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Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Business, Administration and Finance

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  • 1. Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Business, Administration and Finance Unit 7 Developing Customer Service and Communication Methods in a Business Environment Guided Learning Hours: 90 (60 for teaching and learning, 30 for assessment activities) Unit aims Businesses must be able to communicate effectively to get information across to their stakeholders. This unit will show you the different methods businesses use to communicate and provide you with the necessary skills to assess the effectiveness of these communications. This will help you develop enterprise skills in innovation and creativity by gaining confidence in ‘thinking on your feet’. You will also investigate the skills required to provide a high level of customer service. The knowledge gained in this unit will benefit you in real customer service scenarios and help you understand the relevance of ensuring customer satisfaction. Assessment Method This unit is internally assessed. The assessment for this unit requires learners doing and reviewing communication and customer service activities. This will include reviewing the relationship between communication and customer service to business advantage. For further information about the requirements for this unit, including controls, teachers must refer to the Internal Assessment Specification. EDI has produced sample assessment material to further specify the requirements for centres.
  • 2. Learning outcome Learners will: 1 Be able to communicate in business situations Assessment Criteria Taught Content Learners can: Learners will need to develop skills in using and evaluating the effectiveness of different methods and styles of communication 1.1 Evaluate the including the consequences of effective and ineffective communication. effectiveness of different This must include methods of verbal and non-verbal communication. methods and styles of Online and electronic communication methods must be included. communication according to Learners must develop understanding of the impact of cultural context (RL5) differences on business communication. 1.2 Establish networks of Learners must understand the advantages and disadvantages of relationships electronic methods of communication and the difference between formal and informal communication and when each may be appropriate. 1.3 Produce complex Electronic communication must be explored in terms of its effectiveness business documents in enabling remote working and how it can be used to manage teams and individuals in business. This must include the etiquette applying to the 1.4 Manage team use of electronic equipment in a business environment. Learners must discussion (TW2) understand that different contexts have different requirements and develop tools to evaluate effectiveness, for example by evaluating whether objectives have been met, if the message has been communicated effectively, the reactions of others. Learners will need to develop skills in using networking strategies to establish and maintain relationships that promote the development of business. They will develop skills in gaining and maintaining the trust, support and confidence of clients and colleagues through the use of negotiating skills, collaborative problem-solving techniques and communication skills. To underpin this, learners must understand the principles and benefits of networking. Learners will need to develop skills in producing complex business documents for communicating and recording information relating to the sales, purchases, accounting, human resources and general administrative functions of business. This must include understanding of the style, structure and formats used. Learners will also need to develop skills in managing and coordinating team discussion by promoting team effectiveness to work to agreed targets, facilitating discussions to ensure they are productive, providing direction to keep the team focused and purposeful and building team spirit by maintaining a favourable atmosphere and building relationships. Learners must develop understanding of the importance of, and strategies for, building rapport and working relationships.
  • 3. Learning outcome Learners will: 2. Be able to meet customer needs Assessment Criteria Taught Content Learners can: Learners will need to develop skills in analysing the services being provided to customers. Learners must understand the purpose of this 2.1 Analyse the services is to ensure that necessary improvements are made to meet the needs of being provided to customers both internal and external customers. Learners will need to (RL1) understand the standards that are expected by customers and relate this to the customer service policy and standards in place. Learners must 2.2 Handle challenging have tools for use in analysis and must develop a best practice model customers and situations covering the different areas of customer service, including common (EP5) customer service practices. Standards must be considered in terms of benchmarking, the extent to which aims and objectives are being met, 2.3 Adapt customer service feedback from staff and customers, overview of the standards techniques for different maintained, product and service knowledge. Customer service includes situations serving customers, providing information, giving advice, after sales service, deliveries. This must cover both the challenges involved in traditional and online customer service and reflection on own experience as a customer using both these media. Learners will develop skills in handling challenging customers by using adaptive communication skills and following set policies and procedures. This will involve learners developing skills in balancing and negotiating the diverse views of the customers in order to reach a workable solution for all parties. Learners must develop understanding of the possible impact of difficult customers on the business. Learners will need to develop skills in adapting customer service techniques for different situations. Customer service must be considered in terms of the five areas defined above. To underpin this, learners must develop understanding of the constraints that businesses operate under and that expectations of customers must be realistic. In addition, external influences including globalisation affect customer service delivery and learners will need to develop understanding of the impact of economic and social trends on customer service. Customers include regular customers, passing trade, business to business, adults of different ages, children. Learners must develop the skills to interpret the needs and expectations of customers and demonstrate sensitivity.
  • 4. Learning outcome Learners will: 3 Understand the contribution of communication to business Assessment Criteria Taught Content Learners can: Learners will need to develop understanding of the principles of business communication. This must include the difference between 3.1 Explain the principles of formal and informal, verbal and non-verbal and will build on the skills business communication gained in learning outcome 1. Learners will need to develop understanding of the channels of business communication in different 3.2 Compare and contrast business structures, both internally and externally, and the benefits to the importance of theories business of effective communication. of communication for Internally the impact of the chain of command in different internal and external organisational structures on communication channels and the customers effectiveness of communication. The links between communication and business effectiveness, including worker 3.3 Analyse the effects of e- motivation and efficiency. communication on Externally the role of communication in meeting business aims individuals within business and objectives, particularly when communicating with customers. Learners need to develop understanding of the key communication theories, including the communication cycle and Mehrabian’s communication model. This must be in terms of the importance of internal and external communication. Learners need to develop understanding of the effects of e- communication on individuals within a global business environment. This must include consideration of how e-communication affects the different functional areas of business (customer service, sales and marketing, operations, human resources, administration). Possible impacts include the enabling of remote working, increased cost for implementation, reducing cost when it is up and running, professional image, increased efficiency, loss of personal touch, data protection and security issues. This must be investigated in the context of the work of real individuals in business. The examples included are not designed to be an exhaustive list and centres may use alternatives where appropriate.
  • 5. Learning outcome Learners will: 4 Understand the relationship between customer service and business advantage Assessment Criteria Taught Content Learners will develop understanding of how businesses use the psychology 4.1 Explain how businesses of human behaviour in customer service strategies. This will include use psychology of human understanding the motivation leading to a purchase; the gratification the behaviour in customer service consumer expects and self-actualisation; the personal and social reasons for strategies purchases; the influence of peer groups and different cultures. Learners should also understand how businesses consider the psychology of customers in their 4.2 Evaluate how businesses customer service policies. Strategies for attracting and retaining the different measure and monitor customer customers defined in learning outcome 2 must be considered. satisfaction Learners will need to develop understanding of techniques for measuring 4.3 Compare and contrast in- customer satisfaction and when they may be appropriate. This will include an house and out-sourced understanding of: the importance of a transparent complaints-handling system; customer service solutions suggestion schemes; user panels; field visits; mystery shoppers; customer satisfaction surveys where appropriate in both b2b and b2c situations; total 4.4 Evaluate the impact of quality marketing. legal requirements on customer service provision Learners should develop understanding of the reasons why organisations may chose to out-source aspects of their customer service provision and the advantages and disadvantages of out-sourcing compared with in-house provision. This must be considered in terms of different aspects of customer service in business organisations with a range of business activities. Learners will need to develop understanding of the legal responsibilities of an organisation to consumers with respect to relevant UK and EU consumer legislation, They should be able to demonstrate an awareness of the consequences of non-compliance with these principles in terms of legal action, competition commission investigations, impact on corporate image. Learners should be familiar with a range of relevant, up to date legislation and relevant organisations which may investigate and/or advise customers. Examples are used throughout this section, these are not meant to be exhaustive lists and centres can use alternative examples where appropriate.
  • 6. Advanced Diploma in Business, Administration and Finance Level 3 Unit 7 Developing customer service and communication methods in a business environment. At each level, the three bands indicate the differences in learner achievement. Assessors should use the information in the table to decide which mark band best describes a learner’s work, then refer to the guidance to determine whether to place the mark at the top or bottom of the mark band. A compensatory system operates, where an item missing from one band can be compensated by work fulfilling the criteria for a higher band. Band 3 Band 2 Band 1 Total The learner The learner The learner Learning Evaluates points about the Evaluates some key points Comprehensively evaluates a Outcome 1 general effectiveness of about the effectiveness of range of key points about the different methods and styles some different methods and effectiveness of different Be able to of communication according styles of communication methods and styles of communicate to context (RL5). according to context (RL5). communication according to in business context (RL5). situations Establishes networks of Establishes networks of relationships with support. relationships with limited Establishes networks of 22 support. relationships independently. Produces some adequate complex business documents. Produces some appropriate Produces a range of complex business documents. appropriate complex business Manages some aspects of documents. team discussion adequately. Manages some aspects of (0-9) team discussion effectively. Manages a range of aspects of (10-16) team discussion effectively. (17-22)
  • 7. Learning Analyses general points about Analyses some significant Comprehensively analyses a Outcome 2 the services being provided to points about services being range of significant points customers (RL1). provided to customers (RL1). about some services being Be able to provided to customers (RL1). meet customer needs Handles some challenging Handles some challenging Handles a range of 23 customers and situations customers and situations challenging customers and adequately (EP5). effectively (EP5). situations effectively (EP5). Adapts customer service Adapts customer service Adapts customer service techniques adequately for techniques appropriately for techniques appropriately for a some different situations. some different situations. range of different situations. (0-9) (10-16) (17-23) Learning Explains, in general terms, the Explains, with some application Explains with effective Outcome 3 principles of business some key principles of business application a range of key communication. communication. principles of business Understand the communication. contribution of communication Compares and contrasts some Compares and contrasts, with Compares and contrasts, with to business. general points about the some application, some specifics effective application, a range of importance of theories of importance of theories of specifics importance of theories 22 communication for internal and communication for internal and of communication for internal and external customers. external customers. external customers. Analyses some general effects of Analyses, with some application Comprehensively analyses with e-communication on individuals some specific effects of effective application a range of within business. e-communication on individuals specific effects of within business. e-communication on individuals within business. (0-9) (10-16) (17-22)
  • 8. Learning Explains in general terms how Explains with some application Explains with effective Outcome 4 businesses use psychology of how businesses use application how businesses human behaviour in customer psychology of human use psychology of human Understand service strategies. behaviour in some specific behaviour in a range of the aspects of customer service aspects of customer service relationship strategies. strategies. between Evaluates general points customer about how businesses Evaluates with some Evaluates with effective service and monitor and measure application some specific ways application a range of specific 23 business customer satisfaction. businesses monitor and ways businesses monitor and advantage measure customer measure customer satisfaction. satisfaction. Compares and contrasts some general points about in- Compares and contrasts with Compares and contrasts with house and out-sourced some application some effective application a range customer service solutions. specific in-house and of specific in-house and outsourced customer service outsourced customer service Evaluates general points solutions. solutions. about the impact of legal requirements on customer Evaluates with some Comprehensively evaluates service provision. application the specific impact with effective application the of some legal requirements on specific impact of a range of customer service provision. legal requirements on (0-9) customer service provision. (10-15) (16-23) Totals 36 27 27 90
  • 9. Guidance for Centres Development Opportunities PLTS EDI has embedded Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills in specific assessment criteria within this unit. This is to ensure learners have the opportunity to develop these generic skills and competences within the context of learning experiences specifically related to developing customer service and communication methods. The identification and application of specific PLTS within individual learning outcomes and assessment criteria also allow learners to plan and review their personal achievement and development. There are further opportunities for a range of PLTS to be developed through the teaching and delivery of this unit. The following sections highlight some of these additional opportunities for PLTS development and provide guidance for how these development opportunities can be implemented. Further information about PLTS and their application within the principal learning for the Diploma in Business, Administration and Finance can be found in the guidance document. Assessed PLTS The following PLTS are assessed as part of the requirements of individual learning outcomes and assessment criteria and it is therefore necessary that they are delivered as part of the taught content. Reflective learners (1) (5) The outcome statement for this PLTS, as identified in AC1.1, requires young people to “evaluate experiences and learning to inform future decisions” (RL5). At level 3 and within AC1.1 this will involve learners in evaluating a variety of different methods and styles of communication. Learners will then be required to use this evaluation to inform decisions within the assessment of the unit. The second outcome statement this PLTS, as identified in AC2.1, requires learners to “assess themselves and others, identifying opportunities and achievements” (RL1). At level 3 and within AC2.1 this will involve learners in analysing the services being provided to a range of customers within a range of settings. This will involve learners understanding what constitutes effective customer service and how provision changes according to the customer’s needs. Team workers (2) The outcome statement for this particular PLTS, as identified in AC1.4, requires young people to “reach agreements, managing discussions to achieve results” (TW2). At level 3 and within AC1.4 this will entail the learners taking a lead role in at least one team discussion; they should demonstrate that they are able to effectively facilitate discussions to ensure they are productive and provide direction for the team.
  • 10. Effective participators (5) The outcome statement for this particular PLTS, as identified in AC2.2 requires young people to “try to influence others, negotiating and balancing diverse views to reach workable solutions” (EP5). At level 3 and within AC2.2 this will entail the learners dealing with a variety of potentially challenging customers in a variety of situations, identifying and interpreting their needs and developing and using appropriate strategies to reach a series of acceptable solutions. Developed PLTS There are a range of PLTS which can be developed through the teaching and delivery of this unit. Some opportunities for PLTS development are highlighted below, although the examples listed do not form an exhaustive list. Independent enquirers (2) (4) (6) In order to effectively communicate in business situations and deliver effective customer service, learners will need to take informed and well-reasoned decisions. To support the development of these essential skills, learners should be provided with the opportunity to “analyse and evaluate information, judging its relevance and value” (IE4) when researching the service being provided to customers in AC2.1. This could be delivered through learners researching or carrying out an investigation into the provision of customer service in a range of organisations and drawing conclusions about effective practices and the differences in approach across sectors. Similarly in AC3.2 and AC3.3, learners will need to examine a range of types of communication and communication theories before analysing and evaluating their effectiveness and importance for a range of internal and external customers. The delivery of these assessment criteria will allow learners to “plan and carry out research, appreciating the consequences of decisions” (IE2). The findings of these investigations and research will be used by learners to draw conclusions about the contribution of communication to business as a whole (IE6). Learners will need to develop some generic skills in these areas before attempting the actual assignments. Similarly, it is important that learners are able to achieve skills in supporting conclusions, “using reasoned arguments and evidence” when managing discussions or reporting back to individuals or groups. Self managers (1) (5) Learners will need to develop skills in embracing change and coping with challenges when communicating with a range of individuals and delivering customer service. In particular, learners will need to be provided with opportunities for developing skills in “dealing with competing pressures, including personal and work-related demands” (SM5) when handling challenging customers and situations. These skills are essential for learners to remain calm, collected and professional when faced with a difficult and challenging situation. Learners will also need to develop generic skills in showing flexibility when priorities change (SM1), particularly in relation to the delivery of customer service in different situations. Learners will need to seek out opportunities for delivering effective customer
  • 11. service through adapting customer service techniques according to the individual customer’s needs or the situation.
  • 12. Functional Skills Learners at this level must achieve ‘mastery’ in the functional skills of English, ICT and Maths at Level 2. Learners who have already achieved Level 2 in functional skills must be supported to develop further functional skills to a higher level to prepare for employment or higher education. ‘Mastery’ means that the learners are able to apply their skills in English, ICT and Maths at that level, in any situation related to living and working. The activity, which is given below, has been set at beyond Level 3 on the QCF (Qualifications and Credit Framework), in order to give learners the opportunity to show their autonomy in preparing for their chosen career path. The knowledge and understanding required is: Use practical, theoretical or technical understanding to address problems that are well-defined but complex and non-routine. Analyse, interpret and evaluate relevant information and ideas. Be aware of the nature and approximate scope of the area of study or work. Have an informed awareness of different perspectives or approaches within the area of study or work. Each functional skill has a separate, externally set and marked summative assessment. However, if learners are to acquire ‘mastery’ of the functional skills, it is preferable for them to be provided with integrated learning opportunities in which to demonstrate application of all 3 functional skills. In providing such opportunities, teachers will find it relatively easy to integrate English and some sections of ICT into projects, but integrating the functional skill of Maths will require more thought. However, prior to embarking on full projects, learners will need to practise demonstrating competence in applying functional skills during simple classroom exercises. Teachers should focus on the right hand column of the standards for the functional skills of Maths and English to ensure that learners achieve full coverage of the standards, ie ‘mastery’, and to ensure that they are prepared for the external summative assessment. With regard to ICT, however, the middle and right hand columns need to be covered. The activity below is an example activity, which shows how functional skills can be developed through the delivery of this unit. There is no requirement for learners to complete the activity highlighted below and teachers may prefer to deliver the learning outcomes within this unit through other delivery strategies. However, teachers should refer to the following example as a specification for how functional skills can be addressed through delivery activities. Further information about how the unit may be delivered can be found in the delivery strategies section of this unit specification.
  • 13. Suggested Case Study You have just returned from an inter-departmental meeting which has caused you considerable embarrassment. The view of other departmental heads is that whilst your staff are reasonably all right with external customers, their dealings with internal customers is far from satisfactory and they often fail to complete work for other departments on time without giving any reasonable explanation. It was also strongly hinted that your own attitude was not always of the best. Another complaint was that written communications between your staff and other departments is often sloppy and contains spelling and grammatical errors that could not be forwarded to external customers without amendment, thus slowing down the work of other departments. Activity Functional skills addressed Prepare a training session for your staff which should include: the importance of employing a ICTU1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4; 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 4.2, professional and courteous 5.1 attitude with all customers ICTFS1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 how to treat internal customers ER1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, with courtesy and consideration examples of correctly displayed letters and emails which contain no spelling or grammatical errors the impact of poor customer service (internal and external) on the company’s business and reputation. Your session should include a short ICTD1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 2.1, presentation, examples of documents and 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2 a handout to reinforce your message. EW1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6 ESL1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4
  • 14. Legend ICTU1.1 etc = ICT Use ICT systems 1.1 ICTFS1.1 = ICT1.1 Find and select information ICTD1.1 etc = ICT1.1 Develop, present and communicate information M1.1 etc = Maths 1.1 ESL1.1 etc = English speaking and listening 1.1 ER1.1 etc = English reading 1.1 EW etc = English writing 1.1 Please refer to the EDI Guidance for Centres, which gives tables showing the full list of learning outcomes for functional skills. The functional skills identified as being addressed are dependent upon the scope of the project as presented by the learner. It is expected that learners will make extensive use of ICT to prepare charts, graphs etc. Also the use of PowerPoint for presentation and use of images in text and presentation.
  • 15. Further Marking Advice Glossary of Terms The learner will not have completed more work than others, but the A range of vast majority of their work will be to the level that has been specified. Adapts Makes fit for, or changes to suit a new purpose. Adequate The activity is completed to minimum acceptable standards. Analyse Break down into components or essential features. The performance is above the minimum expected and aspects are Appropriate likely to be clearly related to the task or context presented. Compares and The learner examines and notes similarities or differences. contrasts Comprehensively The learner’s analysis is broad in scope. analyses The learner carries out tasks that accomplish clear purposes that are above the minimum requirements. For example, using Effectively increased initiative, improving personal presentation, supporting other team members. The learners have applied their work to a specific context or Effective organisation through well-thought-out scenarios, demonstrating a application good knowledge of the requirements on the learner in the real world of business. The explanation shows an increased understanding of the overall Explains clearly process and the reasons given are more relevant to the situation and explained in a coherent and organised way. The explanation shows an increased understanding of the overall Explains in general process and the reasons given are generally relevant to the terms situation. Evaluate Make a judgement based on criteria; determine the value of. The learners make correct points that relate to the subject in a General business context; however there will not be significant application to the actual situation presented. The learner is able to carry out the activity independently; Independently prompting/extra help is only needed in unexpected circumstances. Important points are selected by the learner relating to the situation, Key for example some of the most important principles of business communication. Significant Important in effect or meaning. All learners are likely to have completed the same volume of work; Some however only some of the work is presented to the standard required. The quality of work presented is inconsistent. The learner has applied their work to the reality of the business world but this has not been achieved consistently throughout the Some application section. For example, in parts realistic detail has been included but there will still be some key elements missing. Specific Stated explicitly or in detail. With limited The learner takes responsibility for the activity in general but will support seek out support from the teacher during the activity.
  • 16. The learner requires direction by the teacher to carry out the With support activity.
  • 17. Further Marking Exemplification Mark Band Exemplification Mark Band 3 – At the top end of mark band 3 it is likely that learners will have Learners up to Pass produced all the evidence required for this mark band. However, level, meeting the mark grid is a compensatory model and therefore a learner assessment criteria might have a mark at the top of mark band 3 with some evidence at lowest level. missing, but compensated by some present in higher mark bands. At the bottom of mark band 3 it is likely that learners will have only partly completed the evidence required or their work falls short of the required standard for the level. The learner evaluates points about the general effectiveness of different methods and styles of communication, according to context. However, the evaluation will include general points, rather than the most important points and will not include an effective weighing up of relative importance. The learner needs some direction from a teacher to establish networks of relationships. The documents which the learner produces will be complex and will be effective to an adequate level, but will not be the most appropriate format or type for the specified situation. The learner will be able to manage some elements of the team discussion to a satisfactory standard, although the learner will require support from other team members or a supervising adult to draw the discussion to a suitable conclusion or to manage other elements of the discussion. The analysis of the services being provided to customers will, on the whole, be generic without application to a specific business or context and will not include weighing up relative merits. The learner will be able to handle some challenging customers or situations and adapt customer service techniques for some different situations. However, the approach will be inconsistent and will not consistently include the most appropriate responses. The learner’s explanation of the principles of business communication will be general in nature, rather than being effectively applied to specific businesses. The points which the learner compares and contrasts about the importance of communication theories for internal and external customers will be the more obvious general points and will not include points which are specific to certain businesses or situations. Similarly, the analysis of e-communication will include general points which are not applied to specific markets. The learner’s explanation of how businesses use the psychology of human behaviour in customer service strategies will be general in nature, and will not be supported through effective application to specific businesses. The learner evaluates points about how businesses monitor and measure customer satisfaction, although the evaluation will include points which are generic and not specific to a context or situation. The points which are compared and
  • 18. contrasted about in-house and out-sourced customer service solutions will in the main be generic and will not effectively relate to the specified situation. Similarly, the points about the impact of legal requirements on customer service provision will be general and will not be the most significant points. Mark Band 2 – At the top end of mark band 2 it is likely that learners will have Learners displaying produced all the evidence required for this mark band. However, understanding/skills the mark grid is a compensatory model and therefore a learner beyond minimum might have a mark at the top of mark band 2 with some missing required by evidence compensated by evidence in a higher mark band. At the assessment criteria bottom of mark band 2 it is likely that learners will have all the evidence required for mark band 1 but with one element of evidence for mark band 2. The learner evaluates important points about the general effectiveness of different methods and styles of communication, according to context with some consideration of relative value although the evaluation may not include all of the most important points. The learner may need occasional direction from a teacher or supervising adult to establish networks of relationships. The documents which the learner produces will be complex, some of which will be the most appropriate format or type for the specified situation. The learner will be able to manage some elements of the team discussion to the standard required for the advanced diploma, although the learner may require support from other team members or a supervising adult to draw the discussion to a suitable conclusion or to manage other elements of the discussion. The analysis of the services being provided to customers will include some of the most important points and consideration of relative values, although some of the points may not be relevant. The learner will be able to handle some challenging customers or situations and adapt customer service techniques for some different situations. The approach in these tasks will include appropriate responses, although there may be opportunity for more suitable techniques or approaches to be adopted. The learner’s explanation of the principles of business communication will include some application to specific businesses. The points which the learner compares and contrasts about the importance of communication theories for internal and external customers will include points which are specific to certain businesses or situations. Similarly, the analysis of e-communication will include points, which are applied to specific markets. This application, however, may be inconsistent throughout the tasks related to learning outcome 3. The learner’s explanation of how businesses use the psychology of human behaviour in customer service strategies will be supported through some effective application to specific businesses. The points which the learner evaluates, relating to how businesses
  • 19. monitor and measure customer satisfaction, with be, in part, specific to a context or situation. The points which are compared and contrasted about in-house and out-sourced customer service solutions will relate to the specified situation. The application to a specific context or situation to support the learner’s conclusions will be inconsistent throughout their work. The points about the impact of legal requirements on customer service provision will include significant points which are specific to a specified context or situation. Mark Band 1 – At the top of mark band 1 learners will have produced evidence to Learners displaying fulfil all of the requirements for the mark bands. At the bottom of understanding and mark band 1 it is likely that the learner will have produced all the skills at the highest evidence required for mark band 2 but with one element of level specified by evidence into mark band 1. Missing work in mark band 2 could be assessment criteria compensated by two elements in mark band 1. The learner’s evaluation includes some of the most important points about the general effectiveness of different methods and styles of communication according to context and is broad in scope. The evaluation includes an effective weighing up of the relative importance of different points. The learner is able to work independently to establish networks of relationships. The documents which the learner produces will be complex and will be an appropriate format or type for the specified situation. The learner will be able to independently manage the team discussion to the standard required for the advanced diploma. The analysis of the services being provided to customers will include the majority of the most important points. The analysis includes effectively considering the relative importance of different points. The learner will be able to handle challenging customers or situations and adapt customer service techniques for different situations. The approach in these tasks will demonstrate appropriate responses to the situation presented. The learner’s explanation of the principles of business communication will include clear, relevant application to specific businesses. The points which the learner compares and contrasts about the importance of communication theories for internal and external customers will include points which are specific to certain businesses or situations and these are used to support conclusions. Similarly, the analysis of e-communication will include points which are applied to specific markets. The learner’s explanation of how businesses use the psychology of human behaviour in customer service strategies will be supported through effective application to specific businesses. The points which the learner evaluates, relating to how businesses monitor and measure customer satisfaction, will be, on the whole specific to a context or situation. The points which are compared and contrasted about in-house and out-sourced customer service solutions will
  • 20. relate to the specified situation. The application to a specific context or situation to support the learner’s conclusions will be consistent throughout their work. The points about the impact of legal requirements on customer service provision will include the most significant points which are specific to a specified context or situation. Control As this unit is internally assessed and marked, this unit is subject to MEDIUM level control. Specified tasks must be completed under the supervision and control of the teacher. Further guidance about controls for the assessment of this unit can be found in the Internal Assessment Specification. EDI have also produced Sample Assessment Material to further specify the requirements for centres. Guided Learning Hours Within this unit GLH refers to both time for teaching and learning and assessment activities. The time allocated for assessment activities should be used for learners to generate the evidence required for controlled parts of the unit. For this unit, 60 hours must be dedicated to teaching and learning activities and 30 hours must be used for assessment.
  • 21. Delivery Strategies Learners should have the opportunity to develop and apply their communication skills in many different business situations in this unit. Therefore, this unit should have close links with both Unit 1 Realising Business Enterprise and Unit 3 Organising Administration in Business. Learners will already have some experience of how businesses use communications to advertise products but they could be encouraged to look at how other types of information are communicated by businesses, eg financial accounts, stock levels or informative messages. The following are some examples of how this unit could be delivered: Team work activities could involve learners in looking at the same piece of information but from different perspectives; eg customers, employees, managers, shareholders. These examples can illustrate the importance of business information to stakeholders associated with an organisation. Learners could assess TV or magazine advertisements from the perspective of their competitive impact. Teachers may want to build upon learners’ prior knowledge of business communications through incorporating greater use of more unfamiliar examples such as those related to commercial publications and greater use of quantitative financial information or qualitative textual information. Learners could be encouraged to consider basic questions for all information such as: what is the principal message of this information, which audience is it aimed at? Learners should be given lots of opportunities to present business information so that they can develop professional presentational skills and be able to apply them to a range of contexts, including their own self-presentation for job seeking skills. Team working skills can be developed through learners being asked to comment constructively upon each others’ work. This may relate to audience sensitivity, accessibility, design, demand and appropriateness. This will also contribute to developing skills of evaluation in the learners. Learners may have their own experience of retailers they consider to be well or poorly-managed and these experiences could be used as a basis for discussion on comparing effective management with ineffective management. Learners could conduct basic research into a business which is experiencing difficulties. Learners could also be directed to conduct research into organisations that have had significant changes in reputation or variations in performance over recent years by examining share price movements, takeover activity and possibly even business failure. Learners could be asked to identify a manager who, in their opinion, performs well, and to support their judgement with evidence. High street traders, familiar to most learners, will offer opportunities to analyse strong and weak business performance. Learners may even have their own experience of more or less skilled treatment at the hands of managers. Learners will then have a strong evidence base which can be applied to the assessment tasks. Examples of customer service scenarios can be found in many topical TV programmes and will generally retain learners’ attentions. Visiting speakers from major retail chains can also make a useful contribution to raising learner awareness by providing real-life examples of customer service successes or failures.
  • 22. Integrating Units All of the units included in the Diploma are distinct but will also have significant links to some of the other Diploma units. This section highlights where there are opportunities for centres to develop a holistic approach to the Diploma, based around the opportunities to link units with some related or matching content. The Developing Customer Service and Communication Methods in a Business Environment unit develops learners’ skills in business enterprise: Business awareness - learners will develop an understanding of the importance of good standards of customer service to businesses and appropriate methods of communicating with customers. Can-do attitude – learners will develop skills and therefore confidence in team working. This will develop a positive attitude, where learners believe that they are able to deal with different situations. Innovation and creativity – communication in different contexts is challenging and learners will need to develop the skills to effectively think on their feet. Learners will meet challenging situations, especially when dealing with customers and having to respond immediately to meet their needs. The following units have important, direct links with Unit 7: Developing Customer Service and Communication Methods in a Business Environment: Unit Unit 1 – Realising Level 3 Unit 7: Developing Customer Service and Business Enterprise Communication Methods in a Business Environment develops important skills in customer service, team working and communication methods. All these skills are extremely important for the implementation of a business enterprise. Unit 3 – Organising Level 3 Unit 7: Developing Customer Service and Administration in Communication Methods in a Business Environment Business develops important skills that are necessary for administration. The nature of administration means that work is constantly being completed for internal customers and communication and team working skills are vital to the role.
  • 23. Resources Textbooks Amor D: The e-Business Revolution (Prentice Hall, 2002) 013085123X Anderton A: GCSE Business Studies (Causeway Press) 1873929846 Browning G: Grass Roots Management (Prentice Hall, 2002) 0273662996 Cave S: Consumer Behaviour in a Week (Hodder, 2002) 0340849711 Gillespie A: Business in Action (Hodder & Stoughton, 2002) 0340848200 Hall, Raffo and Jones: Business Studies (Causeway press 2004) 1902796837 Jewell: An introduction to Business Studies (Longman) 0582405424 Kay F: Making Management Simple (How to Books, 2003) 1857038118 Websites www.asa.org.uk www.bbc.co.uk/business www.becta.org.uk www.bized.co.uk www.businesslink.org. www.chamberonline.co.uk www.eubusiness.com www.examstutor.com/business www.fco.gov.uk www.lsda.org.uk www.mintel.com www.projectalevel.co.uk www.statistics.gov.uk http://www.thetimes100.co.uk/index.php