Uniting a Team &  
Improving Customer Service  
at Lincoln Cathedral 
Consecrated in the 11th century, Lincoln Cathedral has welcomed people through its doors for over 950 years. It is one of the great Cathedrals of the world, attracting visitors of all ages and nationalities.  

The Brief 

With the opening of Lincoln Cathedral's new visitor center and a subsequent staff restructure, Samantha Mellows, Director of Visitor Experience and Enterprise recognised the need to unite the front-of-house teams under one directorate. She wanted to improve service delivery and ensure a consistent customer service approach. Samantha was keen to commission a local learning provider. Being familiar with the work of Newland Partners, she reached out to Steve Peace.  
Read on to discover how the introduction of Insights Discovery™ and Newland Partners ABC of Service Excellence helped Lincoln Cathedral remodel their communication strategy and improve internal and external customer relationships.  

The Solution 

ABC of Customer Excellence was considered the focus for the 20 employees who were to embark on the training. They were split into two groups who would each attend three weekly sessions. The training started with the introduction of Insights Discovery™ embedded with team building exercises, and then focused on the customer service journey. The objective was to unite the different front-of-house teams, identify areas for improvement, and provide a consistent customer service experience. 
“I've never seen people so excited about going on training, they couldn't wait for the next session, and that just never happens". 
Samantha Mellows, Director of Visitor Experience and Enterprise 
“We opened a new visitor centre here in 2021, not only creating a whole new space, but also a change in staffing groups as well. This led to a complete restructure. Different teams sit under different directors and move around. What we've come to realise is that all the front of house need to be under one area because ultimately we're all doing the same thing. When I took on this role in February 2022, I really wanted to bring them all together as a team under a single directorate. So that was the start of our process to identifying areas of improvement for our customer service." Samantha Mellows 

The Impact 

Results and Feedback: 
One of the key aspects of the training with Steve was the emphasis on understanding oneself and others. Insights Discovery provided a framework for individuals to gain self-awareness and insight into their own strengths, weaknesses, and communication styles. This understanding allowed team members to appreciate the diversity within the team and recognise the different ways people approach work and interact with others. 
By understanding their own preferences and those of their colleagues, team members were able to adapt their communication styles and work together more effectively. This led to improved collaboration, increased empathy, and a greater appreciation for the unique contributions each team member brings to the table. 
The training helped the team break down silos and foster a more inclusive and supportive environment. Team members became more open to sharing ideas, seeking feedback, and collaborating across different departments. This shift in mindset and behavior not only improved internal dynamics but also had a positive impact on the team’s ability to serve their customers. 
In terms of customer service, the training helped the team adopt a more customer-centric approach. They learned to proactively anticipate and address customer needs, rather than simply reacting to requests. The focus shifted to providing solutions and alternatives, rather than just saying “no.” This change in attitude and language has resulted in more positive customer interactions and increased customer satisfaction. 
Ongoing Implementation: 
It’s important to note that the training was not a one-time event but an ongoing process. Samantha and her team continue to apply the insights gained from the training in their everyday work. They regularly revisit their Insights profiles, have open discussions about communication styles, and provide feedback to help each other grow and develop. 
Overall, the training with Steve and the implementation of Insights Discovery™ has had a transformative effect on Samantha’s team. It has fostered a more cohesive and collaborative team culture, improved communication and understanding, and enhanced the team's ability to provide exceptional customer service. The ongoing commitment to self-awareness and growth ensures that these positive changes are sustained over time. While there is still progress to be made, the training has heightened awareness and allowed for adjustments whenever the team veers off track. New staff members are inducted into culture and language of Insights, ensuring a smoother integration into the team. 
Future Plans: 
Samantha plans on expanding the use of Insights Discovery™ to provide the training to all new staff members. She hopes to secure additional funding to ensure that everyone receives the same training to continue to learn and better understand the team dynamics.  
Overall, Samantha believes that the training with Steve has had a significant impact on both the team’s internal dynamics and their approach to customer service. The learning about themselves and each other has been just as valuable, if not more so, than the customer service aspect. The team were enthusiastic about the training, and continue to implement the insights gained from it. 
"Over time we have successfully merged two teams, and have managed to break down silos, encouraging greater collaboration. It has taken about 6 to 9 months for the changes to take hold, but the foundation for a more aligned and understanding team has been established. 
Regarding customer service, there has been a shift in language and attitude. The team focuses on being positive and helpful, rather than apologising for what they can’t provide. They offer alternatives and try to maintain a positive tone in their interactions. The team are navigating and adapting to customer behaviours and are learning how to deescalate challenging situations while remaining positive. This wouldn't have been possible prior to this training". Samantha Mellows 
The Newland Partners team prides ourselves on building trusting partnerships to facilitate lasting cultural change. For practical, pragmatic support to turn your communication pitfalls into conversations with impact, contact us today.  
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