You may have noticed that PPSPower have had some great coverage lately around the recent results of our customer service survey.
Ever since I joined this business over 5 years ago now I have been banging the customer service drum daily. This is the summary of the results from this survey:
I launched PPSPower’s customer survey back in 2013, over 2,500 organisations were questioned as part of the survey and 66% of the online forms were returned.
So what’s the secret of delivering great customer service? Well it’s not really a big secret, I think we all know what good service looks like but for me it’s about two simple factors:
First of all you need to be set up to be able to deliver exceptional service and this is different for every business but the answers lie in the following areas:
Expertise – this starts with the team on the ground and follows through to the back office support. Every member of the team should be clear about what they are accountable for and have the skills and expertise to deliver them. A culture of constant development is essential to maintain this and attract the right talent to your business.
Reliability – I would argue that even in the deepest of austerity people will always focus on reliability before they consider the cost. PPSPower’s main customer is usually a Facilities Manager and for me the biggest compliment I can hear is that they never feel that they need to worry about us or the equipment we maintain. Make yourself reliable and easy to deal with and your customers won’t even entertain conversations with your competitors and may even promote you to their friends and colleagues.
However, I don’t believe any company can ever be 100% perfect with delivery. It is easier if you’re a one-man-band but gets tougher the bigger you grow and the more people you employ. At some point someone will not live up to the level of expertise or reliability you expect from them or an honest mistake will be made; it is at this point that the second factor comes in to play – communication.
It is essential that companies have strong communication processes that are open and transparent for all. Staff need to feel supported and that they can voice any concerns to whoever needs to hear them. I like to call them ‘opportunities for improvement’ rather than highlighting problems or issues. When something doesn’t go to plan it is important that staff feel comfortable to be able to admit mistakes both within the organisation and with the customers. Mistakes happen and we are all human, you will be judged on how you deal with the mistake much more than the mistake itself. So be open, be honest and deal with it efficiently.
As I mentioned before customers will stay with suppliers/service providers they can rely on and this is just as prevalent when it comes to communication. A customer should never have to chase a report or a follow up quotation and should feel assured that this will be delivered when they expect it and in a way that is easy to understand and accept. Any variations and difficulties with this should be communicated immediately and the customer should know that the supplier is in control of the process and be aware of any issues that have arisen and what is being done to overcome them. Managing expectations, of course, plays an essential part in delivering to them.
We have three key values at PPSPower:
Delivering a service that goes beyond our customers expectations.
Reacting swiftly and appropriately to the critical needs of our customers.
Failure is not an option.
You can see quite clearly that the above thoughts around customer service played a big part in defining these values that have been promoted throughout our business and continue to play a part in the day to day running of PPSPower.
Thank you for reading this through to the end and I’d welcome any ‘opportunities for improvement’ you may be able to offer!