In 2010 our user surveys gave us lots of valuable ideas to help us improve the NRS.
Conduct of relay officers
Based on the feedback, we identified particular standards for the behaviour and attitude of relay officers that reflect what customers expect when making a relay call. These have now become specific requirements for relay officers who should:
- always be ready for the caller
- avoid any distractions
- show courtesy in the greeting and closing of each call
- be polite and professional
- display empathy and patience
- respect the diversity of callers
- listen to the needs of callers
- not be judgemental in handling calls.
As always, relay officers must make sure that calls remain private and confidential. They also need to regularly update their skills and knowledge.
These service standards have been built into relay officer performance contracts, and the NRS regularly checks on the performance of our staff.
What the relay officers say at the start of each call
Following user comments and suggestions, we have revised the introductory scripts we employ at the start of each NRS call.
NRS callers and people being called have a wide range of experience with relay calls. Many of them are regular users while others have never been in a relay call before. Therefore we need to give brief introductory remarks for those who need no explanation about what happens during the call, as well as providing more information for new callers or call recipients who need to know what a relay call is and how it works.
During a number of workshops we developed a set of scripts for different call types. These include:
- a quicker call setup for callers clearly familiar with the relay process, and
- a longer explanation for callers unfamiliar with the relay process about the type of call being relayed to them, and the role the relay officer plays in the call.
Survey of hearing callers
A specific survey was carried out with people who are the hearing party in relay calls – some were business people and some were families and friends of NRS users. They gave us valuable information about why NRS calls may appear to have been ‘refused’ but are in fact being treated like all other calls. The NRS is developing new ideas to help make it easier for people to call NRS users.