Paul Brown judges Outstanding Customer Service Award

03 Nov 2020

WR Partners are once again proud to be sponsoring the Outstanding Customer Service Award in the Shropshire Business Awards this year.  Tax partner Paul Brown is one of the judges with the heavy responsibility of selecting from a range of truly impressive entries from a wide range of businesses from across Shropshire. 

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Discussing the approach he will be taking to judging Paul said “We are all customers of a wide range of businesses on a day to day basis and I think the only real way to judge outstanding customer service is in the context of what I look for when I am that customer.

The first thing I want is for the supplier to genuinely try to understand my needs – this is pretty fundamental form my point of view.  If I am going to be a satisfied customer I want to walk away feeling that my needs have been understood and the supplier has tailored their solution to meet those needs.  Of course I don’t always know the answer myself so great customer service is also about working with the customer to help them to clarify what they are looking for.  What great customer service definitely is not is trying to sell me a one-size fits all solution without listening to what I am looking for. 

Having understood what I need it is then all about communication and honesty.  I fully understand that sometimes agreed timescales can’t be met – this happens in any business – but what really frustrates me is where there is no, or very late communication of any challenges in delivering.  If the supplier is upfront about issues and lets me know well in advance then, while I may not be thrilled, they score very highly in the customer service stakes for me. 

Finally, the customer service experience goes well beyond the point of sale or delivery.  Of course if I am buying a can of beans then I don’t expect a follow up call but if I have made a large purchase I want to know that the supplier is genuinely concerned to check that I am satisfied with the service or product.  There is a tendency to only ask for feedback when things have gone well – who doesn’t like receiving praise after all – but a true test of customer service is looking for honest feedback on the product and the process, dealing with issues and showing that that you can and will learn from that feedback.  Acting on honest feedback again scores very highly in my view – if you aren’t prepared to do that then don’t ask for feedback in the first place!

In many ways great customer service is not rocket science – if you believe in your product, you genuinely care about meeting your customers’ needs and take pleasure from providing great service then you can’t go far wrong.”

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