Tag Archives: Press Release

Cognisco Exhibiting at ‘Patient First – Preventing Harm Improving Care’ ExCel London – 12th & 13th November 2015

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Patient First November 2015 – Cognisco, a specialist in people potential & risk and employee behaviour, is exhibiting at Patient First, a conference focused on improving patient safety for those operating within the NHS and independent healthcare sectors.

 

Patient First is the UK’s largest patient safety conference and exhibition and it brings together medical directors and doctors, directors of nursing and nurses, as well as senior operational staff and other health care professionals. It’s expected to attract around 2,600 attendees who want to learn from expert speakers, meet exhibitors and network.

 

Cognisco’s representatives will be available to talk to delegates about the ground-breaking and practical work it is doing with health and social care organisations to identify, mitigate and address any gaps in staff knowledge, understanding or confidence to improve their performance and the safety of patients.

 

This includes the work it has done in conjunction with leading care operator; Belong, to improve the competence and confidence of carers looking after Dementia patients. Cognisco has developed a Dementia*Care assessment which offers care home providers a simple, highly accurate and affordable way of measuring staff competency. The assessments highlight any gaps and weaknesses and illustrate how carers are likely to think, act and behave in their roles. Using the assessments, care home operators can audit and evidence the quality of care they provide and create reports for regulators, residents and their families.

 

Giuliano Zanchi, Health & Social Care, Cognisco said: “Healthcare teams are facing multiple challenges and pressures to improve standards of care and ensure patient safety. This conference will highlight practical solutions that can assist health care professionals in their front line jobs and enable them to practice with greater confidence and prioritise patient safety.

 

We are looking forward to meeting delegates to talk about the work we are doing in this area, helping to understand the root causes of behaviour and mitigate People Risk when it comes to patient safety and learn about other innovations in the sector.”

 

Cognisco will also be able to talk about its work with a leading NHS Trust to eliminate the risk of serious case incidents and deaths in Obstetrics, by developing a specialist online assessment tool to evaluate the performance of midwives and doctors in simulated acute situations, which has transformed midwifery and medical training for Obstetric emergencies.

 

Cognisco representatives will be available on stand H20 and you can find out more and register to join the event, here.

 

Customer Service Excellence – Whats holding you back?

Coverage in Contact-Centres.com

A recent survey by Which?[i] found that BT, TalkTalk and Scottish Power operate the UK’s worst call centres. Which? surveyed 7,000 consumers who ranked these companies based on staff knowledge, phone menu system, politeness, helpfulness and waiting times.

 

BT, TalkTalk and Scottish Power all scored an overall rating of just one star. In comparison Ovo Energy, NFU Mutual, Zen Internet and First Direct topped the survey all receiving five stars.  In today’s competitive world where people vote with their feet and stop buying goods and services if they receive poor customer service, there is a great deal of pressure to ensure call centre staff are the best they can be.

 

They need to not only provide the right advice to customers but also deliver excellent service levels consistently, and, as they are often the only contact that a customer, they have the power to make or break a business. Yet many companies, despite spending a lot on training and having comprehensive Learning and Development tools and processes in place can still find their staff making errors in the way they deal with customer queries or complaints.

 

The solution isn’t always immediately obvious and simply providing more training or one to one coaching won’t deliver any real improvement unless the root causes of why this is happening are uncovered. These are more often than not the result of one of the following three situations:

 

1. People don’t truly understand what they’ve been “told”

 

Typically one root cause is that giving people knowledge does not mean that they truly understand how, when and why they should use it. After all, the typical multiple choice questionnaire handed out at the end of a training course, can only really measure the ability to select the right answer from a list of possible answers more often than not.  It does not and cannot identify if a person truly understands in what specific circumstance they should apply their new knowledge.

 

2. People are 100% confident they do know and they do understand – when in fact they don’t.

 

This root cause is insidious and is often the most damaging because it’s very hard to uncover. It’s further compounded by the fact that people will come to work believing they’re doing a great job. They will wholeheartedly believe that the advice or response they’ve given to a customer query is the right one and they will be happy and confident that they’ve followed the correct company process and procedure along the way.

 

When asked to attend a training or refresher course people can wrongly believe they already know and understand well, which in turn makes them approach the course with the wrong motivation; a desire and intent to simply “get through it and tick the boxes”, rather than with a genuine interest or agenda for re-examining the subject and challenging their own understanding and experiences.

 

3. The tools and resources provided are not used to best advantage

 

Most organisations make significant investment in Learning and Development Systems, tools, materials and expertise and many have made an even greater investment in organising, maintaining and syndicating industry and “Corporate Knowledge” via a central Knowledge Management System.

 

However these may not be designed or presented in the best way for the end user to get the most out of them. The information provided via the Intranet or Knowledge Management solution may be excellent but if the people it’s designed to help, find it difficult, cumbersome, time consuming or intimidating to find, they simply won’t use it all.

 

The solution

 

Central to winning and keeping customers is delivering a consistently high performance of service to customers that will turn them into loyal fans and identifying and addressing risky and unacceptable behaviour before it becomes a problem. Whilst this is challenging it’s not impossible.

 

To achieve customer service excellence and uncover the root causes of behaviour on the job companies need to start by looking not at what people know but rather identifying specifically what it is they don’t understand. They can do this using employee assessments designed test and measure advisors in realistic ‘on the job’ situations. The results will highlight knowledge gaps and unacceptable behaviour giving managers a clear picture of strengths and weaknesses of every individual.

 

Once gaps in understanding have been identified, companies can design specific interventions, avoiding the one-size fits all approach to training and provide appropriate learning media and resources to address it.

 

In today’s competitive business environment it’s vital for companies to get it right when it comes to customer service and really understanding what staff know and how they apply this knowledge on the job is the key to achieving this.

 

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[i] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/11620116/The-UKs-worst-call-centres-named-and-shamed.html

What are the most common causes of contact centre mistakes?

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Often, the only contact customers have with a company is through their call centre or customer services team, so it’s crucial that staff deliver a good service at all times.

However, some call centres are failing do this, according to a recent Which? survey which revealed the UK’s worst call centres. The consumer champion surveyed 7,000 consumers who ranked companies based on staff knowledge, phone menu system, politeness, helpfulness and waiting times. They found that BT, TalkTalk and Scottish Power operate the UK’s worst call centres, with an overall score of just one star. In contrast Ovo Energy, NFU Mutual, Zen Internet and First Direct topped the survey all receiving five stars.

 

As well as unwanted negative press coverage, poor customer services can lead to the loss of customers and damage a company’s reputation.

 

Call centre staff are therefore under intense pressure not only to provide the right advice to customers but to deliver excellent service levels consistently. Yet many companies, despite spending a lot on training and having comprehensive learning and development tools and processes in place, can still find that their employees make errors when handling customer queries or complaints.

The solution to improving their performance isn’t obvious. Simply providing more training or one to one coaching won’t deliver any real improvement unless the root causes of why this is happening mistakes are happening are uncovered. More often than not, errors are made as a result of one of the following three situations:

1. People don’t truly understand all aspects of their role

Typically one root cause is that giving people knowledge does not mean that they truly understand how, when and why they should use it. After all, the typical multiple choice questionnaire handed out at the end of a training course, can only really measure the ability to select the right answer from a list of possible answers more often than not.  It does not and cannot identify if a person truly understands in what specific circumstance they should apply their new knowledge.

2. Misplaced confidence

Many people come to work believing they’re doing a great job. They will wholeheartedly think the advice they’ve given to a customer is the right one and they will be happy and confident that they’ve followed the correct company processes and procedures along the way.

When asked to attend a training or refresher course people can wrongly believe they already know and understand well, which in turn makes them approach the course with the wrong motivation; a desire and intent to simply “get through it and tick the boxes”, rather than with a genuine interest or agenda for re-examining the subject and challenging their own understanding and experiences.

3. Problems with learning and development tools

Most organisations make significant investment in learning and development systems, tools, materials and expertise and many have made an even greater investment in organising, maintaining and syndicating industry and ‘corporate knowledge’ via a central knowledge management system.

However, these may not be designed or presented in the best way for the end user to get the most out of them. The information provided via the Intranet or Knowledge Management solution may be excellent but if the people it’s designed to help, find it difficult, cumbersome, time consuming or intimidating to find, they simply won’t use it all.

The solution

Central to winning and keeping customers is delivering a consistently high performance of service to customers that will turn them into loyal fans and identifying and addressing risky and unacceptable behaviour before it becomes a problem. Whilst this is challenging it’s not impossible.

To achieve customer service excellence and uncover the root causes of behaviour on the job companies need to start by looking not at what people know but rather identifying specifically what it is they don’t understand.

 

They can do this using employee assessments designed test and measure advisors in realistic ‘on the job’ situations. The results will highlight knowledge gaps and unacceptable behaviour giving managers a clear picture of strengths and weaknesses of every individual.

 

Once gaps in understanding have been identified, companies can design specific interventions, avoiding the one-size fits all approach to training and provide appropriate learning media and resources to address it.

Companies that do this will be rewarded with a customer services department they can be proud of who will consistently achieve customer service excellence – winning and keeping customers along the way.

Evaluating carers, improving dementia care

Cognisco, a specialist in assessing, managing and mitigating People Risk is co-presenting a masterclass called, ‘Evaluation of Carers’ Understanding, Confidence and Behaviour’ in partnership with leading care operator Belong at Dementia Challenge 2015 on 2nd June 2015.

Dementia Challenge: Defeating the Disease is the latest in a series of events from Govtoday focused on the fight back against dementia. The event provides a platform for discussion of the issues affecting those who live or work with dementia on an everyday basis.

 

Amanda Green, Principal Consultant at Cognisco, and Phil Orton, Head of Training and Development at Belong, will jointly present their new Dementia*Care assessment and discuss how it enables Care Home Providers to accurately measure the competency and behaviour of carers working with those living with dementia and audit and evidence the quality of care provided for regulators, residents and their families.

They will also discuss how their unique approach enables care home providers to ensure that training is effective and that the learning translates into desired workplace behaviours.

 

Amanda Green said:

“Most care providers train their staff during their induction period; however, the effectiveness of the training is rarely evaluated. Managers are commonly in the dark about how well the training was understood, and how much training and understanding is then applied on the job and put into practice on the frontline.

“Our assessment really drills down into what carers know and how they are likely to apply their knowledge when working with patients. We’re really looking forward to sharing our learning with delegates at Dementia Challenge.”

 

The Dementia*Care assessment uses situational judgement questions based on real life scenarios to test Carers knowledge, competence and confidence in areas of their roles. The results highlight any gaps and weaknesses and illustrate how Carers are likely to think, act and behave in their roles.

Providers gain insight into the competence levels of their entire workforce, enabling them to better plan their recruitment strategies and training, enabling them to target training only where it is needed most, reducing training costs and improving individual performance quickly.

 

Phil Orton, Head of People Management & Development at Belong said:

“This event is the ideal opportunity to introduce the new assessment to delegates. We have introduced the assessment to staff in our care homes and we will also share our experience and findings. We believe is the assessment is a potential game changer for the social care sector, providing a simple and effective way of measuring competence in line with regulatory standards.”

The ‘Evaluation of Carers’ Understanding, Confidence and Behaviour’ masterclass will take place between 13:45-14.30pm on 2nd June 2015 at Dementia Challenge, The Mermaid, London.

To register for this event please visit www.dementia-challenge2015.co.uk.

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Ensuring customer service excellence for your customers

According to research by First Direct, inadequate service is costing UK companies £7.7bn a year in lost business, with people increasingly turning their back on brands that don’t deliver.

It’s not just the lost profits that companies need to worry about; poor customer service can damage brand reputation, cause customers to defect and in regulated industries, increase the risks of financial penalties.

A common problem is that despite high investment in the training of call centre staff including away-days, workshops and e-Learning, they still make errors when dealing with customer queries or complaints. How can companies address this issue and ensure a consistent level of service excellence?

 

Understanding the root causes of poor customer service

When customer services aren’t up to par, the first symptoms a business may notice is lower than expected scores on customer satisfaction surveys, increased call backs to the contact centre, and increased customer complaints or a longer than average time to resolve a customer query.

The standard solution of providing more staff training and one to one coaching is unlikely to yield any real improvement unless the root causes of why this is happening are uncovered.

 

The real nub of the problem tends to be one of the following three situations:

– People don’t truly understand what they’ve been “told”

Just because people are given extensive training, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they truly understand how, when and why they should use it.

The typical multiple choice questionnaire handed out at the end of a training course, can only really measure someone’s ability to select the right answer from a list of possible answers.  It does not identify if a person truly understands in what specific circumstance they should apply their knowledge.

 

– People are 100% confident they do know and they do understand – when in fact they don’t.

Often people will come to work believing they’re doing a great job. If a customer has a query, they are confident the advice they’ve given is right and they will be happy they’ve followed the correct company process and procedures.

When asked to attend a training or refresher course people can wrongly believe they already know everything, which makes them approach the course with the wrong motivation; a desire and intent to simply “get through it and tick the boxes”, rather than with a genuine interest or agenda for re-examining the subject and challenging their own understanding.

 

– The tools and resources provided are not used to best advantage

Most organisations make significant investment in Learning and Development Systems, tools, materials and expertise and many have made an even greater investment in organising, maintaining and syndicating industry and “Corporate Knowledge” via a central Knowledge Management System.

However, these may not be designed or presented in the best way for people to get the most out of them. The information provided via the Intranet or Knowledge Management solution may be excellent but if the people find it difficult to use or time consuming they will soon abandon it.

 

The solution

Developing ‘outstanding’ customer service is challenging however, it is not impossible. What is often overlooked in many companies is that organisational effectiveness lies not in how well processes are engineered but whether employees actually understand what they have been trained to do and if they have the confidence to do it in the right way, every time.

Typically 30% of employees in any company misunderstand at least one key aspect of their role, in spite of the fact they have received training.

 

One issue is that too often companies take a ‘sheep dip,’ approach to training – delivering training that is ‘one size fits all’, untargeted and ineffective. Many companies also fail to benchmark staff or measure what people really understand versus what they think they understand and how their knowledge is actually applied at work.

To meet the challenges of delivering consistently excellent customer service, companies need to assess their employees to ensure they are delivering the right training, development, information and management processes that allow them to excel in their roles and keep customers happy and loyal.  One way to do this is using employee assessments designed to test and measure advisors in realistic ‘on the job’ situations.

 

These types of assessments use situational judgement questions asking people what they would do in certain situations, such as handling a customer complaint. The results will reveal knowledge gaps and unacceptable behaviour thus giving managers a clear picture of the strengths and weaknesses of every individual.

It is crucial that managers understand not just how competent their staff are, but how they use their knowledge and how they apply this at work. Once gaps in understanding have been identified, companies can design specific interventions, avoiding the one-size fits all approach to training and provide appropriate learning media and resources to address it.

Thames Water: Optimise jv to reduce cable strike risks for engineers

Optimise, one of Thames Water’s AMP6 alliance partners, is working with People Risk specialist Cognisco to assess engineers in cable strike avoidance techniques.

Thames Water is aiming to reduce the risk of underground cable strikes and improve safety standards for engineers by requiring them to undertake a cable avoidance evaluation assessment to ensure they can meet and demonstrate competence, confidence and project safety compliance standards.

An estimated 60,000 accidental underground cable strikes occur every year which can cause serious injury or death and cost businesses millions of pounds in associated damages and compensation costs.

To reduce cable strike risks, Thames Water is requiring all engineers to complete a cable avoidance assessment to demonstrate their competence.

.Cognisco’s Cable Avoidance Evaluation offers a new approach to traditional cable strike avoidance training based on the latest behavioural training and assessment techniques.

The assessment uses situational judgement questions based on realistic scenarios that utilities workers encounter daily and measures the knowledge, competence and confidence of workers in all aspects of the role. The results reveal what people know, as well as their behaviour and attitude towards risk, and highlight any knowledge gaps and specific training needs so they can be addressed.

To date, 1035 individuals from 28 different companies working through Optimise have participated in the Cable Avoidance Evaluation and the assessment will be delivered to hundreds more engineers.

Nick Gilbert, Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Manager at Optimise commented:

“The industry has worked hard to reduce the number of strikes in recent years and the introduction of the Cognisco behavioural assessment really made us refocus on the ‘risk’ of people and develop improved briefings and training to ensure our people have the right balance of competence and confidence. This, combined with other initiatives, has led to a year on year reduction of service strikes and I am convinced that the assessment has contributed to this success.”

To find out more about the programme click here.

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