With customers having more choice than ever these days, ensuring the best possible customer experience is essential for any size business.
At Simply Business, we have a whole team dedicated to making sure our interactions with customers are as smooth and simple as possible. And we like to think we do a pretty good job – we recently picked up the Team of the Year prize at the National Quality Awards.
I’m our Quality Team manager, and I’m tasked with turning our staff into customer service pros and our customers into brand advocates. And here are five ways we try to do just that:
1. Treat staff like adults
I’m a huge champion of having an adult-to-adult relationship with everyone who has an impact on customer experience.
One of the things we do is separate our consultants’ bonus from their quality scores. We don’t want to scare people into doing the right things – if we recruit the right people (which as the Sunday Times’ number one Best Company, we tend to do!) then they should naturally want to give great service.
2. Feedback is key
We give and take feedback from all areas of the business – from our service consultants on the phone right up to senior management. This feedback is imperative in continuously improving the experience for our customers from the top down.
We have a group of quality advocates amongst our consultants and along with the monthly feedback and training we give to each and every member on the phone, we’re constantly in a two-way dialogue to sniff out issues and improvements early on.
3. Be flexible
For us, it’s essential to have a flexible quality framework when it comes to assessing interactions with customers – we aren’t naïve enough to think a rigid framework can be applied to all situations, so we’re constantly reviewing and iterating our processes.
Of course, being in the insurance industry means compliance is essential, but we tailor our feedback to make things as easy as possible for our consultants – after all, they’re the guys who are talking to thousands of customers every week.
4. Getting the right team in place
Our success is down to having a Quality Team full of people passionate about developing people and ultimately providing a better experience for our customers.
Putting together a team of people with varying skills and – crucially – utilising those skills is essential. We’re also in constant communication with each other, with a common goal of improving our consultants and helping customers.
The first thing we do when new consultants join the business is introduce ourselves and explain the importance we place on quality and how it affects customer experience.
We regularly reward people that provide outstanding customer service, but importantly, we also explain the negative – and of course positive – impact of giving customers a great experience. We highlight the fact that coaching and subsequent improvement is beneficial for themselves, the business and most importantly, the customer.
Neil will be speaking at the National Quality & Customer Experience Conference on 18th November.