their say and share their experiences without having to stand up and roleplay in front of each other. Using a mixture of traditional playlets and scenarios, the trainer encouraged the room to share their personal experiences and stories, while they re-directed the devised situations in front of them to a better outcome in line with the Council’s charter and code of conduct.

These scenarios were designed to resonate with all areas of the council – face to face, on the phone, in the customers own home, in the office, in the street… the common theme was that everyone in the borough was a customer and that as an employee, every contact you have with a customer is a chance to live by the aims and objectives of the Charter.

'…we invited delegates to provide feedback on their experiences of the whole event. You will no doubt be interested to know that we received a great deal of very positive feedback on your performances and, without exception, everyone enjoyed these…'

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There are many different ways which roleplay can be used in the training room and the assessment arena – continue exploring to see how we can help.

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