Customer Service Week Q&A

Adenike Headshot 002 (2)

To celebrate Customer Service Week, we asked our Customer Service Manager Adenike Olowe what good customer service looks like:

What does good customer service look like to you?

Good customer service is making a customer feel valued.  Being an effective communicator also plays a major role in providing good customer service. It is not just about providing good service but looking beyond and going the extra mile. It is about responding promptly to customer contact and building a rapport with your customer to better understand their needs thus building a long lasting relationship. 

Has the pandemic changed the face of customer service and if so in what ways?

The pandemic has enabled us to evaluate our current service levels even more and the new challenges presented as customer expectations have increased. This has also been a great opportunity for us to review our service proposition. This has been a time where we have been reminded about the importance of empathy towards our customers due to the increased level of customer emotion and anxiety. Now more than ever our customers require extra information, guidance, and support to navigate these new set of challenges in their lives. Ensuring we stay true to our company values and purpose is what our customers want to see from us.

Do you think the pandemic has changed customer expectations and priorities?

Absolutely! Customer expectations have rapidly increased which has allowed us to revaluate and look at new ways of dealing with customer enquiries and complaints to ensure our company values are not compromised. Expectations have heightened as priorities have shifted to health and safety first. Homes are our customers biggest source of comfort, investment and achievement therefore will be one of their biggest priorities. Maintaining a strong customer experience in crisis has been extremely challenging but it has provided us the opportunity to look at agile innovation to address and build capabilities for this new and fast changing environment.

Great communication is even more important now: why do you think this is?

Since adopting an agile/remote working model we have recognised the need for even better and stronger communication and communication tools between our staff and customers to ensure we provide a seamless service. Open and honest communication is always key and ensuring we listen and react appropriately.  Whilst remote working has many benefits to both our business and customers, it has not been an easy transition and has come with a few teething problems but has provided us with valuable insight on how to better our service levels from a remote way of working.  It is imperative that we minimise disruption and delays and fully embrace this new way of working positively. We have fully embraced and taken advantage of new technologies and communication tools to both enhance and provide our service. Offering video calls and video broadcasts to residents and leaseholders in addition to email and phone calls to address resident enquiries and concerns, has proved successful and we are able to engage with many more people. We will still look to seek new and innovative ways to enhance our communication.

What does the future of customer service look like?

Service Excellence will always be one of our main priorities and we will continuously position ourselves at the forefront of the longer-term shifts and proactively look at ways to be more equipped in crisis management. We need to remain proactive and keep a real-time pulse on changing customer behaviour by adapting to ensure we meet ever changing expectations.

Posted: 30 September 2021

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