Lifestyle Europe put its human resources manager in charge of its customer contact centre to grow service business and customer satisfaction across the group through engagement.
NEED TO KNOW
♦ Engage your team to engage your customers
♦ Lifestyle encourages staff to make contact personal
That didn’t mean a focus on engaging customers alone, but on engaging staff too.
Helen Farrow, Lifestyle HR manager, said: “The tools are important, but our staff are so important to making what we do a success.” She focused on creating a team with excellent empathy skills that could create positive relationships with customers they may never see.
“We talk a lot and figure out ways we can improve and that usually involves ordering in a lot of pizza at team meetings. We are reviewing what we do all the time.
“If you can engage your team, you will engage your customers.”
Lifestyle Europe does not use scripts. The contact team are encouraged to find a reason to talk and make it personal.
Farrow uses the key phrase of ‘how would you want your mum to be treated?’ as a jumping off point for how the customer contact team think about their approach on the phone.
A specific team focuses on lapsed customers and the business holds monthly customer data sweeps to find missing customer information gaps, like email addresses or contact numbers.
As a result of the changes, Lifestyle Europe doubled its service bookings across the group in February 2014.
Farrow said a good tip for contact staff was to get them out to each of the showrooms in the group if possible to understand the location and context of how customers will be accessing the dealership.
The customer contact centre has access to daily figures, including contacts made, contacts by method (phone/email/SMS etc), bookings and upsells, which help Farrow to manage performance.