Richard Branson voted Britain’s best ambassador of customer service
champion” Sir Richard Branson is Britain’s best ambassador of
customer service, according to a poll of experts. Amazon
founder Jeff Bezos took 2nd place, followed by Churchill the dog, in
a survey by the Institute of Customer Service.
The survey participants are all customer service professionals
taking part in the 9th annual National Customer Service Week running
over 5 October to 11 October 2009. Around 1,500 organisations have registered for
the week and many more are taking part worldwide. Employers in
public, private and third sectors see it as an opportunity to
recognise the efforts of their customer-facing staff and thank them
for their achievements.
Jo Causon, the Institute’s chief executive, says it is no
coincidence that Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos topped the poll.
“They are both renowned for high service standards in their
fields.. Sir Richard is often prepared to
take the customer’s side, while Jeff Bezos broke the mould with
Amazon, by developing the blueprint for effective, personalised,
online customer service. And our latest research of 25,000
consumers saw Churchill achieve a world class score for customer
satisfaction, so perhaps Churchill the dog symbolises a company
which puts good customer service at its heart.”
Jo Causon believes customer service is the vital differentiator in
business today and says those who recognise the talents and
contributions of all their staff will motivate their people, improve
customer loyalty and boost profits. “The key to success
is to treat customer service as a culture, not a department. You
must listen to your customers, deliver on your promises, invest in
your staff and be prepared to evolve to meet the changing needs of
Organisations will use National Customer Service Week to celebrate
customer service as an important part of their DNA, which needs to
be embraced by everyone to ensure consistent, world class service is
Research shows around 90% of customers are likely to tell others
about a bad customer experience, but satisfied customers also tell
other people, therefore generating new business.
Companies signing up include Virgin Trains, Manchester United FC,
Unilever, Metropolitan Police, PricewaterhouseCooper LLP, British
Gas, Barclaycard, Toyota, Volkswagen, TalkTalk, the Environment
Agency, Alliance and Leicester, Ladbrokes, Mothercare, Avon
Cosmetics, Ticketmaster, Jobcentre plus, Carnival UK, Hallmark
Cards, Legoland, National Grid, Blackpool Pleasure Beach and
Survey respondents revealed their top reasons why customer service
is vital to bottom line profits – generating repeat business and
attracting new customers. They also gave their top reasons for
taking part in National Customer Week.
Here are the top 10:-
1) Improve communication from ideas provided by staff
2) Celebrate a
serious message to everyone in our organisation that we all provide
3) Show customers
that we really do take pride in the service we provide
4) Show that customer
service is important and relevant to our overall business objectives
5) A morale booster
6) Update customer
service skills and find out what is new
7) A fun week and a
reminder of why we do what we do all year
8) To remind
colleagues that being polite and friendly isn't an extra thing they
have to do - it should be part of their everyday business
9) Promote our
10) Promote the
excellent work that staff have undertaken
More information is available on National Customer Service Week at:-
North West sees biggest housing waiting list rise
waiting lists have grown over 50% in the North West in the last 5
years, the biggest rise in England, according to a new report from
the National Housing Federation.
North West Home Truths 2009 shows that 1 in every 13 households in
the North West is now on a social housing waiting list - 234,500
households. However in 2007/08 only 20,310 new homes were built
across the region highlighting the massive gap between supply and
The regional economy
is suffering. In total 293,000 people were unemployed (May 2009 to June
2009) in the region, an increase of 34% in a year. With three of the
five most deprived local authorities in the country the danger is
that the recession will hit harder and last longer in the North
Housing associations are making a major contribution. They provide
homes for nearly 400,000 families. That is more than 1 in 8 of all
households in the region. In the 5 years to 2008 they invested over
£25m to encourage employment and enterprise. They created almost
3,550 jobs and advised 340 start up businesses.
The new report reveals how the downturn has increased the need for
more housing across the region:-
· House prices in the
region remain 8 times higher than average incomes.
· House prices in the North West have risen nearly 4 times faster
than incomes over the past 10 years.
· House prices in urban parts of the region cost around 8 times the
average income, while in more rural areas the house price to income
ratio is over 10.
Launching in the same week as the Conservative Party conference
takes place in the region, the Federation are calling on all
political parties to put housing at the top of their agenda. The
conference takes place in Manchester, one of the most deprived major
cities in the country under the Government's Index of Multiple
Average house price 2008
Average income 2008
Households on waiting lists
Sallie Bridgen North
West regional manager said:- "The North West has seen the
largest rise in households on waiting lists in the past five years. However far too few new homes social are being provided.
solution is simple - we urgently need more social homes. Housing associations are working tirelessly to improve our
communities, investing heavily in new homes, regeneration and new
jobs. But the North West needs more resources to tackle deep and
structural economic problems.
At THE 2009 Conservative party conference in Manchester we
encourage delegates to get out of the confines of the conference to
see the great work housing associations are doing and the desperate
need for more social homes!
We welcome the recent efforts to inject more money into affordable
housing. Social housing is a vital part of the solution to both the
housing and economic crisis. Even as public spending tightens,
government must remember this.
They must ensure we build enough
homes for social rent now, so that housing supply meets demand."