Customer experience key to future sustainability

September 21, 2016 by David Turner

Although the full impact of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union will not be known for some time, Briggs Equipment is addressing the issue of long-term business sustainability by adopting a bold new approach to Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

The equipment and engineering solutions provider is putting customers at the heart of everything it does and employees at all levels are responsible for delivering exceptional customer service.

Gavin Wickham, Operations Director at Briggs Equipment, says: “Initiatives to reduce costs and make efficiency improvements have their place, but we believe that doing everything we can to maximise customer satisfaction and promote loyalty will help us achieve a sustainable business model.

“It’s not a question of implementing a crash course in customer service for selected front-line staff, but requires a comprehensive change of culture across the entire organisation. It’s about changing mind-sets and appreciating that the secret to success lies within.

The process to achieve a sustainable future is designed to ensure that everyone working in the business understands how important it is to improve the way they interact with customers. This involves a thorough examination of all business activities, challenging assumptions about what works and what doesn’t and, most importantly, listening to what customers really want. 

Since people are at the heart of any successful CRM system, Briggs has appointed a dedicated project team of ‘Customer Voice Champions’. Recruited from all areas and at all levels within the business, they include directors, operational managers and departmental representatives who share a common aim – to enhance the customer experience. 

These ‘champions’ have undergone bespoke training to understand how behaviour can be influenced and the importance of communication. In addition, Briggs is putting all staff through more general customer service training to ensure everyone appreciates that they can make a difference.

An important part of Briggs Equipment’s new approach to CRM is the handling of what it calls 'Customer Concerns'. The company is effectively redefining the complaints process so that every time a customer has an issue that needs addressing, the details are logged, even if the issue has been resolved. The process incorporates an end-to-end audit trail, detailed timelines and full analysis of the root causes of the problem, so that solutions can be developed to stop any recurrence of the same issue.

Gavin adds: “By taking a positive approach to feedback we are able to treat customer concerns as an opportunity for improvement and this is perhaps the most important element of our new approach to CRM.

“I am convinced that a customer-centric focus has a vital part to play in enabling us to develop a competitive edge which will, in turn, see us better prepared for the future ahead.”