Becky Budge and Katie Rodgers - Customer Engagement Officer
As part of National Customer Service Week, we speak to them to find out a little more about their role and how they help our customers….
Can you tell us a bit about your role?
BB: The Customer Engagement Officer role is to investigate formal complaints and ensure they are dealt with in line with our policies. We also carry out satisfaction surveys for various departments as well as having involved customers who attend a local panel meeting to look at the performance of the Group.
KR: The ways that customers can get involved with the Group is always changing and it looks like we may have some new projects to get involved with soon too.
How does Customer Engagement differ from Customer Services?
BB: Customer Services take information from our customers when they make initial contact with the Group and ensure that it is directed to the correct department. We proactively encourage our customers to feedback to us in a variety of ways to try and improve future service, not just when they are experiencing an issue.
KR: Customer Services is more reactive than the work we do. They are usually gathering information to try and resolve issues at the time whereas, like Becky says, we are proactively trying to gather feedback to drive improvement.
Within Longhurst Group, what purpose does Customer Engagement have? What is your end goal?
BB: Customer Engagement is all about getting feedback and suggestions from our customers on how the Group functions across all departments. This is to actively try and improve future service provision for all our customers.
KR: Even with complaints, we take away the lessons learnt and try to improve on any issues that have been raised. We work with most departments in the Group in some way to provide them with customer feedback and recommendations.
BB: We also report back to customers about any policy or procedure changes that have arisen from their feedback to show them how we deal with their comments and responses.
How closely – and in what ways – do you work with Customer Services? How do the two teams come together?
KR: We work closely with Customer Services as they gather all the information required for complaints. They assess the information of a service failure to determine if this is a complaint, whether it can be closed as a “First Time Fix” complaint or if this needs to come to us to be a formal investigation. They also deal with the First Time Fix complaints from beginning to end.
What is the favourite element of your job?
BB: I can’t pick! I love doing the surveys as it’s a nice change to gather the feedback and then analysing the results to try and find positives and potential improvements. I love getting to the end of a complaint and being happy with the outcome. It is a lovely feeling to call a customer and tell them it has been upheld and what we are going to do to rectify a situation for them. It is also rewarding to know that if a complaint is being rejected, our service to the customer has not failed and we worked in line with our policies and procedures. Every day is different and I enjoy that we work with such a wide range of people. We have a lot of new things coming up that I am excited to be a part of as well.
What would represent a success in your role?
BB: I think a policy or procedure change as a result of feedback and working together with another department to make it happen.
KR: Getting a good result from a complaint – either knowing there was no service failure by the Group or that we have actively done something good to rectify an issue.
BB: Yes, everyone makes mistakes sometimes, but it is often how you make it right that counts.