ERT Awards Supporting Information
Best Supplier Customer Service
The Haier service team in Bolton supports all incoming enquiries from Hoover, Candy and Haier customers, as well as retailers, equating to approximately 1.6 million contacts per year.
Led by Elaine Burgess who joined the business in Dec 2019, the team is dedicated to providing the best customer service possible and comprises 76 people in total; five team leaders and 71 advisors, ten of whom work in the key accounts team which is focused solely on supporting retailers.
The sales teams are led by Michael Brightmore who joined the business is March 2019, supported by three team leaders who collectively manage 48 advisors.
Former recipient of ERT’s Best Supplier Customer Service award in 2019, Haier’s service team has achieved top five status in the D&G TEQ awards every year since 2017. Furthermore, the team has also been recognised by Haier HQ in China for its dedication to customer service. Despite the pandemic, performance has not waned and the team has ensured it is always there for its retail and domestic customers whenever required.
Customer care during a pandemic
In March 2020 as the country moved into lockdown the company made some key decisions. The whole contact centre transitioned to home working in less than two weeks as smoothly and as efficiently as possible. Since people are the heart of the business, it was imperative that all employees, and their jobs, were safe and Haier proactively ordered the move prior to the national lockdown coming into effect on 23rd March.
It was a mammoth task but one that was achieved thanks to the total commitment and dedication of all those involved. To continue the high standard of customer care, the company invested in brand-new telephone and CRM platforms, as well as reconfiguring equipment to work in line with existing processes. All of this was carried out via Microsoft Teams.
During the pandemic, all teams have continued home working and, despite this, the company has continued to improve service levels thanks to its goal for ‘zero distance to consumer’. This stems from Haier’s RenDanHeYi model which reinvents the traditional organisation hierarchy and creates the best experience throughout the products lifecycle.
Transferring a physical department to a remote service was a massive undertaking and a tremendous effort from all involved. Despite the immediate challenge presented by remote training, the team recovered any drop in customer satisfaction within six weeks. To put that time frame into perspective, that’s the fastest time that D&G have ever seen a manufacturer recover when implementing a new system.
Don’t just take our word for it. Here is just a small selection of customer testimonials taken from the Hoover, Candy and Haier Trust Pilot pages:
Great service and repair
Your engineer arrived at stated time, he was polite and courteous and completed the repair within 20/25 mins.
Easy to contact and staff very very helpful.
Good service and engineer was very professional.
Candy washing machine
Had to have new motor in my washing machine and engineer stuck to COVID guidelines, was very polite and helpful, good service. Machine up and running in just one visit, thank you very much, very satisfied, also gave me helpful tips which I appreciate regarding regular cleaning of machine.
Very efficient and courteous
Very efficient and courteous engineer. Several useful reminders about upcoming appointment.
Overall a good response to a fault in our appliance.
The engineer came as soon as it was possible. He identified the problem – something that he hadn’t come across before. He came back a week later and replaced the part
A number of customer service team members have been recognised by Haier HQ in China for their outstanding performance.
Angela Wallace, who joined the company in January 2018 as contact centre operations manager, received a ‘Service Star Award’ for her efforts to diversify services available to existing customers.
Meanwhile, Matt Kendall, technical manager, has worked for the business for 16 years and was also awarded a ‘Service Star Award’ for ensuring service capabilities throughout the pandemic.
It’s only now that Haier’s Bolton-based service team is starting to leverage the functionality of the new CRM system which allows for increased and exceptional customer support. Customers are now able to book appointments 24 hours a day through an online portal, communicate via live chat and live messaging, as well as book call backs if they’d prefer not to wait in the queue.
Overall communication with customers has improved dramatically over the last twelve months. Customers automatically receive email and text confirmations for appointments booked, cancelled, or amended, along with a host of other transactions where the team proactively communicates in order to provide upmost confidence in the overall service.
The department also has plans to create a customer jeopardy team that will proactively review any delays to its service provision. This should result in problems being highlighted before the customer is even aware. It is this capability which adds even more to the group’s service offering and the team is looking forward to building on the great foundations it already has to offer.