For many businesses there is a continuous internal battle between business owners
and directors and those on the front line dealing with customers, with those at the top often primarily focusing on profit margins, productivity and budgets. Customer service can therefore often be seen as a ‘grey area’ as it is a cost centre, it can’t always be seen to have a direct impact on earnings and so investing money into it is like pouring money down the drain... or this is certainly the mindset of many target driven businesses.
Thankfully, here at the Ladderstore we like to consider ourselves a little different. Our passion for customer service is at the heart of our business and this is fed from the top.
We know that exceptional customer service has more impact on the rest of the business than many realise. We know that customer feedback helps build a better product. We know that building relationships with your customers turns a one time purchaser into a loyal repeat buyer. We also know just how powerful delightful customer service experiences can be to drive positive word-of-mouth.
To demonstrate where this passion comes from we had a chat with our Managing Director, Gail Hounslea about what customer service means to her and why it is so vital to the success of Ladderstore.
1. What does customer service mean to you?
It means putting the customer at the heart of what we do, helping them all efficiently and in a friendly manner. Treating the customer as you would want to be treated yourself.
2. Can you tell us about your best customer service experience?
I find Lakeland really good at customer service. My husband and I were shopping in Lakeland and all the staff were really helpful and approachable. Whilst talking to one of them he told us about how good the Ninja blenders were and how he and his family had a smoothie every day to get their 5 a day. Needless to say we walked away with one.
3. How about your worst?
I find the companies that make you press lots of numbers to get to the right person really annoying as you just want to speak to someone who is going to help you or point you in the right direction. I would never want to use that system here.
4. Which company do you consider demonstrates excellent customer service?
Lakeland, Ocado, John Lewis and Amazon has got much better.
5. How important is customer service to the success of Ladderstore?
It is the cornerstone of what Ladderstore is built on. If we don't look after our customers we are not doing a good job.
6. What measures have you put in place to improve customer service at Ladderstore?
We survey all our customers and I make sure I read all the responses so I can investigate and stop problems happening and improve processes.
7. What would you describe as your best customer service triumph?
The guaranteed fit form that now allows people to select the loft ladders that will fit their dimensions. Also all the products that we have worked on with our suppliers that have now become mainstream products - like the Hopstar and the Maintenance Access Platforms
8. Why do you think that people choose Ladderstore's products and services?
I think people choose Ladderstore because we are professional and approachable and we care. If we get it wrong, which we do sometimes, we desperately try to put it right.