Community Reporters refresh their skills!

March saw 5 of Orbit South’s Community Reporters take part in some refresher training to brush up on some of the great skills they learned in 2013.

The main focus was interview techniques and also what makes a blog or newsletter article great and one that people really want to read.

Reporters took it in turn to film interviewing one another, asking what involvement means to them, learning how to angle the camera for the best shots and putting their interviewee at ease.

They also learnt some top tips on creating blog and newsletter articles and you can see some of the fantastic results here!

The training hopefully achieved its goal of giving the reporters renewed confidence in reporting on what’s going on within their communities and within Orbit.

Do you have a story to tell about where you live or your involvement with Orbit? If so we would love to hear from you. You can film something on your phone or tablet if you have one, or pop your article to us by post or email.

We look forward to hearing what’s going on!

Customers Getting Involved with Staff Training

Blog post by Community Reporter, Tracey Kember.

On a bright and chilly January morning, I made my way to the Orbit’s Bexley office in Erith to attend Orbit Academy’s ‘Customer First’ training session for staff.

When I arrived, I received a warm welcome from the members of staff who were taking part in the training session, and their trainer, Ben Spurway, who is an Orbit Academy Consultant.

I introduced myself to all the Orbit representatives, and told them about what I do for Orbit as an Involved Customer and my role as a Community Reporter – they were all very interested to hear about the Community Reporter programme. Each member of staff then introduced themselves and their role within Orbit.

As a group, we then took part in a ‘perception’ exercise to demonstrate the differences between what staff think is most important to customers, and what we as customers consider to be most important to us. During this exercise, we considered questions such as how customers feel and how staff meet the needs of customers. We also looked at other factors such as customers having one point of contact, staff taking ownership and responsibility, returning calls as promised, body language and providing a 24/7 service.

We later split into two groups and took part in an exercise called ‘FIRST: The Orbit Way’. FIRST sets out a few of the things that staff need to do to give customers a good standard of service:

             First impressions count
             Identify what you are going to do and when
             Right first time
             Show that you are listening
             Take ownership

We looked at three different scenarios which helped us to have a good discussion about what makes good customer service. This included things like communication between staff and customers, the needs of individual customers as we are all different and can different priorities because of things like age, disabilities and lifestyle etc., the importance of having a good attitude, good timekeeping, being prepared (having the correct parts for a repair, for example), taking ownership and not passing the buck, listening, paying attention to detail, not arguing with the customer, and being helpful and keeping promises.

We also talked about other kinds of customers – internal customers, which are other Orbit teams and departments, and external contractors such as Mitie and BSW.

The training session finished with a summary of the objectives for Orbit staff, which are:

  • What Orbit needs to be doing to deliver excellent customer service
  • Defining examples of good and poor customer service and learning from them
  • Identifying the ‘Orbit Way’ principles and putting them into practice
  • Examining the needs of external and internal customers
  • Confirming who internal customers are

A great attitude is what Orbit needs in order to deliver an excellent service and put the ‘customer first’ in the Orbit way: something Orbit strives very hard to achieve.