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Law firm puts customers first with skills training

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A Burnley-based law firm has further improved its customer service skills after staff accessed free training as part of Lancashire’s new £5.6m skills programme.

Smith Jones Solicitors, which specialises in personal injury law, was able to put 12 of its staff through the customer service training at Burnley College after funding was provided through Lancashire Skills Support for the Workforce (LSS).

The firm, based on Kingsway, had contacted the college because it prides itself on providing a first class service from enquiry to case completion and wanted to ensure it was doing all it could to help its clients.

In an in-depth training needs analysis, carried out by Maureen Kelly from Burnley College, skills such as self-awareness, teamwork, assertiveness and understanding customer expectations were identified as key to enhancing the team as a whole.

Burnley College then provided an intensive four week customer service training course and qualification, free of charge, to the firm. Participants in this training included members of the client focused business team, legal assistants and senior litigators.

Ann-Marie Bradley, HR manager at Smith Jones Solicitors, said: “We are already reaping the rewards of this training through great customer feedback and increased efficiency and productivity. The fact that the training needs analysis and subsequent training was delivered to us for free makes it all the better. We would recommend Skills Support for the Workforce to any business.”

Maureen Kelly, from Burnley College, said: “We ran the course in two groups, over a four week period in order to minimise the impact on the business as much as possible. The level of commitment from the firm and the staff members who participated in the course is testament to their passion for continually improving the client experience.”

LSS will support 3,817 employees aged 19 and over who are working in small or medium sized businesses and have a workforce of up to 250 employees.

Training available through the scheme includes a mix of basic and higher level skills, leadership and management skills, as well as technical and industry specialist qualifications.  LSS will run until July 2015 – with places allocated to businesses on a first-come, first-served basis.

The fund operates across the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area, which consists of Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen local authorities.

Businesses looking to benefit from the programme can find further information and apply through a new website www.lancashireskillssupport.co.uk.


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