Post Office has been marking both Love Your Customer week and National Customer Service week over the last few years. But what are we learning and what difference are we making? How are Area Managers and Postmasters working together to improve service provided to customers? As a follow up to our previous interview in October, Head of Customer Experience James Scutt explains more.
What is Love Your Customers week?
We had a very successful National Customer Service Week in October for a few years now. The increased focus on customer service really does make a difference, so thanks to an idea by one of our Regional Managers last year, we took the concept of Valentine’s Day and turned it into Love Your Customers week. This is the second year of this event and this is about learning from negative experiences and celebrating positive experiences given against our customers drivers of Friendly, Professional, Knowledge, Understanding, Efficiency and Expectations.
What did we learn from previous Love Your Customer week?
Understanding customers feedback is now an integral part of every successful business and unless we proactively see the feedback of our customers, with a view to making improvements based on that feedback, customers will proactively seek out competitors.
We have our own Voice of the Customer programme which branches can access through Qualtrics, but customers also use other platforms like Google My Business.
Last year reinforced the message from customers loud and clear that they really do appreciate the hard work Postmasters and their teams put in to keep the essential services they need available.
Positive customer feedback also reflects on the whole store, both retail and Post Office, so the focus on customer experience really pays off.
What actions have we taken in response to Postmasters who took part last year?
It was clear that the days where we spent time recognising great service provided by Postmasters and branch teams were the most popular. We have taken that to the forefront of this year’s Love Your Customer week and furthermore with the current lockdown and pandemic, everything feels like hard work and is difficult and it’s tiring. There is a lot of positivity to be found in customers feedback.
One of my favourite customer comments from last year is:
“The Postmistress and Postmaster, Anthea and Dean are extremely helpful. Nothing too much trouble. Pleasure to visit this PO/Stores. A very thoughtful couple. It and they have been a godsend to the community during lock down.”
This was left by a customer at Bancyfelin branch in our Northern Ireland and South Wales region. This may be a simple piece of feedback but you can tell the customers really loves the team at the branch.
How are we working with and supporting Postmasters this year?
We are focusing on three simple themes which will be shared via Area Managers.
- Recognition of great service and celebrating our branch customer experience champions
- Highlighting resources to support Postmasters and their teams through Qualtrics website and app, and our Customer Experience University initiative. Area Managers will also be helping explain how compliance with Dangerous Goods and customs form is important, as it impacts customer experience even after they leave the branch.
- The importance of social media to grow business and manage customer experience and feedback – we’ll publish some Valentine’s Day images which you can share with your online communities.
How is the Customer Experience University initiative benefitting branches so far?
We launched our “Customer Experience University” initiative last year. This targeted programme helps you to look at things from the viewpoint of your customers. You put yourself in your customers shoes, really take into account our own behaviours and match them against times when you're shopping as a customer yourself and see if there are small traits within your behaviours that you could change that would make the experience you give to your customers.
Area Managers have been accredited to make sure their knowledge and understanding is there and now they are passing this on to our branch teams.
62 branches have achieved Foundation level and I know many are interested in our Advanced Workbook so we’ll be publishing that during Love Your Customer Week.
What is the Advanced workbook and how can it help Postmasters and branch teams?
For those that have completed Foundation, the advanced workbook will help take customer experience to the next level. It has some great ways to learn about caring for our vulnerable customers and growing your business by Delivering Excellence in Mails, Travel, Banking & Bill Payments products, our core four products.
Regional teams will be discussing Love Your Customer week on Regional Facebook groups. Join the conversation and share your views. Here are the links to the Facebook regional groups: