Putting customers at the heart of what we do: it’s a commitment that many organisations are making, from e-commerce to education.
It’s all about seeing things from their perspective, talking customers’ language and striving to meet their needs and concerns, and it’s absolutely crucial to us at Jisc too. We have been working hard to make customers our priority and to ensure that every single college, university and skills provider in the UK can be confident that they are getting the very best from their digital technology for the benefit of their staff and students.
To this end you may know that we have been carrying out an extensive review here at Jisc of how we organise and deliver our customer service operations. While there are many areas of good practice in how we currently do this, it’s clear that we need to provide a better experience for our customers in across the UK.
That’s why we are now proposing to transform our front of house operations, initially including the current network of regional support centres, advisory services and Janet customer engagement team, for the benefit of all our customers.
We want to ensure that we:
- Better understand customers’ challenges and needs
- Focus activities to add value
- Have an approach that is driven by customers’ operations
- Are closer to the sectors we serve
- Are easier to do business with
- Deliver all these advantages within a much tighter funding envelope
We’re in a pretty unusual situation because Jisc has grown organically, meaning that we have evolved into a rather distributed organisation. Currently Jisc provides grants to 16 organisations across the UK to deliver regional support centres and advisory services, with other customer engagement roles elsewhere.
We now need to bring together these customer services to make them more manageable for us and, more importantly, more coherent and simpler for our customers, so we are changing the current host grant agreements as of 31 December 2014.
What does this mean for people working in colleges, universities and other learning providers?
From early 2015 we aim to have in place:
- A unified Jisc presence in Scotland and Northern Ireland, Wales and across four regions in England representing North, South West and Midlands, South and East, and London
- A simple, easy to use, fully coherent way to access all that Jisc has to offer
- A proactive and fully managed relationship for all our customers, delivered through an account management function
- Access for our customers locally to a responsive front line team of experts able to assist according to their needs
- A customer contact centre, supported by a range of self-service digital tools helping to deliver the most efficient route to the information and support customers require
- Opportunities for our customers to feed into, and learn from, a comprehensive range of UK-wide communities of practice, case studies and research data
- A clear process, including our co-design model, for customers to help shape and inform the development of future Jisc services and strategy
- A common set of customer service policies, procedures and processes owned and managed by the core customer service team.
Throughout this proposed transformation, we are working with our people to achieve minimum disruption and interruption to how we deliver our ongoing services. The Jisc board is clear that during this transformation and subsequently there must be no diminution of the service to customers with respect to key services such as Jisc’s network.
Over the coming month we will be working with the host employers of the staff affected by this change to make sure that we act in a fair and transparent way, and we’ll then enter a consultation process before proposed recruitment in the autumn for the new roles.
I look forward to sharing with you early in 2015 details of our new customer contact centre, how you can interact with your new Jisc account managers, and how we’ll be working with you to ensure that our customers really are at the heart of all we do.
Update January 2015
Read more about our new model of national and regional customer services.