Case Study

SECAD Customer Service Programme

SECAD devised and delivered a five week course on Customer Service Skills from March-April 2017.  

Participants of the course were recruited through SECAD’s extensive network of voluntary and community groups and also from referrals from Department of Social Protection (DSP). There were sixteen participants in each class and all of whom were compatible with SICAP criteria.  The group profile varied but broadly, 25-40 years old including four males and eight females.

SECAD identified customer service skills as applicable and transferable to all types of employment both in the internal environment and external environment at work.  The course focussed on understanding key aspects of customer service, how to create a positive customer environment, the value of the customer and how to deal with complaints.

No one size fits all but the course also aimed to develop participants’ confidence and awareness,  and in tandem help build practical skills that may be added to a CV to boost the chances of employment.

Alongside key modules on customer service, the course also covered practical aspects such as:

  • Writing a CV  and cover letter
  • Preparing for good performance at interview
  • Learning how to analyse personal experience at interview and follow up/seek feedback
  • Supporting participants to be in empowered and in control at interview
  • Conducting mock interviews with emphasis on body language and dress code
  • Option to gain valuable work experience with customer focus to improve employment prospects

Specifically, SECAD organised field trips to local employers in relevant sectors, for example a hotel in the tourism sector.  Such field trips served to show rather than tell, and reinforce the class room theory by examples in a practical workplace environment.  

SECAD also strove to see each participant as unique with their own personal values and goals. Participants were encouraged to bring their own personality and talents to deliver customer service with a difference.

There was a low uptake of work experience placements, issues encountered included participants not availing of work placements due to need to get a real paying job.

Participants were very satisfied with the programme and found it built confidence to recognise transferable skills and be empowered and energised to know how to go about finding a job. Participants also enjoyed  interaction in the programme and being part of something.

‘’The course was a great refresher for me to know what’s involved in writing a great CV. It also helped me to meet new people and it opened doors to find my new role in administration.’’

Li Chai – course participant

SECAD’s experience of running the course and linking with employers was positive. However, it is recommended to make the work experience element of the course compulsory to create an immediate link into employment. More emphasis should be placed on a four week part-time work experience placement (approx. 4 hours per day). Such emphasis on practical work experience could help to foster more sustainable longer term employment outcomes.

For more information, contact:

Frances Doyle,




Facebook News

Unable to display Facebook posts.
Show error

Error: An access token is required to request this resource.
Type: OAuthException
Code: 104
Please refer to our Error Message Reference.


Local Development Companies and @theILDN ready for #climateaction workshop tomorrow led by @changebydegrees and @shine_tara @NEWKDNews @BallyhouraDev @Dept_CCAE @baldoyle55 @DLDCclg @IDPInishowenDev @MonIntDev @Breffni_Int @paulpartnership @WLResources @SECADCork @NS_Partnership

Tourism Training Workshops in #Kinsale, #Clonakilty, #Carrigaline, #Ballincollig, #Midleton-last chance to sign up for the remaining pre Christmas workshops! Register today...
@kinsale_ie @clonchamber @whatsoncarrig @inballincollig @MidletonChamber @eastcorkwhatson

Championing Integration and Celebrating Diversity...
@DeptJusticeIRL @davidstantontd

Looking forward to meeting the local farming and family communities in south #cork at our event in late November about #socialfarming opportunities for farmers and participants #socialinclusion @TractonGAAClub @Carrigdhounnews @ClineMacra @BallinhassigGAA @WLPLeader @WLResources

A twelve week Public Consultation phase is now open. Public consultation events taking place at various East Cork locations from 18th to 29th November @EirGrid #Cork

Load More...


SECAD Partnership CLG
Midleton Community Enterprise Centre, Owennacurra Business Park,
Knockgriffin, Midleton, Co. Cork, P25 Y893

+353 21 4613432