Customer Service: A Vital Ingredient for Successful Uniform Provision
‘If something isn’t right at Customer Service level, then we’ve failed. And we take failure extremely seriously. In a nutshell, that’s the value we place on customer relationships at Tailored Image. Without our customers, there is no Tailored Image.’
This is the stark view held by Tailored Image Contracts Director, Peter Donnelly.
‘In any product or service industry, huge emphasis ought to be placed on customer service otherwise one might find it a struggle to attract and retain customers.
Read on to hear more on Peter’s perspective.
A Vital Consideration
‘Why is customer experience even more pertinent when it comes to uniform procurement? Think of it this way. If you’re purchasing clothing from a retail brand, it’s frustrating, maybe even infuriating at worst if your clothing arrives late or in an unsatisfactory manner.
However, consider a police officer, paramedic, bus driver, cabin crew member or hotel employee who literally can’t show up to work without their uniform. In this scenario, customer service is vital to ensuring the uniform wearers can carry out their roles diligently. In the case of emergency services, this can be literally a life-or-death scenario. If that’s not reason enough to prioritise our customer beyond all else, I don’t know what is. Our dedicated customer service teams are on hand via phone or email to sort issues quickly and efficiently on the rare occasions in which they arise.
Despite only having been recently formalised, Tailored Image has long been synonymous with our core values:
Our commitment, care and respect is foremost towards our customers, but also towards each other and our suppliers. Not only do we ‘own’ this private venture, which leaves us accountable only to our customers, but we also take ownership of every action, meaning this accountability is lived out in every role across every department.
Our staff members throughout the business embody these four core values, and they form an integral part of the recruitment process. Not only that, but it is around these values that our appraisal process is framed, with all staff performance targeted towards living out these values in their daily operation.
Structures and Succession
Continuous improvements have been made across our business to ensure the most seamless and efficient service available to our customers. Our structure is a tiered system which enables reinforcement of the customer experience. Each of our customers is allocated a complete Account Management team with an Account Manager, Account Co-Ordinator and Customer Service Representative all working towards the same goal of providing a complete service for their dedicated clients. We have found this to be a very positive structure in improving customer experience so that regardless of staff holidays or sick leave, we will always have someone available with the knowledge of their account, to help with queries or questions.
At its core, this development also has a succession planning agenda. Not only does this improve the experience for customers, with less disruption should human resource changes occur; it also provides a clear career path for customer service representatives in their journey with Tailored Image. A people focused improvement at all levels.
We place a huge emphasis on training here at Tailored Image and our tiered customer service structure helps ensure a relevant level of experience is held by those conducting the training. We have specific KPIs set for 1 month / 3 months and 6 months in a role. At each juncture, staff are given the opportunity to express how we can best meet their needs in terms of training, whether that be additional cross departmental training sessions, external training or individualised training sessions specific to the specific member of the team.
As well as our well trained and experienced customer service teams, we have invested heavily in our bespoke online ordering system. Unrivalled in the industry, it is continually reviewed and updated to facilitate the most hassle-free customer experience. With a knowledgeable inhouse IT operation, changes can be made swiftly and easily to avoid delays or any adverse effect on customer orders which could accumulate if relying on external programmers.
A certain autonomy is also afforded to customer service staff, with having the flexibility to make changes to the back end of the portal. This allows instantaneous amends to be made whilst on customer calls with impressive results. All of this combines to achieve an impressive experience and creates happy customers.
Ask any member of our team what the most important factor in customer service is and they will say communication. Every time. Whether we have news on new stock availability, updates on previous unavailable items, or advice on returns timelines, it is our mission to be proactive in the way in which we communicate and stay ahead of the customer for their benefit. Upon receipt of customer enquiries, we are targeted to respond within an agreed timeframe and our systems are designed to prioritise our responses as per these agreements, meaning the most efficient use of staff time.
Given the value we place on communication, we would love to hear from you, so if you would like to know more about becoming a Tailored Image customer, why not Contact Us today.