It’s the first time a fire and rescue service has achieved this recognition, and it’s a national standard, independently recognising an organisation’s customer service excellence.
The ServiceMark assessment report noted that, KFRS has ‘turned customer culture completely on its head in the most positive way’, and that ‘all teams, from first responders to volunteers to education specialists, look at the whole customer journey and identify where support can be offered beyond an incident, or how an incident can be prevented.’
The report also highlighted that KFRS has a ‘commitment to delivering great service’ with passion and determination to ‘build a world that is safer, more inclusive and more involved’.
Following the assessment, which included interviews with employees, the ICS assessor reported: “All those I met were friendly, professional and very open in their approach. The passion for helping people and looking after each other came through in every conversation.
“Caring about customers is at the heart of what draws people to join Kent Fire and Rescue Service. Employees really do put themselves in their customers’ shoes and go above and beyond to ensure a positive outcome and a good experience - they genuinely care.”
KFRS has earned the ServiceMark as a result of colleague feedback, blended with customer survey results from earlier this year, in which KFRS achieved an exceptionally positive outcome.
Ann Millington, Chief Executive at KFRS, said: “I am immensely proud that we have achieved ServiceMark accreditation. We have strived to shift our culture whole heartedly towards customers and their needs, and this is testament to the hard work of all my colleagues. We aren’t complacent though, and we will continue to work hard and improve further.
“Some people challenge our use of the word ‘customer’ when we talk about the people we serve – but we aren’t just responding to emergencies. We’re constantly interacting with people in their homes, in places of work, in education settings, and online, to help prevent emergencies happening in the first place.
“The breadth of our work is much larger than some people realise, and every person that accesses our services deserves to be treated as a valued customer.”
Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service added: "I would like to congratulate everyone at KFRS in achieving ServiceMark in recognition of their commitment to excellent customer service for all of their customers.
"By acting on the insights gained from customer feedback as part of the ServiceMark accreditation, KFRS will be in a stronger position to offer customers what they want, when they want and how they want it.”