Understanding the true value of excellent customer service skills

Everyone knows the value of good customer service, but this doesn’t mean it’s easy to achieve. We’re in an industry where customers can’t necessarily just switch providers like they might with a phone contract. Therefore, we’ve got an even greater responsibility to do everything we can to resolve their queries and concerns. As such, the skills and capability of our colleagues working in customer service is crucial to our success.

 

The right people, the right training

We recruit based on our Values and Behaviours – they reflect who we are and how we do things. They keep us focused on our objectives; to champion the customer at every opportunity. For recruitment, this means that, regardless of experience, if a candidate does not demonstrate that their values align with our organisation, they’ll be unsuccessful in getting the role.

But recruitment is just the start. Effective training makes sure brilliant colleagues become even better and continue to grow and develop throughout their time in the role. We’ve got a culture of being customer-obsessed and solution-focused, and colleagues need to be equipped with the right tools to achieve this.

As well as on-the-job learning, coaching and mentoring, we encourage attendance at events and internal and external training programmes. One of our teams recently completed the Institute of Customer Service’s FirstImpressions course which was a real success and something we plan to role out to the wider team. The course develops customer-focused behaviours, motivates teams to exceed expectations and increases their confidence.

We measure our success against relevant KPI’s that are targeted around customer service. We’re also members of the Institute of Customer Service. Both of these make sure we are always tracking our success, responding to any issues that arise, keeping up to date with the latest learning, and finding new and innovative ways to improve our customer service offering.

 

Increased customer satisfaction

The entire team is focused on doing as much as they can for their customers to make sure customer satisfaction is always high, but we can’t expect colleagues to achieve the best possible results without the right training, support and resources.

Improving the quality of our customer service through training leads to an increase in customer satisfaction, retention and loyalty. Effective training improves our colleagues’ ability to resolve issues at the first point of contact, saving time and increasing our value for money offering to customers. This decreases the number of repeat calls and reduces the workload of people in other departments who otherwise would have had to pick up the issue.

Good training also results in increased confidence, which allows colleagues to handle issues more effectively. This in turn increases the customers’ confidence in our organisation and our ability to deal with their problems, leaving them feeling both appreciated and respected.

 

More than increasing customer satisfaction in Customer Services

Empowering colleagues to be the best they can be significantly improves customer satisfaction. But colleagues who are amazing with our customers when working on the front line, are also people we want to see working across the business. Their knowledge of customer needs and their drive and dedication to being the difference is valuable in any department.

We actively invest in our team to ensure those who want to develop are in the best possible position when opportunities arise. Customer Services is often the starting point in someone’s career here. Last year alone,15 members of the team progressed internally. We also actively encourage secondments, giving colleagues the opportunity to gain new skills and get experience in different areas of the business, in preparation for a new opportunities.

 

At Radian, our Executive Directors and Senior Leadership team truly understand the importance of excellent customer service. This ensures the customer is at the heart of everything we do, across all levels and teams within the organisation. It allows us to be proactive in our approach to giving customers a consistent and first-class service, no matter who they are or how they contact us.

 

Tom Ramadan, Head of Customer Services