Going undercover for customer service
Customer service is critical to all organisations, but understanding where things are going wrong can be difficult for managers to pinpoint and fix. Being able to experience it for themselves is a perfect first step to delivering better customer service, whatever industry you are in.
That’s why the recent steps taken by npower’s UK COO Kevin McCullough provide a great lesson to everyone involved in customer service. After the utility was ranked Britain’s worst supplier when it came to service, he has taken personal responsibility for turning the organisation around. As well as investing £200m in improved systems, McCullough went undercover by posing as an ordinary npower customer service worker to see what the experience was like at the sharp end. And he did this accompanied by TV cameras as part of Channel 4’s Undercover Boss series. Building on this McCullough has shared his contact details through the media, urging any dissatisfied customers to contact him directly.
While not everyone would welcome a TV crew following their every move, the idea of seeing customer service life at the frontline is one that everyone in the industry should experience regularly. Only then do you understand how your systems and processes relate to your customers and how they can be amended to improve the experience. It gives vital context to the metrics that contact centres provide and is an extremely positive way of learning, while at the same time demonstrating your commitment to customer service, and your staff. Time for all customer service managers to put in a shift at the cutting edge to move service levels forward.