I make time to regularly sit with our customer service team and listen to their calls, it’s a really wonderful exercise which I believe is good for my soul.
I benefit from time spent listening to calls in the same way that I benefit from getting out of the office and seeing my hardworking colleagues doing what they do best, caring for our waterways. It puts everything else I do into perspective and reminds me why I’m here.
The idea is that by hearing why our customers need to call us and how we handle those calls we can improve, the rewards are multiple. If we can put in place measures which mean that the next call about the same (or similar) thing is handled better, more efficiently, more knowledgeably and with more conviction then the person making that call is going to be more satisfied by their experience.
Better still, if we can do something which means that the next person who was going to call us about that same thing doesn’t need to because we’ve improved our communication or made the information more accessible on our website then that’s even better, isn’t it?
It really makes me proud when I hear how quickly the nature of a call can change from anxious to relieved, from angry to calm, from disappointed to understanding and sometimes from unreasonable to humorous! Of course, it’s easy to go the other way but thankfully those instances are rare. So, this time I tried to understand how it’s possible for them to do this so imperceptibly.
Yes, they are all polite, understanding, knowledgeable and totally dedicated to offering the very best service they possibly can. But there’s something more to it. Then it struck me…behind all of this they are happy. Not falsely, over the top, happy in a corporate ‘American’ way but genuinely and sincerely happy. That was my Eureka moment.
So, when you next have reason to call us listen very carefully because I guarantee that you’ll hear that smile and when you do, you’ll smile too…you simply can’t help it, it’s infectious. It will break down your barriers and turn your day around if you just let it. Then you can pass it on to someone else.
Sarina joined us in 2008 as our customer services co-ordinator. Among other things, she manages our national customer service team, complaints procedure and requests for information made to the Trust. She says that the most important thing to her is to be able to go home and feel as though she’s achieved something, however small that might be. Her job is hugely satisfying, widely varied, full of deadlines, immensely interesting, sometimes challenging and no day is ever the same, although some are surprisingly familiar!See more blogs from Sarina Young