For any rapidly growing business, it’s important to take a step back from time to time to see the bigger picture and identify if there are ways in which they could improve the customers’ experience. Just under two years ago, the SSE Enterprise Telecoms leadership team did just that, when we decided to review how good we were at delivering services to our customers. Service delivery is notoriously challenging to get right, particularly in the telecoms industry, but we were determined to do the right thing and attempt to lead the way. In order to achieve this, the first thing we needed to really understand was what our customers thought of us. However, we quickly realised that measuring customer satisfaction – via an annual relationship Net Promoter Score (NPS) assessment – would only give us part of the answer.
Instead, as part of a new transformational customer service programme, we introduced transactional NPS assessments to help us reach our goal of providing an industry leading service. Simply put, after each and every service is delivered and handed over to the customer, we call our customers directly to ask key questions about our service and recorded their responses. To put all this information to good use, our delivery team began meeting on a weekly basis to review the previous week’s feedback. They were helped by an independent advisor, who reviewed the call recordings and guided the team on strategies for improving their customer service.
After months of collating feedback we’d built a comprehensive picture of our service delivery. Time and time again, communication stood out as the single most important factor for our customers. They understood that challenges can crop up during the delivery process, but as long as the issue, solution and resolution was effectively communicated in a timely fashion, they were happy. By recording our order manager calls and implementing a programme of continuous feedback and training – through the use of commitment-based management – we’d put communication excellence at the heart of our service delivery.
Since implementing the programme, our overall relationship NPS has also risen dramatically. In fact, we’ve just completed this year’s relationship survey and have secured an increase of 18 points on last year. Meanwhile our transactional scores are around the +60% to +70% mark and our happy customers speak for themselves:
- ‘This order was the best Ethernet provision I’ve had… After seven years of doing it you start to lose a little patience so it was so nice to have [an implementation] that went so well!’ Amy Harvey, FastNet International Limited
- ‘Service from [the] provisioning [team] was pretty smooth. [We] always receive updates, [and] very good communication. [We’re] very pleased with SSE Enterprise Telecoms and the service. [The solution] works very well.’ Yvonne Formosa, Charterhouse Voice & Data Plc
- ‘SSE [is] really, really good to deal with. By far the best carrier. [I] would like to say thank you to the order managers [I’ve] been dealing with. They’ve all been excellent.’ Rachael Jones, XoomTalk
What’s more, we’ve also seen a marked increase in Ethernet orders from both new and existing customers. So much so that our order numbers are up by 477% since we began to focus so heavily on customer experience.
A blight on the UK telecoms industry is that it suffers from generally low customer approval ratings; poor service is sadly endemic in the industry. We’re proud to be bucking this trend and leading the way when it comes to creating a seamless customer experience, supported by innovative technology and a committed workforce.
However, this is only the beginning of our story. It’s one thing to overhaul customer service, but it requires sustained commitment and diligence to keep it going. With a dedicated team evaluating the changing needs of our customers on an ongoing basis, this is sure to be just the first in a long line of customer service enhancing initiatives from SSE Enterprise Telecoms.