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WINTER 2013 CHANNEL ISLANDS
Welcome First of all, I’d like to introduce you to the inaugural issue of Customer 1st Channel Islands, and to have the opportunity of welcoming you as a new reader. With the team here at Customer 1st CI, I look forward to continuing to build on the annual Customer Service Awards’ strong reputation for raising awareness of great customer service, and playing a key role in supporting the economic well-being of our islands. As founder of the Customer Service Awards three years ago, it is no secret that I am passionate about the importance of offering a service second-to-none in business, whether on the front line or part of an extended team. The economic benefits are proved to be felt across all industry sectors, as well as the pleasure it gives to the most important person in the whole business process - the customer. So I am delighted to have launched this quarterly publication to continue raising awareness of what is being hailed as ‘the new marketing.’ Inside these pages you will find some excellent ideas and tips from some of the islands’ top customer service professionals, as well as remind yourselves of the winners of the Customer Service Awards over the last three years. I do hope you enjoy reading the magazine and, on behalf of the entire team, I extend every good wish for the New Year, and look forward to welcoming you again in our Spring 2014 issue. Julie Todd
Founder, The Customer Service Awards
CONDITIONS Customer 1st CI is published by Collaborate Communications. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Any reproduction without permission is prohibited. Customer 1st CI magazine contains editorial content from external contributors which does not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers. Customer 1st CI magazine does not accept or respond to unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. The publishers do not accept responsibility for errors in advertisements or third party offers
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FRONT COVER: Waitrose staff at 2013 Customer Service Awards Guernsey
DESIGN Jooles Tostevin ADVERTISING Julie Todd PUBLISHERS Collaborate Communications Parkway, Guelles Lane St Peter Port, Guernsey, GY1 2DD CONTACT US +44 (0)7781 116713
Michelle Morley Consultancy
Social media expectations
Is customer service training really important...? Still learning after 173 years
The Customer Service Awards
CBS 4 Star
Sustaining perfromance through customer service excellence Your customers’ experience is your success...
‘Let’s put it into context’
Le Mont Saint Garage
Blog Post Christopher Elliott
Under the bonnet of Le Mont Saint Garage
Delivering for you, is what we do
Susie Andrade, Dave Beausire, Claire Boscq-Scott, Christopher Elliott, Trish Grover, Michelle Morley, Laura Perez, Nigel Quérrée, Ollie Smith
Tracey Bougourd, Gary Grimshaw, John O’Neill
by Ollie Smith
[A social media series by Crowd Media]
Consumer expectations The evolving digital landscape has had a profound impact on our lives, as privacy seemingly takes a back seat; we are without a doubt more accessible to the world around us than ever before. I’m of that generation that sits at the great divide; witnessing those who accept social media and networked communications almost unquestionably go head to head with those who were more comfortable with a time before. Accessibility imposes change; the division between brands and consumers is without a doubt narrowing, as the scales of influence measure increasing consumer power. Consumers are now firmly in the driving seat. Perhaps you don’t take too kindly to this statement, and perhaps the feeling of ‘shifting sands’ placing pressure on the foundations of your existing business model is a little disconcerting? Crowd Media Not happy with your brand’s digital footprint? Already active online but need to evolve? Meet Crowd for a coffee and a chat; no obligation, just honest advice and hopefully a step in the right direction. #CrowdTraining The Crowd Training Academy is an education initiative that provides Guernsey organisations and individuals with access to high quality training in the areas of online marketing and communications. See how we can help today...
Let’s take a step back; what do I actually mean? I believe brands have the opportunity to have more control than ever before, but models need to change. Brands must make it a priority to pay more attention to what consumers want, say, feel and influence online. Further to that, brands need a value metric that enables them to measure their ability to meet consumer expectations; but first they must understand these values. Still confused? Social media allows brands to gain measurable insight into the activity, the feelings, the thoughts and the hopes of consumers; like many methods of digital communications, social media is highly measurable. Communicate directly with those who find value in what you offer, demonstrate exactly what your brand stands for and get the people intrinsic to it involved. Yes, people. You are human, right?
challenging the pressure of change head on is crucial... Before you initiate the mad rush to sign up to the latest social media platforms in an attempt to ‘get going’, first stop, think and listen! Tools in themselves are not a strategy; first consider your objectives and instigate considered change one step at a time. Where do we start? I’m assuming that your business has a clear set of objectives and goals? I’m also guessing that these fundamental values have been communicated to your consumers via multiple methods over the years? If you haven’t guessed already, what I’m about to say is that social media in itself doesn’t alter these values; rather the medium presents a fresh set of opportunities, challenges and considerations when it comes to communicating them. As a great man once said “the medium is the message”. (Marshall McLuhan) Closer relationships Rendering your brand accessible to online communities via social media clearly brings the consumer closer to the brand and vice versa; a relationship driven by the accessibility of new media
and mobile communications. While the promise of closer consumer relationships seems positive, it is a potential benefit that comes with its own risks and pressures; a clear strategy and process are integral to mitigating risk and maintaining an effective and sustainable brand presence. Here are just a few of the core topics to consider before implementing any social media activity into your brand strategy: »» What is the personality/tone of the brand? »» How should the brand be portrayed via this medium? »» Do you have the necessary skills and resource to maintain activity? »» Who will be accountable and what is the management structure? »» Which platforms are most suitable or offer the best opportunity? »» How will you regularly produce high value and engaging content? »» How will you leverage data and consumer insights to refine your strategy? It may seem like there are many obstacles to overcome; but challenging the pressure of change head on is crucial. Jumping that first hurdle now is better than continuing to shun consumer expectations. Evolving technology and attitudes seem set to deliver change and opportunity at a rate like never before. The great divide of opinion may exist today but tomorrow expects so much more.
TRAINING ACADEMY www.crowdtraining.me | +44 (0)1481 721632
Helping brands journey through the evolving digital landscape
[Michelle Morley Consultancy]
Is customer service training really important,
or is it just the
by Michelle Morley Michelle Morley is the Founder of Michelle Morley Consultancy, offering a freelance service in marketing, sales and customer service.
For more information
on how to grow your business through providing an exceptional customer service experience please contact Michelle... T: 07781 157655 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: michellemorley.co.uk
icing on the cake? [Michelle Morley Consultancy]
owadays you would have to have your head well and truly in the sand not to realise the importance of customer service to a company’s success. However, whilst you may understand the need to offer a great customer service experience, can you be sure that every one of your employees understands this need too? At some time, we’ve all been subject to the monotone question of ‘Can I help you?’ from a totally disinterested shop assistant. And, to be honest, why would you even consider accepting assistance from someone who doesn’t really want to give it anyway? Most of us would rather stumble through the shop and try and find what we are looking for, leave without making a purchase or, alternatively, make the purchase begrudgingly and never return. But does this shop assistant believe that she has provided customer service by merely asking ‘Can I help you?’ A waiter may work out that he actually receives financial gain in the form of a tip if he gives good customer service, but what about this shop assistant? She will probably get the same hourly rate of pay whether she is happy or miserable, whether she engages with the customer or rather arranges her social life on her mobile phone. Here I have used the example of a shop assistant but the same principle extends across all types of business. Providing customer service training for employees is vital so that they fully understand and appreciate the benefits for the customer, the business and, more importantly themselves. As simple as it may sound, not everyone has this skill set naturally and your workforce needs to feel empowered in order to connect with the customer and deliver that exceptional service which makes you and your business stand out from the crowd. Customer service by definition is the practice of providing the customer with a positive and helpful
Photos by twodegreesnorth.co.uk
experience before, during or after buying something. To deliver a great customer service experience, you need to listen to what it is the customer wants. Your customer has come to you and is looking to buy your product or service so it is up to you to ensure you meet their expectations or they may well go elsewhere. You may be engaging with people face-to-face, but customer service can also mean communicating by phone, letter, email or even social media. Some customer service can also be automated. We have all bought something online and almost immediately received an email thanking us for placing the order.
customer service is not just about the moment ... how about following up with a customer when goods they have ordered arrive? ... make sure they are happy with the service they received ...
Customer service is not just about the moment either. How about following up with a customer when goods they have ordered arrive? How about a quick call to a customer to make sure they are happy with the service they received?
nowadays that it cannot just be ignored. Customer service training will give your employees the confidence to provide an exceptional customer service experience so that your customers remain loyal and continue to buy your product or service.
Take a tiler for example who comes in to tile your new bathroom. It may be that you are at work all day and don’t actually see him. What does it take for him to leave a little note to update you on his progress or to make a quick phone call in the evening to check you are happy with the work he has done? By communicating and giving you the opportunity to provide feedback, issues can be resolved quickly. In addition, you will hopefully be so impressed with his customer service that you will use his services again and also recommend him to your friends and family.
So I encourage you to take a look at your business - could you be delivering a better customer service experience? If the answer is yes, then you should consider investing in customer service training for your employees and you will be amazed at the results. Not only will job satisfaction and staff motivation increase, you will also see a marked improvement in customer retention and above all, an increase in profits.
Donald Porter, a former Vice President of British Airways, once said, “Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong”. Not knowing the answer to a customer’s question is not a problem, but then not trying to find the answer, in order to get back to the customer, is where the customer service experience breaks down. Customer service forms part of so many jobs 07
after 173 years
by Nigel Quérée Normans’ trading director Nigel Quérée shares some thoughts on customer service with Customer 1st.
What is the key to delivering great customer service in a retail environment?
Customer engagement! If there is dialogue with the customer, staff will have a much clearer idea of what he or she is looking for and the customer gets a much more streamlined and enjoyable experience. The sales assistant might be able to suggest alternative options for purchase (or even extras!). We like the Open all Hours episode when Arkwright explains the art of customer service to Granville and demonstrates by selling all manner of items to every customer! Humour is a great training tool.
How do you rate customer service generally in Jersey?
I would describe it as patchy; so whilst there are many businesses that really excel, there many that are poor. More important, however, is the fact that there is increasing recognition of the need to change and improve performance in this area. The Customer Service Awards have provided a focus as well as an annual celebration of excellence.
Do you think that customer expectations have changed over the last decade?
Customers are much more savvy; they are looking for better value, particularly at the moment, but that was the trend even before the more recent economic problems. There is an expectation of greater choice and better service. The internet has created a wider access to prices – enabling much easier cost and product comparison – that knowledge gives the customer more power in the marketplace than was possible years ago.
How do you view the ‘threat’ of online in the retail environment? And what role do you think customer service has in this regard?
I don’t think ‘threat’ is the correct word. It is a challenge to businesses that operate from expensive premises – and in Jersey almost all premises are expensive – but every challenge creates opportunities. There are clearly some product categories where internet businesses can offer more choice and at cheaper prices, and that is going to be attractive to many customers. Equally, there are other products which are more difficult to offer on the internet or where customers will still prefer to see, touch or try the goods. The internet is not always cheaper and, most
At Normans we have introduced a customer service training programme importantly, does not always offer best value – that is price and service, particularly after-sales service. Where service comes into its own is when customers want to discuss their proposed purchase with someone who can offer expert advice and product knowledge - a completely different experience from the internet. The retail environment can offer the whole customer service package! Can you explain what role you think training plays in customer service?
At Normans we have introduced a customer service training programme. We have adopted Customer Service Champions amongst our sales force to create peer pressure to drive continual improvement in customer service. Similarly, since launching our customer service policy, we have celebrated and rewarded employees who have been praised by customers, writing in or telephoning us, to say what good service they have had. The customer has an essential role in this. Both staff accolades and complaints give businesses the means of reviewing and improving customer service.
How does Normans go about ensuring its own customer service is at the right level and how do you go about measuring your success?
Asking our customers how we are doing is the best method. This year we have introduced more pro-active measures, including telephone surveys. Luckily our customers are not shy in telling us where we are going wrong! We also use mystery shoppers to give us a snapshot of our business. What we have found is that sometimes our own perceptions are challenged by the results. Areas where we thought we had problems sometimes outperform those where we thought we had made improvements. This suggests that there needs to be constant vigilance and there is an on-going requirement to keep improving. The old saying is that it only takes one bad experience to lose a customer; it certainly costs a huge effort to get them back, so avoiding the bad experiences in the first place is the better option by far!
Does customer service feature on Normans’ senior management agenda alongside other business priorities such as cash flow?
Customer service is a priority, alongside health & safety, profit margin and cash flow. They are all equally important to us as a business and they all interlink. We cannot survive as a business without all of these elements being successfully managed and our managers are accountable for improving the business in every aspect. This year, by identifying Customer Service Champions, we are driving it from the grass roots level as well as from the board room – all our champions are incredibly passionate about improving their departments.
What’s you view on the old adage ‘The customer is always right’?
I would just say that the customer is always right to expect good service.
Can you tell us why you decided to support the Customer Service awards this year, aligning the Normans brand with something that celebrates excellence in this area?
We recognised after sponsoring one of the categories in 2012 that we needed to promote a sea-change in our own business. We acknowledged to ourselves that Normans’ customer service was not always the best. Our sponsorship was a way of saying to the Island that we recognise we don’t always get it right, but we are determined to improve and hopefully challenge others to improve by our example. We remain convinced that the awards will be a significant help to all Jersey businesses that care about good service to provide that extra impetus to change. It has also made us look at other ways to achieve this. This is a beginning rather than an end in itself. 09
Proud Sponsors of
The Auto expert on the entire battery ranges for auto, marine and motor cycles. Makes excellent number plates while you wait and knows the benefits of all the valetting ranges.
Marcus is our young shop assistant, store man and counter hand. He has a real in-depth knowledge of all the power tool ranges and loves having a good chat with customers about the strengths and weaknesses.
Jo has an excellent understanding of the products we stock and can identify what our customers require; she speaks both Portuguese and English fluently and is currently studying French to improve our customer service in this area.
Robert is a very professional individual who is qualified in the trade, therefore able to assist our customers with their plumbing and heating needs and also has a varied knowledge of bathroom fittings and sanitaryware.
Sarah has excellent customer service skills and has great knowledge on products within the shop. You will find her at the front desk or in the garden department making sure our customers are happy.
Commercial Buildings & Five Oaks
tel 883333 www.normans.je
Est. Jersey 1840
A GREAT DEAL MORE
[The Customer Service Awards]
2011 2012 2013 GUERNSEY JERSEY
ince the first inkling of what was just an idea three years ago, the Jersey and Guernsey Customer Service Awards have grown considerably, and are now recognised as an essential event in Channel Islands calendars. The passion and commitment given by founder Julie Todd in rewarding those who go that extra mile is infectious. It is so pleasing that each islandâ€™s business community, together with the public at large, have become ambassadors for the Awards. From mechanics to machinists; bakers to bankers; and telecoms workers to charitable volunteers, the Customer Service Awards have recognised the most caring people in our islandsâ€™ societies. They were chosen as the finalists and winners because they understand the huge importance of a great customer experience and - more importantly - were nominated by members of the general public. There is no greater accolade than your own customers taking the time and trouble to vote for you, and it is testimony to each and every one of the faces on the following pages that the public did just that. Here are our memories of the last three years.
[The Customer Service Awards]
2011 2012 2013 GUERNSEY JERSEY
[The Customer Service Awards]
2011 2012 2013 GUERNSEY JERSEY
[The Customer Service Awards]
2014 GUERNSEY JERSEY
NEXT? What next?
The organisers of the Customer Service Awards have plans to extend the events considerably for 2014 and beyond. Discussions are already underway both with potential title sponsors and with individual category sponsors. The support from all these organisations is invaluable to the awards and has proved an excellent channel for businesses to showcase their own commitment to customer service excellence. There will be extended coverage across all media platforms and much bigger and better events to announce the finalists and winners. However, one thing that will never change is the fun, relaxed and informally friendly atmosphere that we all enjoy.
Hereâ€™s to 2014!
I have a customer service story to tell!
I have some experience Iâ€™d like to share!
If you would like to participate in the Islandsâ€™ dedicated customer service magazine... Contact us | Tel: 07781 116713 | Email: email@example.com
Sustaining performance through customer service
by Susie Andrade
[Channel Islands Skills Academy]
IF Understanding the customer experience is vital
there is a common denominator shared by all organisations, public or private, large or small, manufacturing, service or government, it is the critical need for exceptional customer service.Â Business success today requires a new depth of customer insight. The ability to segment and tailor offerings to match precisely the needs and wants of customers is a strategic imperative that can significantly impact your organisationâ€™s bottom line. Understanding the customer experience is vital. Shopping is about entertainment as well as acquisition. It should allow people to build desires as well as fulfill them. It should encompass exploration and frivolity, not just necessity. While a computer screen can bewitch the eye, a good shop has four more senses to ensorcell. The key ingredient that makes this work is people; something perhaps is being overlooked as the bottom line tightens and employers withdraw investment in training or business advisors. Organisations will often comment on how important their staff is in delivering their organisational strategy, yet many fail to continue to invest in upskilling their staff, particularly in the area of customer service. Creating, adapting and delivering a service strategy that protects reputation enables trust and supplies transparency and integrity will be the lifeblood of any organisation that is serious about ensuring longevity. This means bolder long-term thinking in boardrooms where customer service should be a serious agenda item open to discussion, and a culture that recognises the significance of customer service excellence. A solid customer centric approach that percolates every aspect of an organisation, combined with an engaged, innovative strategy will lead to sustained business performance.
For further information
on how the Channel Islands Skills Academy can assist your organisation, please contact Susie Andrade E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 01481 244904
In Britain, Germany and France, 90% of growth in retail sales expected between now and 2016 is forecast to be online
Despite the transformational changes in consumer activity and threat of e-commerce, many brands still think shops are the best way to attract customers. Inditex of Spain, owner of the ubiquitous Zara fashion brand, opened 482 stores in 2012, bringing its total to 6009 in 86 countries. Primark sells nothing on its website, relying on its 242 shops for all sales. However one must be mindful of the overall trend across Britain. Footfall on British high streets has declined for seven years running, resulting in an approximate 3-5% decline in sales. High property rents and increasing operating costs make it all the more challenging across the Channel Islands. A report by the Centre for Retail Research predicts that a fifth of Britain’s high street shops will close over the next five years, eliminating more than 300,000 jobs. A dull outlook for some; an opportunity for others. This is not to say however that online sales are not to be explored; quite the opposite. Online commerce has grown at different rates in different countries, but everywhere is gaining speed. In Britain, Germany and France, 90% of growth in retail sales expected between now and 2016 is forecast to be online. Perhaps the solution is to adopt an ‘omnichannel’ approach. The Channel Islands Skills Academy is one of the founding partners of the Customer Service Awards and offers a range of customer service programmes and consultancy services for local businesses. Development programmes are exclusively accredited by the UK’s leading Institute for Customer Services and delivered in a flexible manner to avoid business disruption. Our unique offering ensures that organisations benefit from the learning experience that derives business improvement.
Our unique offering ensures that organisations benefit from the learning experience that derives business improvement
[CBS 4 Star]
Your customers’ experience
by Claire Bosq-Scott
is your success...
ver faster change, greater customer choice and channel proliferation are realities every business faces today. In this still challenging time, developing an Excellent Customer Experience Programme is more crucial than ever; businesses need to focus their attention across multiple touchpoints to enable them to build loyalty and maintain margins. To achieve this, you need to understand your customers’ behaviour, experience and emotions. However, it has always been true that delivering change that profitably improves customers’ experiences is difficult. Indeed studies from IBM, McKinsey and KPMG all show that between 60% and 80% of projects fail to deliver the intended benefits. The customer journey is associated primarily with ‘the physical interactions’ (behaviour), contact strategy and reducing customer effort. Whereas, the customer experience is a concept that deals primarily with how customers feel, with ‘delighting customers’ and with creating distinct experiences. Fully understanding your customers’ journey will help you to continually improve service and develop an unforgettable experience, creating competitive advantage through customer advocacy and employees’ engagement.
Caring about our customers can only be possible if you let your employees do just that. The more decisions your employees are able to make of their own accord, the more productive everyone will be: »» »» »» »»
they will hold themselves accountable, they will demonstrate a stronger work ethic, they will treat the company as if it was their own, they will make smart decisions that follow the company’s values and mission,
And last but not least, the biggest benefit of having empowered employees is the loyalty they will show the company. When they feel respected and valued, employees will be eager team members, dedicated to making a positive difference working together for the success of the company.
Between 60% and of projects fail to deliver the intended benefit According to studies from IBM, McKinsey and KPMG
If you spend enough time around customer service agents, you will learn that often what they say and what they mean are often two different things. That’s never more apparent than when they are talking to you. Some of these employees have developed a secret lexicon of words and phrases that can only be interpreted in one way by the general public, but, to them, mean something specific and often bordering on insulting. For example, let’s say you’ve just boarded a flight and you’re sending a text from your phone as the cabin doors close. Flight attendants are roaming the aisle to ensure all seatbelts are fastened and electronic devices are turned off. Just as you hit ‘send’ and start powering down your smartphone, you feel a hard tap on the shoulder and see a grimacing crew member towering over you. ‘You need to turn your phone off now, please sir’ he/she intones in a singsong voice. Now, if you were reading a transcript of the conversation, it would seem as if the flight attendant was being perfectly polite ... but you know better. You know what the employee meant by ‘sir’ and it surely wasn’t sir. Here are a few other phrases to watch for:
‘For your convenience’
Whenever a company claims to have done anything for your ‘convenience’, look out. Did they add a tip to your bill for your convenience? Did they remove an essential service or amenity for your convenience? Are they adding a fee for your convenience? Odds are, they mean the exact opposite – it’s actually done for their convenience and, usually, their enrichment.
‘Your call is very important to us’
This phrase, and the very similar ‘your business is important to us’ is often used when telling a customer to get lost. You’ll hear it just after the automated phone system cheerfully announces that you have a one-
hour wait to speak with the next available customer service agent. ‘Your call is very important to us’, the voice adds. ‘For faster service, please call back between the hours of 7.17 am and 7.19 am.’ No-one ever tells you that your business is important to them unless they are inconveniencing you; usually after a supermarket has refused to take back the damaged item it sold you last week, or an airline pockets your entire air fare after your plans change.
‘At this time’
Whenever this phrase is used, it indicates you are about to encounter corporate intransigence of the highest order. For example, I asked a well-known hotel chain why I had been denied a heavily-advertised room discount. A representative from the head office emailed me the next day to offer a terse explanation of its decision, and then added ‘We have no further comment at this time.’ What she really meant was ‘If you don’t like it, you can stick it.’
‘We look forward to welcoming you back’
I see this phrase tacked on to the bottom of so many letters these days, especially when complaining about, or highlighting, poor customer service. What they actually mean is ‘Don’t bother us again – good riddance.’ Of course, they won’t say that. And some won’t necessarily mean it. But it’s a useless phrase that – depending on the context – could mean so much.
How to respond
If any of the above instances have happened to you, throw it right back at them: »» When someone calls you “sir” and obviously means it negatively, you can call them “sir” right back. Just make sure you get the inflection right ...sir. »» If someone says they have added a gratuity to your bill “for your convenience”, you can always remove it from your bill “for their convenience”. Have a nice day now!
[I Just Don’t Believe It!]
Don’t Believe It! Carried out by Henley Business School
As part of a research project into customer service levels in the UK and the public’s perceptions of customer complaints management, over 200 customer service professionals were asked to detail the funniest, most unusual, or seemingly outrageous customer complaints they have ever received in recent years.
Here are a few for your enjoyment...
A supermarket customer complained his bill was wrong. The assistant explained that a number of in-store promotions had been applied, hence the lower-than-expected bill. The customer insisted on speaking to the manager, and remained unappeased until he could be ‘allowed’ to pay the higher amount.
after a customer tly ed d n u ef r ter recen A pet shop ed the hams ndly in la p om c they frie was ‘neither purchased ’. nor cuddly
all from a ceived a c xceptionally high e r y n a p e e com A utilities omplaining about th s suggested that c a w r e custom rvice. It and the stomer se on staff training u c f o l e v t le n er bills. y was spe less mone t to reduce custom u savings p
, on an ing holiday aker p m a c a from olidaym On return arm stay’ site, a h their holiday ‘f d stating approved full refun ‘intrusive noise of a d te s e u req the uined by had been r g’. in cows moo
A television set was returned because the picture was not clear. On being told he was supposed to remove the protective film from the screen, the customer insisted that at no point during the sales process had he been told this and insisted on a full refund – plus compensation for his wasted time.
A customer ‘phoned to complain following delivery of his curtain pole. On finding no one at home, the delivery driver decided it would be possible to still deliver the pole – through the letterbox. When the customer returned home, they found their dog unharmed – but pinned to the wall.
A customer contacted a leading watch brand to complain about the quality of its goods as the strap had failed to stand-up after being chewed by the pet dog.
A customer contacted their electricity provider complaining a power failure resulting from high winds had caused them to miss a ‘vital episode’ of Coronation Street.
retailer, igh street refund and h n w o n k a welled a full eturned to customer demand on the blouse had r s a w e s ern l. The A blou as the patt a vets’ bil along with on for the vets’ bill, ti compensa dog to bite itself. e th d cause
A diner complained to the waiter that the Champagne recommended was not as ‘excellent’ as suggested. Despite consuming all but one glass of the bottle, he insisted on a full refund. 25
[Le Mont Saint Garage]
We get under the bonnet of
Le Mont Saint Garage
by Dave Beausire
Winning the Best Team category in The Guernsey Customer Service Awards this year was a fitting tribute to Le Mont Saint Garage’s staff’s hard work and coming just after finishing their 25th anniversary celebrations was a bonus. It’s not often these days - in this world of globalisation and large company takeovers - that you hear of a local business that has run 26 years under the same owner and is still expanding. We find out from Dave Beausire, the founder and owner of Le Mont Saint Garage, the history, the drive and how he sees the future in the Motor Industry.
the age of 28 I bought Le Mont Saint Garage as a rundown tyre workshop still operating in post war conditions with only two 60 watt bulbs to light it up. Looking back, the word ‘challenge’ is an understatement at the very least. I had been in the Motor trade nearly all my life since leaving school and had always wanted to own my own business - a garage. Two things were high on my agenda when I started up; to own the property as security for the future and to have a new car franchise. I signed the Subaru franchise three months after buying the property (which we held for 22 years) and have never looked back since.
Tel 01481 264811 Web www.lemontsaint.co.uk Facebook
Some people ask me where my drive comes from (no pun intended!). I can’t wholly explain it. I struggle to pass it on to my sons to explain how an idea comes to me when I am on holiday or driving to work and that I can’t wait to implement it. There are so many opportunities surrounding us that we need to grab. It’s the buzz and excitement of being in charge of my own destiny that keeps me sharp and on my game plus the realism that failure is guaranteed if I don’t! 26 years seem to have zipped by and Jackie my wife has been with me on the journey all the way as my greatest supporter and at times my critic. This is not a one-man show and we are now proud to have our sons Peter and Michael on board as Directors of
in a small community where word of mouth is king, maintaining our high service standards is absolutely key
the business. Michael has been with the company for eight years having qualified as a technician elsewhere and Peter joined three years ago following more than a decade in the finance industry. Their experiences elsewhere have brought new ideas that they will use to take the company forward on the back of our strong customer base and the service quality for which we are renowned. The new century (well millennium in fact) saw a shift in buying patterns as people looked to more cost effective motoring and that prompted me to seek out another franchise, Fiat. I had spent some time at Forest Road Garage when they had the franchise in the 70s and had developed a soft spot for the brand, which had become a dominant force in Europe. It took nine months to secure the deal but was worth the wait with the small cars I needed to grow my business. This was five years before the Fiat 500 was even launched. Fiat has achieved more than we could ever imagine and has since brought us the Abarth franchise - one of only 25 in the UK - and Alfa Romeo, the sleeping giant in the FGA group that will astound car enthusiasts in the next 12-18 months with what’s coming. During our time we have seen technology take over an industry that was regarded as a dirty nuts and bolts environment. It also has seen franchise garages in Guernsey decline from over fifteen to just eight. So does that indicate a dying trade? Quite the opposite because the remaining franchisees are the ones who have re-invested in the industry; repairs times have dropped; reliability has increased. That said, I would not expect more franchise garages to appear in the near future. Start up costs now would make it pretty difficult and prohibitive property prices are without question the biggest stumbling block. This means that we need to be able to cope with the increased number of cars we sell. The technology boom means most cars return to their dealers for service, as upgrade on engine management and Bluetooth phone systems can only be done there, and it is important to retain a service history with the manufacturer to enhance the car’s future value.
Le Mont Saint Garage aims to provide the best possible service, and repeat business is one of the most important business channels. In a small community where word of mouth is king, maintaining our high service standards is absolutely key. My team goes the extra mile to meet customer needs, and is aware of what happens across the whole business not just in individual departments. A better-informed member of staff benefits the company as a whole. The future for us is already beyond initial planning stages. We begin work on an extension in the next month that will double the service bays, increase the parts department and showroom and bring the building up to date as one of the leading garages in the island. We invest time and money on training programmes to enable our staff to have the latest information and technology to carry out their job to the best of their ability. To stay at the top of your game requires investment. We are involved with local sports clubs and charitable organisations and feel it is important to put something back into the society in which you live. Our support of the local basketball, rowing and motor racing fraternities helps teams who otherwise may not be able to participate. Along with our charity involvement, this is our way of making a contribution back into island life. So a broader community shares in our success. My favourite and often used quote (it drives my sons mad) ‘second is not an option’. It will appear on my gravestone one day (but not just yet!). In saying that I do not mean coming in second is a failure. But that you should strive to be the best you can be. If it means you are ‘pipped at the post’, providing you have done your best no more can be asked - you are still a winner. I have been fortunate to have worked with such a great team including both past and present staff members and to have such a supportive wife in Jackie who has lived with my instant decisions, crazy ideas and risk taking - business is a gamble after all. No one can achieve anything in life on his own and luck has no part to play. It’s down to hard work and determination taking the bull by the horns achieving your dreams and not thinking ‘what if’. There’s a lot more to come from Le Mont Saint Garage. Every day is the beginning of the rest of our life; tomorrow never comes; seize the day; lost opportunities end up as regrets. 27
y e s n Guer ey s r e J And
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We believe itâ€™s all about building relationships.. friendships.. and bouncing ideas off each other www.riseandshineCI.com Formerly known as the Connection Breakfasts in Jersey, we balance our fun networking with guest speakers and industry comment from those in the news.
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Delivering for you, is
what we do
by Jersey Post
has been a busy year for Jersey Post. As a business, we have had to evolve quickly after dramatic changes within our industry, following the withdrawal of LCVR exports to the UK. It’s been a time of change, but one area that is unfaltering is our commitment to our customers and the Island. Jersey Post is, and always will be, a part of island life in Jersey, and, for us, the customer is king. Our motto, ‘delivering for you’, reminds us every day why we exist. Number one in our company’s values is to ‘always focus on the customer’, so customers truly are at the heart of what we do. As Henry Ford said “it is not the employers who pay wages, they simply handle the cash. It is the customer who pays the wages”. For us, this is particularly appropriate given that our owners are the public of the Island, with our share capital being held by the Treasury Minister on their behalf. Customer service is in the DNA of every postie. It is an everyday occurrence for them to go out of their way to make deliveries happen, whatever the weather! There are many stories that illustrate this, but one that stands out is from when the Island was blanketed in heavy snow earlier this year. One postie not only ensured he completed his rounds in very tricky conditions, but also found time to get some basic food shopping for an isolated islander. It is this level of commitment and concern that we are hoping to build on through our Call & Check service, where posties will call on the elderly and others
who might need a visit from a friendly face and a little assistance. The initiative has attracted a lot of attention, not just in Jersey but globally, and could really help the Island and islanders cope with the ageing population and rising health care costs. What we do for customers is changing, mainly driven by a growing shift in behaviour thanks to the world becoming so digitally focussed. Postal trends continue to be in significant decline for traditional mail, as people often turn to electronic communication such as email and social media. We believe the key to great customer service is keeping it personal, remembering that every customer is an individual. And, in an age when the craft of writing is becoming a lost art, we’d encourage thinking in the same way about post! So many people ask us ‘why write letters?’ usually followed by ‘I can just send an email, it’s faster!’ or ‘no one ever writes back’! But we think writing is like customer service; it isn’t always about what is fastest or whether you even get a reply back, but investing in what matters and the art and significance of the interaction.
Letter mail may be declining but one area of growth is parcel deliveries, as more and more 29
we aim to be a‘one stop’ shop to make life a little easier islanders shop online. However, we know how annoying it can be to receive the ‘whilst you were out’ card and so are developing services with the customer in mind to help. Our SecureDrop service allows customers to select an alternative delivery location that best suits them; so maybe a shed or garage, or nominate a neighbour to deliver it to (with their permission, of course!). That way, we can ensure we can deliver the parcel the first time, which means no waiting for it and no trips in to town to collect the item. But what about those that work or live in town, or don’t have a safe space to leave an item? In October, we launched Text & Collect, a service where we send a text to a customer’s mobile phone when an item for their household arrives at Commercial Street or Rue des Pres (customers choose their preferred site). Then they can pop to get it in a lunch hour or after work, whenever suits best. Again, customers get their parcels quicker and don’t have the inconvenience of having to wait an extra day to come to pick it up if they were out when we tried to deliver. These days, the reasons why a customer needs their post office are also shifting and we have to try to be ready to meet evolving needs. We aim to be a ‘one stop’ shop to make life a little easier, so customers can come to post a letter and at the same time if they choose can also buy a greetings card, purchase foreign currency, bank a cheque and pay a phone/electricity/water bill! It is all about saving time and effort – the most precious of commodities in a busy world! To finish, we’d like to say thank you. We never take our customers for granted as they are the reason we exist. We welcome all feedback on our business or how we can make our customers’ lives easier. So, if anyone wants to let us know what they think about Jersey Post, all they have to do is drop us a note in the post - we’d definitely appreciate it!
Jersey Post Postal Headquarters, JERSEY, JE1 1AA
CUSTOMER SERVICE IS THE NEW MARKETING; A VITAL BUSINESS INVESTMENT. If your organisation needs assistance with mystery shopping, customer service enhancement programmes or the re-engineering of a customer centric culture, then we can help. Our extensive experience in delivering results orientated programmes across the Channel Islands has consistently demonstrated a positive return on investment. To find out how we can help your business, contact the team. Proud to be the exclusive provider of Institute of Customer Service programmes across the Channel Islands.
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