Customer service is a key to successful business and a successful economy. It requires a blend of knowledge and skills drawn from a number of disciplines, and relevant across industries, particularly those providing front line service to customers. While many of the skills leading to successful customer service are generic across industries, each can be applied to the context specific requirements of a specific sector. The National Certificate in Public Sector Services (Client/Customer Services) (Level 4) recognises the generic skills required for successful customer service and the essential knowledge and skills required for the public sector context. It is designed to reflect the skills and competencies required of a person employed in the public sector in a role where they work with external clients/customers in a variety of contexts such as face to face, on the telephone, and in writing. This qualification is also designed to recognise the skills of customer support staff in supervisory roles.
The public sector is unique in its position of providing customer service to people who cannot choose to take their custom elsewhere. This places the customer services front line staff in a high trust position, and requires special skills and competencies of them. An appreciation of their role, of the role of their employing organisation, and of the needs of their clients/customers is paramount if quality customer service is to ensue.
The importance of the ethical base on which public sector service delivery is based is reflected in the Public Sector Elective requirements of this qualification, as is an understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi; knowledge of the structure of public sector, and knowledge of legislation and/or the use of information in the public sector. Candidates can select from public sector core skills standards at levels 3-5, allowing the individual to select the level they need.
The elective sections provide recognition for core skills in communications, service delivery, quality management, business administration, and computing. Information technology skills may also be recognised by a new elective standard, 19907, that covers government portal, agency website and intranet use. The Communication Skills and Quality Management Electives offer standards at level 4 for customer support staff in supervisory roles, where a higher degree of interpersonal skills and responsibility for performance quality is required.
This qualification shares core credit requirements with, and may lead on from, the National Certificate in Public Sector Services (Client/Customer Services) (Level 3) (Ref: 0659]. This qualification also shares standards with national certificates in business administration, computing and call centre operations.