This client applied for an internal role within Centrelink and gained a job interview. A three-page document was prepared addressing six criteria (the standard five criteria contained in the APS Integrated Leadership System) and an extra criterion focused on the management of customer service operations). Following are excerpts from two of the criteria.

Develops and maintains valuable relationships.

When dealing with staff, I am proactive in taking the time to consult with them in order to understand their needs and concerns. In one particular instance, I was aware of a staff member who was disengaged and not adhering to directions in relation to procedural changes that had been implemented. Subsequently, this had an negative effect on the dynamics of the team as a whole. I facilitated discussions with this staff member to identify the issues he was facing. From these discussions, I determined the staff member was unchallenged in his role and that he was aware other staff members were provided with opportunities to manage portfolios. As a result, he believed he was not being offered the same opportunities. At our next team meeting, I raised an agenda item to discuss further portfolios that we could implement into our team that would have a positive impact on managing our work more effectively. This resulted in the staff member being given the opportunity to manage a portfolio that he had in effect initiated. Subsequently, the staff member became engaged and productive and went on to display more positive behaviour at work.

Demonstrated capabilities managing responsive and relevant customer service operations in an environment characterised by changing business and customer expectations.

Previously acting in a Team Leader capacity, I streamlined and implemented the front-of-house model, which ensured customers received an efficient and effective service at every contact. The key challenge faced in implementing this change process was to effectively manage the increase in the number of customers requiring our services due to the economic downturn. The XXX site was used as a trial site for the front-of-house model. To achieve this goal, I undertook the following actions: placed front-of-house staff at the site’s entry point to directly meet and greet customers; implemented a computer in the waiting area to monitor the front-of-house area; advised customers that they could also undertake their business via the on line services; and updated relevant forms and associated documentation. Implementing these change strategies ensured every customer entering our premises were immediately greeted and directed to the relevant area: either reception, the participation line or placed in the virtual waiting room. By having these set queue management practices in place and through continuous and vigilant monitoring, customer traffic was effectively managed and a streamlined approach to service delivery was facilitated. Overall, this front-of-house model played an instrument part in reducing customer aggression; positive feedback was received from both customers and staff. Furthermore, this resulted in my site meeting national standards for queue wait times.

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Annie Cerone