In July 2015, I felt our customer service levels had reached a plateau. Our employees had worked hard to improve the experience for our customers, but the improvements had started to slow down.
The question for me was – where do we go from here?
Providing excellent customer service has always been important to us at Digitcom, since Jeff founded the company in 1991. We pride ourselves on answering 99% of all calls into our service department within 5 rings. We hire and promote employees with a passion for customer service, and provide extensive training.
How could we break through to the next level of customer service?
We decided to start tracking customer feedback more carefully, and better learn how our customers want us to improve. We now regularly send out customer satisfaction surveys for our four main service departments. The Net Promoter Score seemed like the best way to track our progress. If you’d like to learn more about the Net Promoter Score, the link below provides an excellent summary.
Our goal is to consistently reach a Net Promoter Score of at least 70%. With the way the math is calculated, that’s a tough goal to meet. Steadily working towards this goal over the past nine months has proven to be a humbling experience! However, I’m pleased to report that for the month of March 2016 we achieved a Net Promoter Score of 74%.
I’ve listed below some of the changes we’ve implemented during the past nine months. These initiatives are based directly on feedback from customers. I hope you’ve seen a steady improvement in our customer service during the past nine months, and are comfortable in referring Digitcom to a friend or colleague.
- Accountability – We publish our Net Promoter Score stats and related customer feedback on a monitor near my office. Our customer satisfaction results are the first topic item in our monthly Service team meetings.
- Survey review – We review customer satisfaction survey responses as soon as they’re submitted. When we receive praise, we make sure to share that praise with our employees right away. When we receive complaints or constructive feedback, we have a ‘learning moment’ to see how we can improve next time.
- Customer training during installations – We’ve had senior employees provide more ‘train the trainer’ support for our field techs, so our field techs can provide great customer training during a phone system installation.
- NEC customer training – We now provide regular classes in our office for customer training on NEC phone systems. These classes are in addition to our usual Avaya customer training sessions.
- Measure twice, cut once – We’ve become better about checking the little details, and planning ahead before we start a job. The number of times we need to return to a customer’s location to finish a job has declined substantially.
- Customer service training – Our customer service employees have received more training to help with handling inbound calls. That includes more knowledge of Digitcom’s products and services, better troubleshooting skills, and knowing what questions to ask when answering a call.
- Networking training – We try to provide a continuous learning environment in our office. Our employees are always learning something new. Of course our technical employees are well trained in Avaya, NEC, and our own Hosted service. We’ve now started to provide more training on networking issues, and are building networking skills among more of our employees.
- Handling calls live – A complaint I heard too frequently was that simple issues would take too long to resolve. Too many follow up phone calls would go back and forth between customers and our employees. Now we more carefully scope out inbound calls to see if the issue can be handled quickly. If it seems like a simple issue that can be fixed right away, we live-transfer these calls to tech support. One of our tech support reps stays available to handle these calls as they come in.
- We’re honest with each other – Sometimes we do a great job, and celebrate the moment. Sometimes we make a mistake and learn a lesson in humility. I like to think we’ve been more successful here in recent months.
The task of improving our customer service will never be completed. There will always be new ideas from our employees and our customers, and new initiatives to start. Maybe you can help.
How would you like to see us improve our customer service?
Please let me know if you have praise for any of our employees, or suggestions on how we can improve. You can reach me at:
scott at digitcom.ca
(416) 783-7890 ext. 203