Royal Mail

Principles of providing administrative services Assessment You should use this file to complete your Assessment. • The first thing you need to do is save a copy of this document, either onto your computer or a disk • Then work through your Assessment, remembering to save your work regularly • When you’ve finished, print out a copy to keep for reference • Then, go to www. vision2learn. com and send your completed Assessment to your tutor via your My Study area – make sure it is clearly marked with your name, the course title and the Unit and Assessment number.Please note that this Assessment document has 9 pages and is made up of 9 Sections. Name: Section 1 – Understand how to make and receive telephone calls 1. Complete the table below with descriptions of at least two different features of a telephone system and how / when they would be used. |Feature |How / when used | |1.On hold |This feature is used to hold incoming calls | | |This feature will be use while the correct recipient of the call is | | |located | | |This feature is used by pressing the hold button while getting the | | |right person extension number and check if the person is available | |2. Transfer |This feature enables you to transfer a call to another extension | |This feature will be use when someone doesn’t know the extension | | |they are after | | |This feature is used by pressing the transfer button. | 2. Prepare a brief report advising people on: • How to follow organisational procedures when making and receiving telephone calls • The purpose of giving a positive image of yourself and your organisation when making and receiving telephone calls.Making phone calls: being polite in all circumstances, remembering that you represent your organisation, , identify the caller, identify the caller’s needs ensuring that the messages for others are passed on as soon as possible, recording and supplying information accurately, giving the caller the best information possible . Receiving phone calls: answering quickly within 3 rings , introduce yourself and the organization, recognising information that must be kept secure and confidential, specify the outcome you want to achieve, identify who you are and the business you’re calling from. Even though the person at the other end of the line cannot see you, the manner in which you communicate presents an impression of you, your team and the business as a hole.It is important that you create a positive impression by: – Speaking clearly – Introducing yourself and greeting the person in an acceptable way – Nor using slang – Not being abrupt – Making the caller feel that their call is important – Ensuring that your tone of voice makes you sound positive and interested not bored or tired Presenting yourself in this way will create the impression that you are professional and customer-focused. This in turn will create a similar impression of the business. The consequences of not doing so will be to lose potential or existing customers or clients. If possible, use specific information from procedures in your own organisation (or one that you are familiar with).Section 2 – Understand how to handle mail 1. Explain the purpose of correctly receiving, checking and sorting mail and packages (both incoming and outgoing). It is important to sort incoming mail in the manner that your business require will help not to lose any mail and every item will reach the correct person, it is important to date stamp and record any mail received if in case of a conflict you can prove. With the outgoing mail it is important to make sure that any enclosures are in the mail before sending, check the name , address on the mail , before sending need to ensure that the mail is dispatched according to its degree of urgency to reach on time.If mail and packages are not received and dispatched correctly : Information may be lost or send to the wrong person, items could be damaged, confidential information may be seen by unauthorised people, urgent enquires or request may not be dealt with in time, work could be delayed by incorrect franking, the organisation could lose potential and current customers or clients. 2. Complete the table below with the following information: • At least two examples of internal mail services that are available to organisations • At least two examples of external mail services that are available to organisations |Internal mail services |External mail services | |1. Reusable A4 envelops – this is what internal mail is circulated |1. Standard postal services and commercial couriers used for speed | |that are nsealed unless the contents is confidential marked as such|and security with Royal Mail | | | | | | | | | | | | | |2. Robust documents holders – in some legal business this containers |2.Packages and pallets some business are using this service for | |are used to provide more protection for the contents |local, national and international delivery with DHL, DPD, APC | | |overnight , Parcel Force, Fedex | | | | | | | | | | 3. Describe two methods that you can use to calculate postage charges for mail and / or packages. Postal charges for mail/packages are calculated according to a combination of the following : – Weight – the staff at post office will weigh the parcel for the correct charge – Size – size doesn’t affect you as long as you weight and pay the correct amount the staff at post office will tell you to place the parcel in a special bag or if is to big they will take it . – Destination – national or international Urgency – first class, second class, courier delivery – Value of the contents – recorded or registered delivery If your role involves sending mail you must ensure that postal charges are correct. Incorrect charges will affect the efficiency and profitability of the organization. Bering in mind any cost restrictions imposed by the business organization you can compare two, three providers, use a comparison site. It helps to calculate postage charges by asking questions about the mail/package you sending out. After you can choose the best method for you and work out the cost of the postage. You can look at the delivery option available and select the most appropriate one.Section 3 – Understand how to use different types of office equipment 1. Describe the main types of equipment found in offices and how they are used. Include examples of at least three different types of office equipment. – Computers are used for different purposes in different parts of the organization for example as word processors, for manipulating database, for publishing or computer modelling -Shredders – used for shredding paper work that is non useable follow guidelines about what should be shredded and when -Photocopiers – used to photocopy what is needed 2. Explain the purpose of following manufacturer’s instructions when using equipment.If you do not follow instructions and damage occurs, the manufacturer’s warranty could be invalidated, you could endanger your health and safety and that of other people if you use equipment incorrectly, you are legally bound to follow training instructions provided by the employer, following manufactures ‘instructions will make efficient use of the machine, thereby saving money and minimising waste. 3. Explain the purpose of keeping equipment clean, hygienic and ready for the next user. If the equipment is left in an unfit state you will upset colleagues who use it next, you are legally obliged to maintain work equipment in a proper condition according to your employer’s instructions, if people have to spend time after you the efficiency and productivity of the business will be reduced, leaving equipment in an unfit state may put other people’s health and safety at risk, if you leave the equipment out of peration because of a fault , you should leave a note on the equipment so that other users will not try to use it and report what has happened straight away. Keeping the equipment hygienic will stop the spread of infections and the performance will be better than dirty equipment. The business will run smoother and everyone will be happy. Section 4 – Understand how to keep waste to a minimum in a business environment 1. Explain why waste should be kept to a minimum in a business environment. Wasted materials are a cost to the business so reducing waste saves money , by law waste materials as a result of making a product or delivering a service have to be stored and disposed of safely.Reducing waste therefore saves the cost of storage and transportation, minimising waste reduces the impact of the business on the environment by using fewer resources and reducing the environmental damage when disposing of it, there are legal requirements on all businesses to manage waste efficiently to reduce environmental damage. A great deal of money will be spend on dealing with waste such as sorting moving and disposing of it, decreased competition comparing to other business, potential need to raise prices or look at reducing margins , delays causes by having wasted time and materials. Business that reduces waste will be more efficient, be more able to satisfy customers , be more likely to have a long term future. When using equipment it is important to keep it clean and hygienic which means free from dirt, germs, bacteria.For example food and drink should be kept well away from any equipment in case anything gets knocked over and causes damage. If you spill something on or near a piece of equipment you should clean up the spillage straight away. Make sure you know where cleaning products are located in your office and are familiar with the correct way to use them. 2. Identify at least two main causes of waste in a business environment. It is sometimes felt that office work has little impact on the environment because it is unlikely to pose a direct risk of pollution – unlike some manufacturing work. Nevertheless any business environment uses considerable amounts of resources.Main cause of waste in a business environment are stationery , energy and heating , human error , lack of training, failing to learn about what customers really want , over supply or under supply. One of the causes is ink and toner they are used up every time you print or photocopy a document so resume to print and copy essential documents . One other cause is electricity being used up all the time any electrical equipment is turned on . Leaving equipment running when nobody is using it, especially overnight is wasteful. Many types of electrical equipment have power-saving modes which can be set to activate as soon as a machine is idle for any time. Computer monitors should always be turned off at the end of the day as they use a large amound of energy. 3.How can you keep waste to a minimum in a business environment? Describe at least two ways of doing this. Printing or photocopying on both sides, reusing envelopes for internal mail, installing energy-efficient lighting, using electricity efficiently for equipment, minimising any transport cost. Using electricity efficiently – switching off lights and plugs before leaving, minimising any transport cost – having more than one person travelling by car and using public transport where possible. Section 5 – Know how to make arrangements for meetings 1. Complete the table below listing at least two different types of meetings and describing the main features of each type of meeting. Type of meeting |Main features | |Team, staff meetings |Involve business members assigned to a project who meet on regular | | |basis to discuss the progress of the project. In addition to team | | |members management often sits in the meeting keeping tracks of the | | |project progress. This can be weekly monthly or on as needed basis. | |Management meetings |Administration and management get to discuss problems and situations| | |needing management attention.In the event that the only management | | |personnel attending of the company board of directors this meeting | | |is considered a board meeting. | |Briefing meetings |An informal meeting to update staff about a particular issue | | |attended by staff and the senior who does the update. | | | | 2. When arranging a meeting: • What sources and types of information are typically needed? • How should meetings be arranged?The sources of information needed for arranging a meeting are: – Date time and duration – The venue – where it is to be held – Delegates – how many people are expected to attend – What type of meeting it is – for example AGM, team meeting, conference or executive committee. This will determinate how the room is set out for example formal informal classroom boardroom or theatre. – What the agenda is – Details of any proposed speakers and what equipment they might need if any. – Any special requirements – for example disabled access or dietary – Catering requirements – tea coffee , food – Whether there is a budget allocated for the meeting Main Features |Type of meeting or committee | |Usually held every year to inform members or shareholders of |Annual general meeting | |previous and future activities | | |Has the power to take decisions that are binding on the organization|Executive committee | |Gives advices or makes recommendations |Advisory committee | |Is permanently in existence |Standing committee | |Is formed for a particular task and then disbanded |Ad-hoc committee | |Is part of a larger committee |Sub-committee | |Co-ordinates the activities of two or more committees |Joint committee | |An informal meeting to update staff about a particular issue |Briefing committee | |Regular meetings of the same group of staff who work in the same |Team meeting | |area of the business | | Before the meeting you will need to: confirm the information you have already gathered such as the date, time and duration, prepare documentation needed such as the agenda and the minutes of the previous meeting, send out notice of the meeting, including date, time, duration and venue to delegates, along with the agenda and minutes.If any delegates are travelling to the meeting you may need to send travel information and directions, book the room or venue, taking account of any special requirements such as disabled access, or need for power points for equipment, Arrange any catering that is required, arrange seating in a way that is appropriate for the type of meeting, book any audio-visual or other equipment that is required and ensure that it is set up correctly and functions properly, ensure computer access if required. What you do during the meeting will depend upon your job role. It may include: taking the minutes, meeting and greeting delegates, dealing with any special requirements, providing any sets of materials required by the delegates, attending to health safety and security issues, operating equipment, overseeing catering requirements.After the meeting it may include: distributing materials for delegates to take away, writing up the minutes or records of the meeting, delivering information to delegates by post or by hand. Section 6 – Understand procedures for organising travel and accommodation arrangements 1. Explain the purpose of confirming instructions and requirements for business travel and accommodation. If it is part of your job to arrange travel and accommodation for others in the business, you must always confirm instructions and requirements before making bookings. If instructions are not confirmed you might make bookings that are inappropriate not required or too expensive and you waste the business time.The purpose of confirming instructions and requirements for business travel and accommodation is that you make sure there are no mistakes. 2. Complete the table below with an outline of the main types of business travel and accommodation arrangements that may need to be made and the procedures that should be followed when doing this. |Travel and accommodation arrangements |Procedures | |Train |Follow the organization policy and procedures, stick to the budget, | | |book tickets, onfirming times places names(make sure you ask for | | |the spelling of the place so you don’t make any mistakes , date of | | |birth, check distance to train station , 1st/2nd class, arrange | | |complimentary drinks lunch, wifi for extra work , is there necessary| | |a taxi from the train station to the destination, limit for spending| |Airplane |Follow the organization policy and procedures, book tickets, | | |passport details, insurance, confirming times places names, taxi | | |from and to airport, if the passenger has any food restrictions in | | |order to order the right meal, spending limit, stick to the budget | |Car |Follow the organization policy and procedures (different business | | |different procedures) find out the distance the cost of petrol if is| | |necessary to travel by car and if this version is cheaper. |Taxi |Follow the organization policy and procedures, confirming times | | |places names you can even compare two three taxi companies for the | | |cheapest one so you can be in the budget limit. | 3. Explain the purpose of keeping records of travel / accommodation arrangements in a business environment. Travel and accommodation arrangements that will need to be recorded are :the requirements of the staff members, research into different options, bookings, expenditure, discounts and refunds received, feedback. Keeping records of travel and accommodation bookings is important because they may e required : for future audit and accounting purposes, so that the whereabouts of staff is known, to enable expenses claim to be checked and paid , for future reference in relation to value for money, as a source of information for future bookings. This shows that the business is well organized. By keeping good records you will have an accurate financial information that can determinate future travel costs, the information can be easily access by different members of staff even if the person who did the bookings are not available, the organization can rely on the information they store for future reference regarding quality, cost etc. Section 7 – Understand diary management procedures 1. Briefly explain the purpose of using a diary system to plan activities at work. Give at least two reasons.In any business environment, no matter how big or small, diaries need to be used so that people know what they have to do and where they have to be at certain times. It is necessary to use diaries in a business environment because: the business cannot rely on people remembering meetings and appointments in their heads because there could be so much that needs to be done, arrangements are often made through other people such as secretarial staff, so the person concerned will not be aware of the arrangements unless it has been written down, diaries ensure that times and dates of meetings or appointments do not clash, diaries make sure that people’s activities are co-ordinated and do not overlap or duplicate – therefore enabling an efficient use of time and human resources . 2.Identify the information needed to maintain a diary system in the workplace. Information needed to maintain a diary system in the work place (always have in mind the 5W’s – who, what, when, where, why) are: who is coming to the meeting, people involved, what is the meeting about subject or type of appointment, when is the meeting dates and times, where is the meeting venue or place, why are you having the meeting. You may find that the diary systems are maintained by making new entries, inserting repeated appointments, and deleting or amending entries if there are changes. It is important that diaries are maintained correctly and kept up to date or the system will break down and planned activities will be disrupted.If it is part of your job role to manage diaries for other people, you must ensure that you inform them of the entries to the diary so that they can plan their activities. You must also ensure that any changes are communicated to the people who are affected so that their time is not wasted by turning up for an event that has been changed to a different time, date or place. The diaries of some people may be confidential. If you have to manage such a diary you will need to know security features such as passwords and observe procedures for maintaining confidentiality. Section 8 – Understand the purpose of delivering effective customer service and how to do so 1. What are the differences between internal and external customers in a business environment?Although customers are usually thought of as members of the public who buy products or services from a business, customers can also come from another part of the same organization. For example, large organizations may be divided into different sections that seek goods or services from each other. These could be parts of a product or service that your section produces and then passes on the section that needs it. Even your more immediate colleagues can be regarded as internal customers: team colleagues, supervisors, staff in other teams. Even though they may not be buying something from you , they are still customers for the services that make up your job. As with the external customers they will expect a high quality service and if you do not provide it , you may find out that your services are no longer required .External customers are people who require goods and services and will buy them from the business that provides them with what they want. Types of external customers differ depending on the nature of the business environment , but could include: clients, patients, quests, visitors, individuals or groups, people of different cultures, ages, genders, races, people with disabilities, people with special requirements, external organisations, which are suppliers or buyers. In my work place I do get information about my clients from internal customers (senior support worker, service manager ) and from external customers (parents, social workers, GP’s) 2. Explain why customer service should meet or exceed customer expectations. Include at least three reasons in your answer.It is important to satisfy or exceed customers’ expectations for the following reasons : customers will return and buy more goods or services from the business , customers will spend money with the business, customers will recommend you to others, time will be saved dealing with complains, the reputation of the business will attract more customers, excellent service may enable the business to charge more for its products, the business will be competitive, enabling further growth and investments. 3. Explain the importance of building positive relationships with customers. Outline two ways in which this can be achieved. It is important for you to build positive relationships with your internal and external customers. If customers feel that they have a positive relationship with the people they deal with it will enhance the reputation of the business, encourage customers to repeat their business with your organization, increase customer satisfaction, make the business more competitive.The purpose of positive relationships is to retain current customers and attract new ones. Ways in which you can achieve positive relationships with customers are : knowing details about the product or service so that the customer feels confident about what you say to them, try to find ways of looking happy and positive when dealing with customers, making customers feel important and valued – for example , never giving them the impression that they are being a nuisance, or showing that you are bored or uninterested in what they want, helping them to meet their needs – for example , giving them advice if they are undecided about what they want, keeping any promises or commitments hat you make – for example about delivery times, products or services specifications or after sale services, dealing promptly with any complaints. 4. How do customers demonstrate their own needs and expectations? Customers show their needs and expectations by what they say and the questions they ask . Therefore you must listen carefully to their questions and requests. You have to be aware of how customers demonstrate their needs and expectations and respond positively to encourage customer satisfaction. Being aware to the additional needs and expectations in terms of: hearing or sight impairment, language difficulties, physical disabilities, learning difficulties.It will be helpful if the business has a feedback form that customers can fill in and letting the business know the like and dislikes, the services they got etc so the business can analyze and improve , business can use surveys or get the information from former customers . Some other methods are focus form – where customers or potential ones are put into small groups and encouraged to discuss aspects of the products or services they buy. The aim of focus form is to identify any things that should influence current and future products or services . Customers complains – customers are offering clear insights into their needs and expectations. They will talk about what they wanted and expected and why they feel the need to complain.Section 9 – Understand the purpose of reception services and how to follow reception procedures 1. What is the purpose of the receptionist role as the first point of contact in a business environment? The receptionist is the first point of contact that customers or clients have with a business and the purpose of a receptionist is to receive visitors to the organization in a positive, professional and welcoming way. The role of a receptionist covers the following aspects: meeting and welcoming visitors, escorting visitors if necessary, ensuring that any necessary health, safety and security procedures are carried out, informing visitors or callers of ny security or confidentiality issues , making appointments and bookings, receiving and distributing mails, giving information to callers and dealing with any enquires. 2. Describe how a receptionist can present a positive image of themselves and the organisation and explain why this is important. In order to present the business in a positive and welcoming way a receptionist must present themselves and their work area in this way. They can do this by being aware of their personal presentation , verbal and non verbal communication, attitude, knowledge of the organization, reception work area. The purpose of presenting a positive image at reception is to create a good first impression and maintain an efficient and welcoming image of the business.To present a positive image of yourself and the organization you have to: -Have a good personal presentation – neat, clean, tidy, dressed appropriately for the job -Be aware of your verbal and non-verbal communication – use clear and correct speech. No use of slang or swear words. No use of familiar forms of address. Tone of voice should be even calm if the caller or visitor is angry or confused. Non-verbal communication should not suggest defence, anger or lack of respect. Do not fold arms or slouch. Eye contact should be normal – not staring or looking away. -Be aware of your attitude – should be helpful, positive, interested, and polite. -Your knowledge of the organization – you should know about the structure and personnel in the organization so that visitors or callers can efficiently directed to the right place. Transferring calls – ensure that the call is transferred to the correct person -Taking messages – messages should be taken accurately and be legible to the other people if handwritten. The purpose of presenting a positive image at reception is to create a good first impression and maintain an efficient and welcoming image of the business. 3. In relation to your own organisation (or one that you are familiar with), explain what must be done when carrying out entry, departure, security and confidentiality procedures in a reception area. Entry activities : unlocking, access to keys, authorised key holder , disabling alarms, switching on power, heating and equipment. Departure activities: locking up, depositing keys, setting alarms, setting CCTV, switching off power, heating and equipment.Security and confidentiality activities: signing people in and out, checking the purpose of the visit, issuing and collecting visitor ID, sitting computer screens out of public view, safeguarding any confidentiality documents in the reception area, disposing of any confidential material correctly , safeguarding personal information about employees. Entry and exit of visitors must be controlled according to procedures for reasons of health and safety and security. All visitors have to log in and log out in a log book when enter or leave the premises, register the car plates number in case they need to be contacted to move they cars, issue ID badges for visitors so they can easily be identified . Once you have completed all 9 Sections of this Assessment, go to www. vision2learn. com and send your work to your tutor for marking.

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