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  • The Institute of Customer Service
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Reasons to train and engage people

The current challenging situation brought about by the coronavirus means that organisations have to be innovative, creative and there may be time to multi-skill and develop people.

The Institute’s research on Employee Engagement ‘The Customer Knows: How employee engagement leads to greater customer satisfaction and loyalty’ provided six key recommendations for engaging employees, that are key as organisations deal with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

One of the recommendations is to develop employees – to support well-being, the feeling of recognition and being valued, supporting customers, being innovative to support business performance, improved productivity and having a purpose.
– Engaged employees drive customer service
– Learning is good for our wellbeing and provides us with something to focus on when business might be a bit quieter, different or we are nervous
– It is increasingly important that empathetic behaviours are felt by customers through all channels

The Institute’s Professional Qualifications in customer service are a structured programme, managed in-house, and can be accessed and run virtually, to help bring improvements to your service capabilities.

Participants are encouraged to apply their learning to real on the job situations and demonstrate a tangible, positive impact on customer service outcomes.

We will support you through a structured programme, content and expert guidance from our specialist team, which you can access virtually, backed by our independent standards. Our online Professional Qualifications can be accessed anywhere, at any time, providing a great opportunity to support and develop employees who are on furlough – developing practical skills and behaviours in readiness for their return to work. We’ve put in place some alternative ways of gathering relevant evidence and can work with you to manage existing programmes or launch new programmes in this way. You will also be provided with virtual support from our expert facilitators.

Professional Qualifications programme – if you are thinking of starting a programme – top tips

Whether you are currently undertaking a Qualifications programme or considering starting up a programme, we have made this possible to do during this time.

Our Professional Qualifications are delivered via our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), which is a website that people can log into wherever they can get online. The current challenging circumstances provide individuals with plenty of evidence of how they have had to be creative, think about how they are delivering service and improved communication to maintain service excellence.

A key part of the Professional Qualifications programme is peer coaching and the VLE enables real-time viewing of progress, which can be discussed in coaching sessions over the phone. Included free in your membership are Coaching Skills Workshops and Assessor Development Workshops – these are usually held face-to-face. We have adapted these workshops to be delivered virtually using Zoom technology. These have worked well and continue to be offered to members until current circumstances improve. Additional 1-2-1 support is also in place following the sessions, where required, to support you in starting your programme.

If you are part way through a Qualifications programme – top tips

– Coaching can be done remotely by Zoom/Skype/MS Teams or telephone
– Keep the momentum going by having regular contact with Practitioners and Coaches via Zoom/Skype/MS Teams or telephone.
– Share ideas and good practice to support each other.
– Use this time to update your evidence on the VLE.
– Look through your calendar for recent examples of evidence
– Consider your internal customers at this time i.e. your colleagues & line managers and how you can use this time to demonstrate internal customer service

Team Leaders and Managers

– Look at the opportunity of becoming a Coach to support others through their qualification.
– Listen to service improvement ideas – the impact colleagues are having on the customer, colleagues, the organisation and their learning needs – to share ideas and good practice.
– Take an interest in the learning by asking about it at one to ones.
– Consider undertaking a Qualification yourself – for self-development, recognition of skills, to support career progression and to show role model behaviour

If furloughed

– A furloughed employee can take part in volunteer work or training, as long as it does not provide services to or generate revenue for, or on behalf of, your organisation.
– Examples can be used from the previous three months, when you were working, to support gathering a percentage of reflective learning logs and key events
– Access the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) through your personal email address
– Coaching can be done by Zoom/Skype/MS Teams or telephone

This link to the government website states that employees can take part in training (under when employees are furloughed).


Our Management Qualifications is a virtual course with a practical emphasis, supported by an Institute course tutor. In a period when time and resources are under severe pressure, the combination of learning and practical assignments will help improve and focus your ability to manage in a hugely challenging environment.

– The Institute’s Customer Service Management Qualifications covers a mix of theory, strategy and practical implementation and is designed for immediate use in the customer service operational context.
– The objective of the qualification is to improve managers’ skills, competences and effectiveness and increase their impact on your organisation’s performance.
– The course is delivered using a blended learning approach through The Institute’s Virtual Learning platform (VLE) and workshops facilitated by the course tutor – due to current circumstances these have now been adapted to be virtual.
– There is regular communication with the Tutor and other delegates through an online forum – to share ideas, questions, information and discussion. There are one to one tutor sessions, online feedback, progress is maintained, support and momentum provided with an opportunity to network with other member organisations.

If you are interested in any of these qualifications please get in touch with your Client Development Director in the first instance, or please get in touch

The Institute of Customer Service

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