Best customer service by a Builders’ Merchant
Published: 22 June, 2009
The shopfitting and fit-out sector has always been an important market for Jewson and as such, the company was keen to develop a bespoke service to better meet the needs of the sector.
Fit-out specialists work up to 12 hours a day, often outside of normal trading hours, seven days a week, with as little as 48 hours to source all the materials for a shopfitting job.
To add to the complexity, shopfitters are often faced with both restricted site access and storage facilities. Many companies in the sector work on a national scale, managing a number of simultaneous projects in different locations, so sourcing materials can become a time-consuming and costly exercise.
Having consulted with the target audience, Jewson developed a bespoke service that would benefit the shopfitter and specifically address these difficult challenges. The result was Jewson OneSource.
Through OneSource, Jewson commits to deliver materials to any location nationwide within 24 hours.
With direct-to-site deliveries from as early as 6am and through the night if required, fit-out specialists no longer have to wait for normal trading hours, saving valuable time.
The OneSource service offers shopfitters access to over 400 000 different products and materials, plus an extensive inventory of specialist tools for hire.
Deliveries can be arranged to multiple sites and everything can be done through a single phone call to a dedicated freephone number.
As the only operation of its kind in the UK, Jewson’s OneSource service, the number of shopfitters using the service is growing daily such that the service is now used by 10% of the market, including 40 major shopfitters.
Kellaway is growing at a rate of at least one branch a year. To maintain its levels of service it needed to identify any trends (good or bad) and manage them effectively.
The Customer Service department was restructured in November 2005, headed by a member of the board, to emphasise the need to deliver excellent service and quality across the company.
A customer services supervisor was also appointed to work closely with the branches, the external sales team and the sales development and marketing manager. That way, an integrated approach to customer service could be delivered ensuring that a consistent message was communicated.
Across its branches Kellaway has rolled out basic customer service training delivered by an in-house trainer, tackling basic criteria from meeting/greeting to resolving queries, including learning about ‘who is the customer’, emphasising the importance of the internal customer to foster a team culture.
The whole initiative has significantly helped account retention – including 15% of dormant accounts now spending again. Nearly 500 new accounts opened since January 2006, and invoice queries were lowered.
Staff are now equipped with the skills to meet or exceed customers’ expectations. Financial performance of the company saw a record year for sales – up 27% on the previous year, with a 1.5% growth in profit margins.