Life is never dull at Customer Street

4 12 2007

I haven’t posted for a little while. It has been so busy here with all the exciting changes we are making to offer our customers an even better service.

Some of the projects have been a bit hush hush as we have to manage the process of rolling out changes for our staff. However, I am pleased say in the past two months we have implemented changes to our customer care designed to increase customer staisfaction and ensure that they get the best out of of excellent directory packages.

The biggest change has been to introduce Account Managers into our sales offices. This means that post sale our customer will have regular contact with the sales team to ensure they are understand what they have purchased and also to ensure that the customer is getting found for the services they offer. This might not sound like a big change, but it has involved hundreds of hours of development, testing and training to ensure we get it right.

We have also done a complete overhaul on the look and feel of QAD. users now have a much more intuitive interface and can easily access information about the case they are dealing with.

This is all amongst the usual demands of a dynamic business. My latest project is getting the fit out done for our new sales office in Huddersfield.

Life is certainly never dull at Customer Street!


Heartfelt Customer Service

25 07 2007

I have just read this fascinating article by David Rance. Essentially he is saying that any forward thinking business keeps Customer Services at the heart of it’s operations and uses it to get valuable feedback on the products the business offers.

All of our staff are encouraged to give the management feedback, we are all quite approachable. I would like to extend that invitation to all of our customers. If you have suggestions for improvements in our products or how we support you just drop me an e-mail.

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 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.