Feb 12 2015
Caring for our customers

I’m sure you can all pinpoint a moment when you’ve been on the receiving end of terrible customer care, but do you notice when a company is practising excellent customer care

At the Centre we take our customer care very seriously, and put it up there with the quality of our training and our venue (which is excellent, by the way!)

We recently asked our staff to name some examples of good customer care, and their responses included:

  • being friendly and wearing a smile!
  • anticipating the customer’s needs
  • calling back when you say you will
  • clear instructions
  • going the extra mile
  • taking ownership
  • freebies!

While we were at it, we also asked them about their experiences of bad customer care:

  • not answering the phones
  • being too strict with rules
  • being passed from person to person
  • not taking “no” for an answer
  • rude or patronising tone of voice
  • giving the wrong information or answering a question that you’re not asking
  • making assumptions

With this in mind, we wanted to take these examples, and see how we could make our customer care even better. Here are some examples of changes you will see when you next visit or contact the Centre:

  • We’re now opening up the office 15 minutes earlier, so that those early birds can get their coffee and breakfast as soon as they arrive (now open from 9.15am).
  • We asked our delegates for their favourite radio stations, and we’re rotating the most popular choices to try and appeal to all audiences.
  • We’re making an effort to make ourselves more available to clients and trainers when they call, and we are reinforcing our rule of responding to client emails within 24 hours of receipt (or sooner!)
  • We’ve introduced the WOW! Factor – so that’s breakfast cereals available in the mornings, luxury biscuits for break times, and we have lots more of this planned in the coming months.
  • Adding a personal touch, for example, walking any late arrivals to the training room and introducing them to the trainer personally.
  • We are now sending the lunch menu in advance, along with your joining instructions, so this gives you more time to make your selection.
  • We have a staff member covering reception during the Open Programme Manager’s lunch break, so there is someone available on reception 100% of the time.
  • We’ve added even more bright features (if that’s possible!) to the training suite, such as plants and flowers in the training rooms, and brightly coloured crockery, to make it as warm and friendly as possible.
  • We’ve got some kinaesthetic toys in the break out area for the delegates to have fun with while on their breaks – these may also be incorporated in the training to enhance the learning experience.
  • We’ve added additional treats for our in-company delegates too, such as sweet bags for the delegates, and other extra resources like stress balls which are available on request.

To round this all off, we’re creating a customer care handbook so that all staff have something to refer to if they’re unsure of how to deal with a certain situation. It will also be used for training new staff so there are no gaps in the excellent levels of customer service we strive to provide.

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Viv Thackray

commented on 18 February, 2015:

I love this approach to excellent customer care and always notice and appreciate when an individual or company goes the extra mile.