Led by The Institute of Customer Service, National Customer Service Week takes place between the 7-11 October 2019. The week-long campaign is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate excellent service, raise awareness of best practice and the role that customer service plays within successful businesses and the growth of the UK economy.
Providing an excellent experience to our clients and customers is at the heart of our strategy at Kier and here, Jackie Ducker customer experience director at Kier Construction, explains how we have embedded customer excellence into our culture and the steps we take to constantly improve.
“Across our Construction business, our portfolio ranges from small scale upgrades to large commercial developments, with projects taking place across the length and breadth of the UK. Whilst the size and scale of projects may vary significantly, the requirement to deliver an outstanding level of service does not. With this in mind, we approach delivering excellent customer service as a business fundamental, taking in not only best practice from our own projects but also looking outside of construction for inspiration, whilst measuring our performance and challenging ourselves to improve.
A long running customer satisfaction programme at Kier is the ‘Listen, Act, Measure’ initiative. We have been using this structured programme as an effective way to engage with and seek constructive feedback from our clients in a consistent way since 2014. The four-strand programme is designed to analyse overall satisfaction, client loyalty, customer effort and market perception. We are a long-term relationship business, so it is critical that we take time to regularly listen to every one of our clients, not just a hand-picked sample. Since initiation, we have completed over 2,500 performance interviews, analysing the data on a monthly basis and evaluating success using the Net Promoter Score (NPS) methodology to drive performance improvement.
Our NPS for client loyalty and high levels of advocacy has steadily increased. In 2019, we have closed the gap between client loyalty and customer effort ratings, which tells us that we are becoming increasingly easy to do business with, and that our people are responding to the feedback our clients give us.
Through implementing a sustainable improvement programme and acting on customer feedback, we have been able to increase our overall NPS score to +64 and seen a big jump in our customer effort score from +51 to +62 this year, with 96% of clients being satisfied with Kier. According to the Institute of Customer Service, the UK average NPS in 2019 is +20.5, so we are proud of our upper quartile performance.
In addition to the discipline and rigour we put around our internal customer satisfaction measurement techniques, we are active supporters of third-party initiatives, such as the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS). All of our construction sites are registered with CCS which gives the added reassurance of regular independent monitoring.
A number of our sites are going one step further and registering as CCS Ultra Sites. These teams represent the pinnacle of achievement and have become a beacon of best practise by exceeding the CCS Code of Considerate Practice and further raising standards of service through a collaborative working model with our supply chain. An example of an ultra-site is our work at Morley House, a project situated at the heart of Regent Street, where we have implemented a range of initiatives. These include a 100m2 living wall and breathe panels to measure CO2 output, allowing us to develop and deliver a carbon offsetting strategy for the project. When evaluating the results published by CCS, month on month Kier performs better than the industry average which reflects the importance we place on and success of the initiatives we have introduced.
Whilst we are pleased that our approach to customer excellence is having a positive impact, we are driven to continuously get better. Consequently, in June 2019 the Construction business launched its ‘Every Choice Matters’ behavioural change programme, which is currently being rolled out to every employee and extended to key supply chain partners. Customer experience plays an important element of this programme and is highlighted as a focus area along with safety, quality, delivery and generating social value. It’s important that we focus on what matters most, making the right choice to ensure that we build our culture of excellence and that our clients have a great experience working with us.
We look forward to celebrating Customer Service Week and remain committed to delivering customer service best practice throughout the business.”