Case Study: Greater Manchester Police
Professional Communication and Customer Service skills are the lifeblood of the modern police officer and critical to quality of interaction and the experience of people who use police services.
‘I came to the course somewhat sceptical about what it was about and what use it would be to me. After finishing the course I returned to division and reflected on what we had covered. I know now that i had got into a rut of doing warrants and doors and had forgotten what i joined the job for. The course has given me food for thought and i know that i am a nice person and being a cop is about helping people and treating them right. The training has really helped me to reflect on my role of being a cop and what is important when dealing and meeting members of the public.’ GMP Police Officer.
The Challenge:Greater Manchester Police officers and staff provide a varied, complex and at times seriously challenging service to the public of Greater Manchester. At the heart of this is how police officers and staff engage with the various customers they interact with on a daily basis. Whether that’s visitors to police station enquiry desks, traffic or street stops, dealing with emergency and non-emergency incidents, or attending community meetings, good communication and customer engagement skills are absolutely critical.
As a force GMP were determined to develop and enhance the quality of their service to the public further, particularly in the area of customer service and satisfaction, where analysis has highlighted how officer attitudes and behaviours when interacting with the public could be improved, specifically relating to treatment and incivility, where complaints have been showing an upward trend. In a league table of all forces in England and Wales GMP was then ranked 42nd out of 43 Forces for customer satisfaction.
The leadership recognised the need to develop a force wide training programme that would encompass police officers and staff at all levels and across all divisions and customer facing departments. The primary aims of the programme would be to:
· Provide all customer facing police officers and staff with learning that improves their communication, interaction and negotiation skills and helps them to understand the importance of positive and professional communication and the important role they play in a customer experience
· To ensure that staff are equipped with the correct skills, attitude and behaviour so that they effectively engage with customers in all interactions and deliver professional, quality policing to them every time
· Improve customer satisfaction ratings and bring about a reduction in incivility complaints made against GMP officers/staff
The solution: After a considerable period of research and analysis into the ‘GMP experience’ and how police officers and staff communicate and engage with the public we designed a bespoke communication and customer service (CCS) learning programme that was then piloted to a cross section of police officers and staff. After a successful pilot it was agreed that the programme would be further tested and evaluated by GMP and the NPIA, now the College of Policing before being rolled out on a force wide basis.
In parallel we trained and then accredited the internal training team to deliver the CCS programme in readiness for the planned testing phase, where they would be delivering it to random control groups of 200 police officers and staff. Following a successful evaluation from GMP and the College of Policing, GMP is now about to embark on a two year force wide roll out.
To ensure the CCS programme is embedded across the divisions and departments and that GMP has a shared and consistent understanding of its ethos and the essential attitudes and behaviours being developed, we designed a leaders version of the programme that is currently being delivered to the entire leadership population up to and including the Chief Constable.
The Customer Benefits:
· GMP has moved up 19 places from 42nd to 23rd in the forces league table for customer satisfaction
· Increased customer satisfaction from 79% to 85%
· Reduced complaints against GMP officers and staff for incivility and treatment
· Improved police officer and staff attitudes and behaviours towards the public, victims and witnesses
· Enhanced the communication and customer service skills of police officers and staff
· Enhanced leaders understanding of best practice communication and customer service
· Equipped the internal training with the confidence and capability to deliver the CCS programme force wide
GMP needed to identify an organisation to help us improve the service experience our citizens receive from us. Future Vision Training have worked with GMP to better understand how we can make these improvements and specifically what learning solutions will support our staff in getting there. The working relationship with Future Vision Training has been a really positive one and they have dedicated a significant amount of time, above and beyond their contract, in supporting the force to continue to achieve our vision. The key strength has been in the quality of the strategy, guidance and ultimate learning product designed by Future Vision Training.
Claire Brown-Allan, Head of Profession, Neighbourhoods, Confidence and Equality, Greater Manchester Police