5. Recruit the Right Talent for the Job
Nothing beats hiring the right staff who enjoy being in the service industry. Ms Chan admits that these days, it can be tough finding people who appreciate customer interaction or do not mind working on weekends. How does Chan Brothers address this challenge? Ms Chan says, “By driving home the importance of customer service in everything we do and in every department, we ensure this becomes a natural part of each employee’s consciousness. Essentially, we ‘live and breathe customer service’ in our company.” Chan Brothers also introduced a staff rewards system that recognises those who receive the most compliments from customers, helping spur staff to excel.
6. Training Service Champions
Chan Brothers embarked on an 18-month Customer-Centric Initiative (CCI) with SPRING Singapore (now Enterprise Singapore1) in August 2013 to develop and sustain a service culture system within the company. During the project, the company identified and addressed potential service-related gaps by establishing SOPs and automating operational processes across front- and back-end offices.
While Chan Brothers previously implemented various service initiatives in the past, Ms Chan notes that it was through this project that they were able to formalise and add structure to their activities. Combined with the adoption of digital technology to streamline their processes, the introduction of these new SOPs has resulted in a 30 percent reduction in lost phone call enquiries and bolstered its repeat customer base. Today, about 50 percent of Chan Brothers’ clients are repeat customers.
At the same time, the company established a real-time monitoring and tracking system for all service initiatives. This enables managers to provide on-the-job guidance to front-line employees on how best to engage customers. “We are in a people-dependent business, which requires a lot of training. Since we undertook the CCI, we have learnt to engage with all our staff better and staff retention has improved. We also observe that we have a higher return rate of staff now — about five to six staff come back to us every year,” says Ms Chan.
Besides maintaining what has worked well, the focus now is to find ways to do better in meeting increasing customer expectations. “By focusing on service excellence, we have enjoyed better, stronger business; but, above all, we ensure that every holiday is magical for each individual,” concludes Ms Chan.