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Customer Service: it’s not rocket science

By
Tom Jell Customer Engagement Manager, Ipswich Building Society

 

Customer service is a phrase we are all familiar with, but can be interpreted many different ways.

I have been in customer facing roles for several years, starting as a Christmas temp at BHS and working my way up to manage the Ipswich store up until its closure. Whilst there was no happy ending for BHS throughout the years I picked up several techniques relating to the importance of customer satisfaction.

You could be forgiven for thinking that delivering a great customer experience is easier for big businesses. I think it is the opposite. Small organisations often have a greater understanding of who the end user is, and the stakeholders along the way, and can really get to grips with what it is exactly that they want and need. 

At Ipswich Building Society we know that no one WANTS a mortgage or a savings account. Instead they want a home, somewhere to call their own and to feel safe and secure, or they want a pot of money for that big purchase, perhaps a new car or a holiday, or just somewhere to build up their safety net.

By considering the emotional drivers behind the transaction we can be sure we are meeting that need. In our branches we are heavily led by face to face delivery. I believe in each interaction with us our members (for we are a mutual, and they own the business,) should feel:

1.      Informed – have all of the information they wanted or needed provided to them in a method which is easy to understand

2.      Individual – their circumstances and requirements have been understood, and they are not a number or a sales target

3.      Valued – part of something special and a sense of belonging (we do this through our All In membership programme too)

Of course, when the inevitable happens – and it will happen! – the best way to deal with a complaint or negative feedback is to listen and learn, and explore why it happened. After all, it is better that you know what you’re doing wrong and fix it, rather than losing a customer, or several, without knowing why.

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