The United Kingdom Charter Mark is a nationally recognised standard of excellence that awards and values commitment to quality service in the public sector. Introduced in 1991, the award was replaced by the coveted Customer Service Excellence in 2008. Any public sector department or organisation, including art galleries, museums and even utility companies can attain the award. The Charter Mark has proven an effective way to encourage employees to improve and focus on delivering quality service, which is then awarded by the esteemed Charter Mark logo.
Customer Service Focus
The Charter Mark clarifies the purpose of an organisation in terms of customer service and quality. According to Alan Brine, in the "Handbook of Library Training Practice and Development," management actions such as the development of charters and rewards help encourage a customer service focus. They clarify customer service expectations, allowing organisations to effectively streamline their operations to provide those services. They allow organisations to evaluate their existing procedures and service delivery and make required amendments for improvement. The Charter Mark, therefore, clarifies the purpose of an organisation in terms of customer service and quality.
Useful Management Tool
According to Tony Wright and Anthony Wright in the book "From Citizen's Charter to Public Service Guarantees," the Charter Mark is an invaluable management tool. It is a standard that promotes excellence in customer and public service and focuses on the perspectives and interests of its users. According to Alan Brine, the Charter Mark allows managers to focus on employee training, prioritise tasks, clarify expected levels of service and foster an environment of customer dedication. It allows them to set specific, attainable targets, such as answering a telephone call within five rings, not letting new applicants wait for longer than five minutes before servicing them and responding to correspondence within 10 days.
Continuous Improvement/Quality Assurance
According to Tony Wright and Anthony Wright, the Charter Mark is a useful quality improvement tool that directly raises the quality of public service and user responsiveness. It is a continuous improvement tool, or an ongoing effort to improve services, products and procedures. The Charter Mark allows organisations to emphasise high standards of service delivery and take into account high levels of user satisfaction. Organizations and departments that apply for the Charter Mark inevitably focus on improving team motivation and morale, which translates into greater employee productivity and improved organizational profitability.
- "Handbook of Library Training Practice and Development"; Alan Brine; 2009 (Pg 166)
- "From Citizen's Charter to Public Service Guarantees"; Tony Wright and Anthony Wright; 2008 (Pg 12)
- "Public Management and Governance"; Tony Bovaird and Elke Loffler; 2009 (Pg 173)
- "Public Sector Management"; Norman Flynn; 2007 (Pg 157)