National Customer Service Week

The second week of October isn’t a red-letter highlight in the business calendar but maybe it should be as firmly embedded as the end of the tax year or the January sales.

We all know how important our customers are, so during National Customer Service Week we took the opportunity to highlight the service we provide and share the good news stories of the past year. Each day we focused on a key theme which supports the delivery of World Class customer service.

As part of its celebration of the week VocaLink we carried out a number of interactive activities each including:

 

  • Taking our Contact Centre on tour to our different sites, as part of a ‘back to the floor’ experience for colleagues

  • A companywide customer interaction mapping activity

  • A recognition lunch – to say thank you for the service that VocaLink employees provide to each other

  • Launched a competition asking people to submit any ideas they may have which could further improve ways of working across teams

 

On Tuesday 6th October, we welcomed Jo Causon, CEO of the ICS, to brief our Executive Management Team on the key topics in B2B customer satisfaction. Jo also kindly agreed to take part in a customer service Q&A session with questions posed by a number of VocaLink employees.


Building the right culture for delivering excellent service is a key theme that we discussed in the week. Jo pointed out that this can be extremely hard to get right. Analysing the market leaders in customer satisfaction like First Direct, Amazon and John Lewis shows that all their processes take into account the customer experience. This allows them to appear easy to do business with, uncomplicated and empathetic.


By taking an international view of customer service the week challenges the stereo-type that customer service can be characterised by an over cheerful American-style waiter, with Jo pointing out that the culture in countries like the UK and Germany see good customer service as consistent delivery, efficiency and ease of doing business; values that very readily translate in VocaLink’s setting.


Complaint management was another key theme in the week. Research by the ICS shows that the leading reason for a complaint isn’t to get compensation of some sort, but simply to let the company know what they have done wrong, or even to help the company improve the way it works; an interesting finding for any company when reviewing its complaints process, as VocaLink is currently doing.


So plenty of food for thought, and a great reminder that excellent customer service isn’t built from a one week campaign, but from a deliberate, long term approach – and sometimes we all need a week to step back and see how we are doing, and celebrate what we have done.

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