The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) Customer Service team have committed to working with the Institute of Customer Service to deliver their programme of professional qualifications. The Institute is providing the CII team with the tools to develop their existing knowledge and skills that will in turn improve their customer experience. The first qualification is based around communication. Each person who enrols in the program (known as a practitioner) is assigned to a coach. The coach then provides support as the practitioner works their way through the suite of Institute qualifications.
Adopting The Institute of Customer Service Coach role
I am really proud to be one of the coaches for the Institute of Customer Service qualification that launched this year. There are five coaches (pictured below): Sonya Chaudhary, Ashleigh Picton, Molly Scott, Martin Lenton and me. We have been working together since March to bring the first intake of practitioners through their communication qualification, with the support of Qualifications Programme Manager Donna Trainor, and Assessor Rebecca Fletcher.
My role is to coach practitioners through The Institute’s professional qualifications, and in doing so support practitioners’ ongoing learning and development. In practical terms, I confirm that a practitioner is working holistically in their delivery of customer service and that their evidence meets the qualification requirements. I also support the practitioners in preparing their evidence and documentation for final assessment and provide confirmation that they are ready to proceed to the assessment stage.
Shortly after the initial Coach training in March, I was assigned two practitioners. Since then, we have had monthly meetings with the emphasis on the practitioner to drive their own learning. The meetings are used to provide an overview of what the qualification entails and to discuss where they are in the process. The practitioner is encouraged to reflect on how they can demonstrate the qualification requirements through the evidence they have gathered, with an aim to build a passport of evidence they meet all the requirements consistently. My goal for these meetings is to get an understanding of what support the practitioner needs, and to guide them towards finding their own solutions to their challenges.
Becoming an Institute Coach has been a really rewarding experience that has challenged me to approach coaching in a very different way. My previous experience was from a training delivery perspective, so stepping back and letting the practitioner take the lead has taken some getting used to, but I’ve been really happy with how involved and empowered the practitioners are from having that responsibility. It’s a coaching style that I’ll be taking forward, and indeed I’m undertaking the Customer Service Coach qualification offered by The Institute to reinforce my learning and to further develop my skills.