WO – To deliver good customer service, a person needs to be calm, empathetic and prepared to listen. It is important that they are knowledgeable about the subject, or that they know where to find the required information, and that they are able to communicate effectively.
JA – I believe that delivering good customer service requires a well-organised team that has excellent attention to detail. This is crucial for ensuring that everything agreed with the customer gets completed efficiently and effectively. Good customer service also requires proactivity, to notice and correct issues before customers notice them. Empathy, and most importantly care, are essential. Every other aspect of customer service stems from caring about the customer and their home.
WO – Technology has shaped and improved our customer service offering and customer satisfaction because people are able to access information 24 hours a day via our portals, rather than waiting to contact a member of staff. Also, instant notifications to mobiles, for instance when parcels are received for a customer, has proved to be hugely popular.
MK – The ability to share information instantaneously through our portal R&R Online, join meetings with dozens of residents through Teams, or place orders electronically during a site inspection, for example, are all hugely advantageous to us and our customers.
WO - Good customer service means that whilst you may not be able to accommodate every customer request, you listen, show empathy and try to offer possible alternatives that make the customer feel important and leave a good impression. It is also important that where an issue cannot be immediately resolved, frequent proactive updates are provided to the customer.
JA – Good customer service has two key components. It is about providing a quick response when any queries or concerns are raised, which means ensuring that those responding to calls are knowledgeable about the context and are empowered to find solutions. Good customer service, for me, is also about being proactive to deal with issues before they cause real problems. At Rendall & Rittner, we do regular site inspections to identify potential issues and get them fixed before a customer feels the need to report them.
MK – I think that customer service needs to harness technology to bring about swifter delivery. Technology needs to be part of the answer in a world where technology allows service providers to hear from their customers so easily. From the customer perspective, I think it is essential to remember that despite the use of technology there is almost always a human being doing their best at the other end of the process and we should always bear that in mind.
JA – The future of customer service will continue to embrace technology. It will also involve continuing to work on the founding qualities that lead to good customer service. Delivering good customer service is all about learning and developing to keep at the top of our game.
WO – Unreasonably difficult customers, legal restrictions limiting what can be provided, and the limitations of technology. With advances in technology, customer expectations have also changed. Customers now expect rapid responses to questions and concerns, and the ability to receive support 24 hours a day. Finding the best way to manage this is a challenge for anyone in a customer-facing role.
MK – Having the time to deal with the volume of customer-related issues is always difficult and it would be wonderful to have longer for each customer. In the main, I have always found the vast majority of customers to be reasonable people with expectations to match, who are ultimately grateful for your help.
WO – Board and senior management team recognition and thank you’s are provided to every member of staff who gets praise directly or via a Trustpilot review. We also celebrate team successes using our wellbeing platform – Lifeworks.
JA – We are committed to celebrating our successes and learning from problems. It is great to showcase what success looks like in front of the team to help inspire each other. We can also use Lifeworks to celebrate the hard work of team members in front of the entire company.
Customer Service Week is a great time for us to recognise the hard work and achievements of our team. During this week, we will be announcing our on-site Customer Service heroes, before announcing our Head Office heroes next month.
In a record-breaking year for entries, we are delighted to have made the final shortlist in three categories at The Investors in People Awards 2022 which celebrate the very best organisations and individuals from around the world. The three categories in which we have been shortlisted are those for Employee Engagement, for Social Responsibility and for UK Employer of the Year: Platinum!
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