A Measurement of Success

30 07 2007

How often does your business get things right? How often does your business get it right when things goes wrong?

Seth Godin rightly notes that sometimes customers are just waiting for your business to do something wrong so that they can complain about a long list of grievances they hold. In fact you may have found yourself doing just this when you have had no opportunity to give any feedback about how you feel you may have been treated.

We want to make it easy for the public, customers and staff to ask us questions or tell us things they feel we need to hear. So to make it easy we have set up a new e-mail address for you to send suggestions to: suggestions@customerstreet.com.

Don’t forget if you feel that you have a serious complaint e-mail Graham Armstrong or Accountability Manager.

One measure of success for us is about how well we do things. Another must be how well we do things when it has gone wrong from our customers perspective. If you feel we have done wrong then tell us, tell me, tell Graham and we will do our best to get it sorted out. If we have done well please tell us that as well as people often do forget to say.





QaD, A Visionary and our Conscience

19 07 2007

Don’t you hate it when you call somewhere and then you have to press a hundred and six buttons to get to someone who will tell you to call another number? Well we do it differently. At Customer Street if you call us, a real person will try to answer your call immediately. They will ask you some questions to work out what your need is and then they will raise a support case for you. This then sends you a text message or e-mail to confirm that we have registered your case and also lets you know how soon someone will call you back. The case is then made available to the best qualified people to deal with your query. When they take your case another text or e-mail is sent to tell you who is dealing with it. This person is then responsible for ensuring that everything is resolved to your satisfaction before the case is closed.

The system and the philosophy behind this is called QaD (Quality and Delivery). Very simply it means that every customer inquiry we get is tracked, the correspondence associated is recorded and kept with the case and most importantly there is one person who is responsible for ensuring that we do everything we say we will and that the customer issue is resolved.

Most businesses treat customer support as a burdensome exercise that has to be done because everyone else does it. Have you ever been pushed from pillar to post and still have no-one able to answer your question or get a common sense solution that is amicable for you and the company you are dealing with? I bet you have!

I will talk an awful lot more about QaD on here but I wanted to-mention it as a way of introducing the visionary who came up with the concept and the person who makes sure we all keep to the high standards of care it sets for us.

The visionary is my boss, Stuart Forrest, he came up QaD after realising that there had to be a better way to look after our customers than the way we were. I call him visionary because in a business as competitive as ours many business leaders would not have had the courage to take Customer Service to the levels we have committed to. Ultimately though it does make good business sense to ensure that our customers are happy and want to stay with us. I will talk more about Stuart on the blog and I don’t want to come across as a total “kiss arse”!

This is what he has to say about me:

“At Customer Street we employ a full time “Business Process Manager” and you can read his own blog. Mark is tasked by me to root out every small problem and track every failing in our organisation. Gradually, day by day we make some small and some large improvements but we never stop striving for perfection and I am confident that our customers are aware of how fast things have changed around here.”

Things around here have changed a lot since last October. It is no secret that we had a pretty poor reputation and many of the customers complaints were justified. We had got to a point where we needed someone who desperately cared about our customers to have the permission to tell us when were getting things wrong. Last October Stuart came to me and asked if we had anyone that really cared about our customers and would be able to respond to the criticisms people where making about us in various comment sites. I had no hesitation to suggest Graham Armstrong who was shortly appointed as the head of Accountability. You will often see Graham responding to any complaint about us with an open invitation:

“My name is Graham Armstrong, my number is 0845 338 0500, give me a ring or e-mail me at ad@customerstreet.com and I will try to get things sorted out for you.”

Graham Armstrong is constantly working to make sure that any complaint we receive is properly investigated and he tells us if we are not living up to the high vision of Customer Service that Stuart has set. The best way I can describe Graham’s role is that he is our conscience. Sometimes we won’t like what he has to say but we have to listen to him.

If you have any questions about your Customer Street package don’t hesitate to call 0845 338 0500 between 09:00 and 17:30 weekdays or check out our help-desk. You could even check out our support blog.

Right that’s me done for now, I’m off on holiday for a few days but rest assured we will keep rooting out the issues that are getting in the way of us offering the best customer experience in New Media advertising.