When addressing the key question of how to best exceed customer expectations, “the answers are not always obvious,” says Steve Keenan, the brand-new Head of Customer Care and Internal Sales at Habasit UK. The fact that Steve doesn’t take any answers for granted is exactly what makes his vision of the future of customer care contagious.
Having been introduced to the company just earlier this year, he was first hired on an interim basis to help revitalise customer care. Enthused by the challenge, it didn’t take long before he realised that Habasit was a company he could happily call home. After four whirlwind weeks on the job, he was taken on as a permanent employee.
“Within Habasit UK, many aspects of customer service delivery are working well. The platform within the business has been set for success and there’s lots of potential. However, if everything was working perfectly, I probably wouldn’t have been interested in staying beyond my interim contract,” Steve explains. “It’s too easy for us to look at our work as simply that of an operational function. We need to start looking at it as an experience that the customer comes through that can quickly change their perception of us and our brand.”
Customer Care will no longer just be the main point of contact for most customers but instead, it will be a collaborator of the customer encounter. At every step of the way, from providing a quote or taking an order, to tracking production, sourcing material from across the Habasit Group or dispatching an item, the team will be equipped to keep the customer informed.
“It’s about how we make the customer feel as opposed to just delivering a belt,” Steve says. “You can do something well and even deliver a quality product, but miss the opportunity to make the customer feel good about our brand and the service we provide. If we only follow the rules of customer service mechanically, we might be successful in the short term, but our competitors will take the opportunity to do it better than us. The service you give is the differentiator.”
Seeing things from the customer’s point of view is a core principle of Steve’s philosophy, but he also wants to change the way everyone in the team thinks about their own work.
“It’s very easy for us to see what we do as routine or repetitive but what we’re actually doing is helping to make Habasit UK and all the businesses that we provide belts for, successful. It’s important to understand and know the value of our work and this will come through to the customer in our engagement with them.”
Steve is excited to have joined the team of a leading brand in the industry, but this gives him no time for complacency. It is all the more motivation to make the customer experience as excellent as the brand being sold.
“We must walk in the customer’s shoes,” says Steve. “What is the journey we are taking them on?”
It’s a question he is ready to answer in more ways than one as Steve seeks every opportunity to transform what it means to excel in servicing Habasit’s much valued existing and future customers.