Improving how the Public Service engages with its customers, and improving service design and delivery, is a core part of the government framework for Public Service Reform . The Quality Customer Service Initiative (QCSI) was established in 1997, setting out 9 Guiding Principles of Quality Customer Service – expanded to 12 in 2000.
The Quality Customer Service Network was established in 2000 to develop, promote and implement the Quality Customer Service Initiative. The Network meets regularly throughout the year, facilitated by the Reform and Delivery Office, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, and chaired by Declan Rigney, Assistant Secretary, Office of the Revenue Commissioners. The Network offers a platform for identifying best practice in customer services, and sharing learning across the Public Service. Quality Customer Service Officers, who attend the Network as representatives of their organisations, oversee customer service standards in their organisations, including the production of Customer Action Plans and Charters (as per the Customer Charter Initiative ).
Please click here for information on the Customer Charter Initiative.
The Quality Customer Service Network works collaboratively on a broad range of issues. It also produces resources for customer service representatives and organisations across the Public Service – such as the Customer Communications Toolkit for the Public Service . This document was produced by the Quality Customer Service Network in collaboration with the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design at the National Disability Authority. At the National Adult Literacy Agency’s (NALA) Plain English Awards in February 2019, the Toolkit took the award for Best Use of Plain English by an Organisation.
The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform also hosts an annual Quality Customer Service Conference, attended by customer service representatives and interested parties from across the Public Service. The 2018 conference was held in Farmleigh House on 12th December, opened by Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan, TD, who also launched the newly updated and revised version of Customer Action Plans and Charters: Guidelines for Preparation . A short video of the event is available here .
The current Public Service Reform framework also ensures effective feedback tools are in place. Surveys of both business and public customers are held on alternate years to identify satisfaction levels as well as more general perceptions of and attitudes towards civil service departments and major offices. There is also a commitment in the Civil Service Renewal Plan to “run regular surveys of Civil Service customers to more fully understand user experiences, expectations and requirements.
The most recent Survey of public customers was completed in 2017, with results published in April 2017. A new Survey of Civil Service Business Customers was undertaken in 2018, with the results published in February 2019.