Customer Service Excellence

The University of Hull, Brynmor Jones Library was first awarded Customer Service Excellence in 2019, successfully achieving the University’s first Customer Service Excellence award. Customer Service Excellence is a mark of quality for our services which is focused towards the individual needs and preferences of our customers. It creates opportunities to provide innovative and improved services, striving to go above and beyond expectation.  

We are now in a rolling programme of annual assessments to maintain the Standard. In February 2023 we successfully completed our third rolling assessment, having gathered a portfolio of evidence which was supported by an in-person visit from an independent assessor who spent a day in the library observing our operations and talking to our staff, customers and partners. We were delighted to achieve Compliance in all areas and to further achieve Compliance Plus* in five areas. 

Our assessor was particularly impressed with how engaged and empowered front-line staff are in developing fantastic customer service and the way we work with partners, saying: 

“This was an onsite visit which, once again, served to emphasise the strength of your front-line staff. How well they worked as a team, and the extent to which they contribute to service development. Two things stood out from the assessment. First, the empowerment of staff across a number of areas. Many of the ideas for service improvement come from them, for example, the introduction of job shadowing with internal partners, and the sharing of good practice. This is mirrored by the preparedness of the director and his managers to empower them. The second, is the impact that the Customer Experience Team is having more widely across the University through your Associate Director’s secondment to the COO.”  

In order to be recognised as achieving Customer Service Excellence, the Library created an extensive portfolio of evidence which was presented and assessed by an external licensed body. The detailed criteria found in the Customer Service Excellence standard is split into five sections: 

Customer Insight  

The University Library serves many customers both within and beyond the University of Hull. To meet this criterion we had to demonstrate how we consulted our customers and provided them opportunities to feedback on our services. We have an ethos of putting customers at the heart of everything we do, focusing on how we can use data and feedback to improve our services. 


The Culture of the Organisation 

This customer focused culture within the University Library continues as evidence for this criterion. We had to show our commitment to fostering this culture across all levels of our employees. We competitively want to be the best and challenge others to think differently. You can view our commitment promises which relate to library culture on our webpages.  


Information and Access 

We provide accurate and comprehensive information to our customers in order to demonstrate that we meet this criterion. Whether that’s our library social media feeds (on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube), digital signage, library webpages, or partnering with the university to send updates via email, we measure how much communication has been understood to ensure these methods are effective.  



Delivery focuses on how the University library utilises comments, complaints and feedback in order to make adjustments to our operations. We have a responsibility to adhere to national and statutory targets such as our equality, diversity and inclusion provisions and this forms part of our evidence for this criterion.  


Timeliness and Quality of Service 

The University Library publishes expected response times to customer contact, whilst monitoring data to maintain high levels of communication quality.  Our business and service standards help us to maintain standards and consistency of our service. We review these monthly, putting in place any action necessary alongside benchmarking our approach with other institutions.  



*Our new compliance pluses are:

  • 2.1.1 There is a corporate commitment to putting the customer at the heart of service delivery and leaders in our organisation actively support this and advocate for customers.
    • 2.1.3 We have policies and procedures that support the right of all customers to expect excellent levels of service.

  • 3.3.3 We have improved the range, content and quality of verbal, published and web-based information we provide to ensure it is relevant and meets the needs of customers.
    • 4.2.4 We have developed and learned from best practice identified within and outside our organisation, and we publish our examples externally where appropriate.

  • 5.2.2 We identify individual customer needs at the first point of contact with us an ensure that an appropriate person who can address the reason for contact deals with the customer.

*These are in addition to our exisiting compliance pluses which we have retained through this rolling assessment:

    • 1.1.1 We have an in-depth understanding of the characteristics of our current and potential customer groups based on recent and reliable information. 

  • 1.1.2 We have developed customer insight about our customer groups to better understand their needs and preferences. 
    • 1.1.3 We make particular efforts to identify hard-to-reach and disadvantaged groups and individuals and have developed our services in response to their specific needs. 

  • 1.3.5 We have made positive changes to series as a result of analysing customer experience, including improved customer journeys. 
    • 2.1.2 We use customer insight to inform policy and strategy and to prioritise service improvement activity  

  • 2.1.6 We empower and encourage all employees to actively promote and participate in the customer-focused culture of our organisation. 
    • 2.2.2 Our staff our polite and friendly to customers and have an understanding of customer needs 

  • 2.2.4 We can demonstrate how customer-facing staffs’ insights and experiences are incorporated into internal processes, policy development and service planning 
    • 2.2.5 We value the contribution our staff make to delivering customer focused services, and leaders, managers and staff demonstrate these behaviours. 

  • 3.4.2 We have developed co-ordinated working arrangements with our partners that ensure customers have clear lines of accountability for quality of service. 
    • 4.1.1 We have challenging standards for our main services, which take account of our responsibility for delivering national and statutory standards and targets 

  • 4.3.2 We have an easy to use complaints procedure, which includes a commitment to deal with problems fully and solve them wherever possible within a reasonable time limit. 


Contact us for support or questions on the University Library Customer Service Excellence accreditation.