Screwfix won over its customers – and the Retail Week Awards judges – with the Teleperformance Customer Experience Initiative of the Year.
Expanding at a rate of one store a week, Screwfix is something of a phenomenon in retail.
Predominantly aimed at people in the building trade, the Kingfisher brand has unique opportunities and challenges when it comes to customer experience.
All retailers know how important, indeed vital, the customer experience is.
While other categories reward specialist skills and achievements, the Teleperformance Customer Experience Initiative of the Year award is about the absolute core of retailing: keeping your existing shoppers happy and winning over new ones.
Hammer home the basics
Screwfix beat off some big hitters to take this award because, as one of the judges on the panel put it, “it’s about the basics and doing things right – it has done that very well”.
What Screwfix came up with caught the judges’ eyes for a number of reasons. Its ‘simply better service’ initiative is a major reform of the way the retailer looks at its customers, its store staff, and its behind-the-scenes systems.
“At the contact centre in Yeovil, where staff field 40,000 sales and query calls and emails each week, Screwfix said it has brought in a ‘less formalised’ way for staff to speak with customers, scrapping ‘restrictive scripted customer responses and tick sheets’”
As part of the initiative, Scewfix took a fresh look at three areas: its extensive store network, the 24/7 contact centre, and the policies and processes behind operations.
Amending staff rota planning allowed for more widespread cover of knowledgeable staff to take customer queries, and longer opening hours were brought in inside the M25.
At the contact centre in Yeovil, where staff field 40,000 sales and query calls and emails each week, Screwfix said it has brought in a “less formalised” way for staff to speak with customers, scrapping “restrictive scripted customer responses and tick sheets”.
Rethinking internal company procedures yielded some 200 innovations, including a way of speeding up transaction times and a faster method of delivering product training for staff.
Retail Week awards are not just given for ideas; they’re given for tangible improvement and initiatives. Praising Screwfix for managing to achieve both, one judge said: “It’s a really strong initiative; I can see that it’s going to make a big impact. Screwfix continues to impress me.”
Building on success
The results, the company said in its awards entry, have been profound. The solid figures were just what the judges were looking for – a like-for-like sales rise in the latest results and an increase in the customer base since ‘simply better service’ was adopted.
One of the judges remarked that Screwfix had another “stunning year” and was “outstanding in the way it stuck with the core professional customer base”, adding: “It feels like the more time goes on, the more this becomes a completely holistic and seamless operation. Screwfix could have sat back and enjoyed its success, but it hasn’t.”
One of the key elements of the initiative was detailed monitoring of customer reaction and to this end Screwfix carries out customer feedback measurements at every touch point, and regularly researches what shoppers are saying about their experiences.
One of the key indicators of how well this is working, Screwfix said, was a marked improvement in responses to questions on ease of shopping in store and via the contact centre, which it puts down to training staff to higher levels.
At its contact centre, the number of times customers are now transferred from one advisor to another has been reduced, a benefit to callers and, of course, to the company itself.
“Customers no longer have to listen to two separate explanations,” the retailer explained, “instead they get to speak to the right person straight away.”
Teleperformance is the worldwide leader in the delivery of omnichannel customer experience management. With around 200,000 people in 65 countries, our clients include 50% of Interbrands Best Global Brands 2016.
We help brands develop and evolve their customer experience strategies for voice and non-voice customer service whatever the channel used, to help optimise the value of their customer relationships at every stage of the consumer lifecycle.
In the experience economy our model is simple, it’s about people talking with people, regardless of channel or device, to help them achieve their desired outcomes. Our business succeeds through our greatest asset – our people, to help brands succeed in theirs. Teleperformance.com