Monday and we were at the Best Western Milford Hotel for a whole day of training. Our usual training day involves wall ties, damp and timber or waterproofing issues but not this one. Hence we didn’t have it at our unit and chose a nice board room in the Milford hotel conference centre, near Leeds.
Now that we are so well qualified in all aspects of our specialist work, we have turned to other parts of the business. This year we are focusing particularly on customer service.
Trudy Mackenzie runs Esteem, a firm she established over 25 years ago and one with a super reputation for innovative and effective business improvement courses and workshops. We’ve tried these before, attending Esteems Performance plus and Success through Service programs and Katrina Jackson and I achieved our NVQ 4’s in management via Esteem.
All staff were involved in looking at our customer’s journeys in our hands, from survey enquiry, through the damp-proofing, wall tie or structural work and post job too, when we issue guarantees and insurance. Trudy helped us analyse where we are now and where there could be room for further improvement. Everyone had a great time and we surprised ourselves that we are already nearly at the pinnacle of customer service. Much of this is due to our past efforts and our teams natural tendency to strive for customer satisfaction. Our attendance on previous Esteem management and leadership workshops helped too of course.
An action plan has been formed and over the next few weeks our processes will be tweaked and adjusted, so that soon we will reach our goal of providing ‘Exceptional customer service’ all of the time, every time.
We were joined on the day by special guest Annabelle Webster of South East damp and timber. Annabelle and her husband Dean run a small but perfectly formed specialist company in Kent. They are keen to improve their business too, in all areas and Annabelle was introduced to me by Property Care Association general manager Steve Hodgson, as a way of providing some mentoring and development for her growing company – what with me being an old codger with 30 od years in the trade, Steve thought I could help…..
It was a pleasure to share the day with someone of Annabelle’s experience and her incredible enthusiasm blended well with ours; she fit right in. All in all we benefited as much from her presence as she from ours – great stuff and just what the PCA is all about; professionalism and sharing for the betterment of members and consumers.
I was surprised in the afternoon when we were gate-crashed by PCA chairman Martin Hughes. Martin is shortly handing over the Chairmanship to Les Meikle and in his last official duty he presented us with the PCA ‘Highly Commended’ award for training and personnel development. I’ve known Martin professionally, for over 20 years and it was very special to receive the award from him. Apt too, that this was on one of our dedicated training days.
I really couldn’t get the grin off my face after that. It’s the second time we’ve been honoured like this in three years and being recognised reflects on all the team – Julie, Kat, Stuart, Ryan, Darren, Craig and Adrian are the heart of Brick-Tie and together we have grown in experience and expertise. It’s a fun job too, when you know you have the support of all those around you.
My thanks go to Trudy and her team, all my staff, my wife Julie and the PCA too, for helping us through the recession, as we prepare for growth in the future.