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Editorial blog

Top Tips To Achieve Outstanding Customer Service

11 May 2020

When multichannel retailer Create and Craft won the Best Rated Customer Service category in the Best of Craft Awards 2019, it was a validation of an big internal strategy to future-proof the the business. It is why the company’s head of customer service Jo Jenkins believes treating your customers right – before, during and after a purchase – should be the top priority for any business.

“Customer service is so important,” she says. “It’s often thought that cost and price is always the most signifi cant aspect for a customer to take into account when buying from you, but service and overall experience are what consumers remember about you. It’s what keeps them coming back! It’s also what gets them talking positively about you on social media to others and recommending you to friends and family.”

Create & Craft’s customer contact centre is based in Mumbai, India, where around 100 multi-skilled agents for both Create & Craft and its sister shopping channel Ideal World handle more than 14,000 queries every week across both brands.

Jo explains: “This group is passionate and loyal to Create & Craft. That is why they deliver exceptional service to our fabulous customers, whether that is on the phone, via email or using web chat. We spend time sharing results and product knowledge with them so they have a clear understanding of the business. We also have a small team in Peterborough of 10 who provide support with specialist queries and concerns. They work on any communications for customers about changes to products.”

Jo believes good customer service is particularly crucial and critical to a TV shopping/ online business because it can foster a greater sense of community: “We know our customers already feel part of the C&C family. They love our presenters and getting involved with our shows. So when customers want to speak to us or email us if they have a problem, they need to have the same kind of feelings from that experience and interaction. A vital part of this success is the fact that our customer service team feels like a part of our family, even when they are thousands of miles away. As a company we make a real effort to connect with them and provide vital feedback. In turn, they make sure our customers feel part of the family too, wherever they are in their buying or returning journey with us.

“Our employees strive for first call resolution so customers don’t have to contact us multiple times to resolve any query. We also share best practice. We have a coaching culture and learn from mistakes, which involves listening to calls and reviewing emails together. After this analysis we are able to agree on ways to improve the customer experience.

“But our customer service team doesn’t only exist to respond to complaints. We place orders for customers who can’t/don’t choose to order online and handle all contact from customers with any kind of question or query after ordering. This provides yet another incentive for consumers to keep an open dialogue with us, and place a lot of trust in our services. It’s this level of dedication that breeds loyalty.”

For an TV-based online brand, Jo believes it is all the more important to show customers that you care when they aren’t able to physically interact with you.

“A big difference for us when it comes to the customer service approach taken by bricks/mortar retail is the lack of any face-toface interactions. We know it can often be hard to build a rapport with customers when they aren’t ever visiting you in a physical premises. So whether it is over the phone or in written communication, we have to work hard to make sure our customers are happy with the service they’re given. You don’t get to see their smile but if you do it right, you can hear their satisfaction and this makes the difference for us!

“The most important thing is to think customer-first every time. We always want to do what we can to support our customers. We listen to their needs and try to resolve it, not just for the individual involved but for future customers, too. If you do everything you can to help them and acknowledge how they are feeling, you can usually solve most things. The outcome may not even be what the customer originally wanted, sometimes you might not be able to completely resolve the issue. My view is that a customer wants to feel special and know and see that you’ll do everything you can do to help. By doing this you are proactively solving new issues for your customers before they can even encounter them. That’s the essence of true customer service.”

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