Customer Experience Excellence Reaps Rewards for Not-for-profit organisations too

Delivering the very best customer experience, is not just a priority in the corporate sector. In the autumn of last year Investor in Customers assessed its first registered charity – the Together Trust.

The charity, which offers care, special education and community support to over 2000 vulnerable young people and adults each year, understand the true value of getting to know how customers, and employees perceive your organisation. It was vital to them, to not just hear the views of their customers but to get the 360° assessment that IIC deliver, getting feedback from employees and management too.

The charity gained an IIC Gold Award, and registered ‘exceptional’ scores across all four IIC principles, which is an impressive achievement for a first assessment. When asked why they would recommend the Together Trust, customers said that staff were ‘caring, approachable and supportive’.

Emma, whose 20-year-old son Michael lives at a care home in Bolton, a residential children’s home run by the Together Trust, said, “My son has been with the Trust for education for 14 years and residential care for almost four. The Trust is focused and committed to securing the best outcomes for its charges and works tirelessly to resolve any issue, big or small. It also works across services - education and health - to ensure our children receive the best services possible.”  

Their Chief Executive, Mark Lee, said, “We have an incredible team of over 800 employees and dedicated volunteers who are committed to providing high quality services and the best outcomes for everyone we support.” He added, “We believe that everybody deserves an equal chance and, for us, nothing is more rewarding than seeing someone break through barriers to take control of their life.”

Despite securing the highest IIC accolade, the Together Trust are not resting on their laurels, and are working hard to implement the recommended actions from IIC. To date they have implemented the following changes:

  • Re-shaped a five-year development plan, approved at Board level
  • Introduced practical ways to improve communication between various departments
  • Run an internal promotional campaign highlighting the positive feedback from customers during the IIC assessment, passing on genuine gratitude for the hard work of the teams within the organisation.

Julie Isted, Governance Manager at the Trust explains, “Through the IIC process we’ve learnt that although customer feedback has been very positive, we need to improve our cross-functional communications to families. We are using employee feedback from the process to develop a new staff engagement plan and we are creating a new integrated offer for the people we support. By using customer feedback in this way we hope that future IIC results will be even better as we drive to improve customer service excellence in the future. IIC has been flexible in their approach and good value. Segmenting the results down to our range of 40+ services has given us a great deal of insight into where our strengths and weaknesses truly are, as we work to provide the best opportunities for those with behavioural challenges, learning difficulties, complex health needs, physical disabilities and autism spectrum conditions.”

Here at Investor in Customers, we believe that the Together Trust have identified a real need for, and significant benefit in, customer experience assessments within registered charities. Now that they have paved the way, and set the benchmark, we look forward to hearing from other not-for-profit and charitable organisations who want to raise the standard of their CX delivery.

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