We were lucky enough to have Anouche Newman, the CEO of the Customer Service Institute of Australia (CSIA) speaking on the Customer Experience Innovation & Tech Fest stage in Melbourne. Anouche is passionate about instilling an authentic customer focus in all business decision making, and we caught up with her to learn more about her CX insights – particularly those around the International Customer Service Standard (ICSS).
Anouche, we loved your presentation at Customer Experience Innovation & Tech Fest. What inspired you to get involved?
CSIA is keen to support customer service and customer experience practitioners coming together to learn. What attracted us to this particular event is, perhaps not surprisingly, the commitment that The Eventful Group has to ensuring that those coming along to the event will hear about topics that are of genuine interest to them. The consultative process adopted to understand the issues that practitioners are facing when it comes to CX is commendable, and something which CSIA is proud to be a part of.
What do you love most about this field of work?
There’s a lot that I love about what I do, but I think, given my background as an educator, one of the things I am most passionate about is CSIA’s role in motivating and inspiring individuals to focus on customers. We work with organisations to build customised training programs that are designed to unlock a customer-focused mindset. I believe what we do makes a real difference in making individuals feel valued and respected in their roles as customer service professionals, which is why I still make the time to get out on to the training floor myself. It’s something I have always enjoyed.
Those in customer facing roles have a huge impact on shaping the customer experience and it is not always an easy task – our training programs give people the opportunity to appreciate why they are so important, and equips them with practical skills that support them in navigating the everyday challenges that are common in supporting both internal and external customers.
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In the same way, I love that we are able to support the customer service profession with the Australian Service Excellence Awards – watching people walk up on stage to be recognised for their efforts in supporting customers is a great feeling for me personally.
The International Customer Service Standard (ICSS: 2015-2020) is a practical framework that helps organisations understand if they are keeping customers at the heart of all they do. What is it, in a nutshell, and why should companies seek certification?
The International Customer Service Standard (ICSS: 2015-2020) is a practical framework that helps organisations understand if they are keeping customers at the heart of all they do. The ICSS certification program involves assessment against 27 attributes that sit across four different perspectives. The process of certification takes a whole-of-organisation view and challenges an organisation to consider if it adopts an authentic customer focus in all decision making.
Deliberately flexible, the ICSS applies to private sector, not-for-profit and government organisations. It is suitable for those just starting their journey towards customer service excellence as well as those who are wishing to seek third-party endorsement on their level of success.
What are the 4 perspectives that the Standard is based upon?
The International Customer Service Standard (ICSS) applies a Balanced Scorecard Methodology to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of an organisation’s strategy to deliver a differentiated value proposition to its customers and a sustainable return to its shareholders through the continuous improvement of its people, systems and business processes.
The Balanced Scorecard measures an organisation’s strategy across four perspectives as follows:
Can you give us an example of a company that has achieved great success by applying this standard?
Stryker, a global leader in medical technology and Service Champion, Customer Service Project of the Year – Customer Impact at the 2017 Australian Service Excellence Awards, was recently certified to the International Customer Service Standard (ICSS: 2015-2020) under the guidance of CSIA.
Stryker approached the CSIA to assist in obtaining a recognisable industry standard as a customer service benchmark within the medical technology industry didn’t exist.
One of the biggest outcomes they’ve seen from the process of certification to ICSS has been a greater focus on the customer across all departments within Stryker.
The ICSS process really helped them to understand their goals in terms of the needs of the customer and identifying the critical processes involved. This meant examining their internal infrastructure and systems and adopting an approach of continuous review to ensure they maintain and improve processes for both customers and staff.
Certification has also enhanced morale throughout the company and using the Certified Customer Service Organisation trustmark is great recognition for their customer service teams and a visual symbol of world-class quality.
Read more about Stryker’s path to certification here.
Hear more from the world’s boldest CX innovators at CX Innovation & Tech Fest.
About the Speaker
Anouche Newman is the Chief Executive Officer of the Customer Service Institute of Australia – Australia’s leading independent customer service organisation.
Anouche is a passionate and expert advocate of creating meaningful and best practice customer service and customer experience. She believes that great customer experiences are fundamentally about the human connection and that every touchpoint creates an opportunity to demonstrate the true nature of business and its staff.
As CEO of the CSIA Anouche is responsible for developing the strategic direction of the institute with a strong focus on working with companies to achieve certification to the International Customer Service Standard.
Anouche manages CSIA’s relationships with all key strategic clients across a broad range of industry sectors including, transport, government, financial services, health and property development. Her areas of specialty include services marketing, service blueprinting and applying an academic lens to issues such as service quality.
Want to know more about getting certified?
To learn more about the benefits of completing an independent assessment to the ICSS for your organisation, please contact CSIA on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1300 912 700.