National Customer Service Week - The key to good customer service
The key to good customer service
As we celebrate National Customer Service Week across the business, we interviewed Duncan Rendall, Matt Rittner and Customer Service Manager Adenike Olowe to find out more about how customer service has changed in the last 30 years and what makes Rendall & Rittner different to its competitors.
MR: Matt Rittner
DR: Duncan Rendall
AO: Adenike Olowe
- How has customer service changed in 30 years?
MR: One of the key drivers on the formation of Rendall & Rittner was added value and customer service. 30 years ago, service levels just didn’t exist which is why Duncan and I spotted a gap in the market to scale up a business that focused on delivering consistently outstanding levels of service as well as striving to offer best value for money.
DR: There was no guarantee that the business would be successful – Matt and I came from different backgrounds but we trusted each other and had similar outlook on things, which is one of the strengths of the business. We’ve always gone the extra mile to solve problems for clients and 30 years on, here we are.
- What is the key to good customer service?
MR: Our best practice is intimately linked to the foundations of the business: a desire to improve the service for residents. We have localised teams offering a more personal service and Duncan and I remain heavily involved on a day-to-day basis, using our experience as leaseholders as a benchmark to always provide our customers with the highest level of service possible. When new employees join the company, we meet with them to discuss the genesis of the company and our core values of honesty, integrity, transparency and communication.
We have employed some of the best people in the industry, we pay them well, and we have numerous staff benefits and excellent training. This has allowed us to develop a team with outstanding experience, we offer them excellent career progression within the company and in turn, we can guarantee the highest levels of service to our customers and stakeholders from staff at every level.”
- How do you celebrate the success of good customer service?
AO: We recognise service excellence via our weekly company Broadcast where we share feedback and recognise outstanding performance from our employees with the entire R&R family. In addition to this, there is also a recognition portal (Lifeworks) where service excellence is recognised and service achievements are shared. Another example is within the company’s half year award ceremony where we recognise employees in the business that have gone above and beyond with the service they provide, celebrating them with prizes and certificates. Lastly, through our internal personal appraisals where we identify high performers. Participating in Customer Service Week is a wonderful platform and opportunity for us to further share our individual and collective successes and we will continue to look at new recognition initiatives going forward. Celebrating success at R&R is a fundamental aspect of what we do as we know that by doing so it promotes engagement, advances commitment, underpins our values in service expectation and create a general sense of positivity which in turn translates into being able to continually provide first class service.
- What makes R&R stand out against its competitors?
DR: We are one of the few residential managing agents who are regulated by RICS, removing risk for our clients and have maintained our ARMA Q accreditation and RoSPA Gold Award. In 2018 we were awarded Investors in People Platinum accreditation, placing us in the top 1% of companies holding IIP accreditation and we have just been shortlisted for two IIP awards for Social Responsibility and Employee Engagement.
- What does customer service look like at Rendall & Rittner?
AO: As a company we believe that high levels of customer service are key to enhancing the resident experience. Currently managing around 500 buildings comprising almost 80,000 units spanning the spectrum from small high-end developments to substantial regeneration projects across London, the Midlands and North West, we employ exceptional front of house staff from a variety of backgrounds including high end hospitality. Site staff take a proactive and personal approach, with new developments increasingly resembling boutique hotels this first-class service is a defining principle.
Our Operations team is a dedicated team, key to enhancing the customer’s experience. They assist with the recruitment, training and development of onsite staff along with providing customer service excellence to all residents. ‘Back to the floor’ days take place yearly to give senior management first-hand experience of roles and feedback from customers, allowing them to help improve service delivery.
Broadening the services offered beyond that of a traditional managing agent we launched the Residents Club aimed at providing a diverse range of desirable discount offers and memorable experiences to residents with over 100 offers currently available.
- What does the future look like for customer service at R&R?
AO: We know that the landscape of customer service has changed over the years at Rendall and Rittner, from having one channel of communication to multiple channels. Social Media has changed the way we serve our customers and review feedback. We have recognised the needs of our residents have changed over the years and we must continually evolve and adapt accordingly to meet increasing customer expectations. Good customer service is no longer enough. We recognise that our customers want an experience that continually meets their needs and expectations, feeling valued and looked after throughout the customer journey. Here at R&R we strive to future-proof our systems and processes by regularly reviewing and observing the feedback from our customers to provide useful insights on how we can improve and help us remain industry leaders in providing first class service.
Posted: 05 October 2020 by Matt Rittner, Duncan Rendall and Adenike Falade Owole