At M3 Networks, Ruth is a legend. With almost 1,000 customer service reviews to her name, Ruth is soon to be the most celebrated employee in the office.
"We all have placed a wager on when she can break the 1,000 reviews barrier," laughs Mark Riddell, Managing Director of all-services IT provider M3 Networks.
"We are all incredibly proud of her – almost a third of our review total is linked to her dedication to great customer service."
But it is not only Ruth providing the best customer service possible. At M3 Networks, their mission is simple: to provide the best customer service in the country. Ruth is just one of the team upholding this value with pride.
"Ultimately, focusing on delivering great customer service positively impacts every area of our business, from retention to sales," says Mark.
So just where did the journey begin for M3 Networks and customer service? And what does their incredible 99.8 Net CSAT Score, from over 3,500 reviews, mean for them going forward?
Listen to the podcast below, or read on for more, to find out how you can use your customer service results to shape all aspects of your business.
The M3 Networks journey to great customer service
A small team based in Perth, Scotland, M3 Networks knew from the start their best differentiator in a crowded IT provider field is quality. By the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
"From the start, we had a goal for 100% customer satisfaction," says Mark.
"We wanted to truly be the best. Our biggest source of business has always been from customer referrals, which is perhaps the best endorsement we can think of."
Right from the off, M3 Networks had a solid reputation. But there needed to be a way to show it.
"Our staff are highly skilled, friendly and professional, but we had no real system in place to collect all of our customer feedback and display it effectively," says Mark.
M3 Networks began working with SmileBack in 2016. Almost instantly, the word-of-mouth recommendations translated into real evidence of great customer service.
Today, the team have over 3,500 reviews, and counting.
"Today, we hear all manner of competitors say they offer great customer service, but they have no customer service statistics to back that up," says Mark.
Informing a sales strategy with CSAT
Still the fact remains: there are a lot of competitors who, with or without CSAT proof, still grab some of the best clients.
"The challenge facing the IT industry is that much of it is unregulated," says Mark.
"This means clients need to know, especially with cyber security, that they can trust a company to manage their IT. So having CSAT ready to show your great customer service helps give that confidence. We also have accreditation with ISO9001:2015, and it is this collection of accreditation and customer endorsement that shows you can do what you say you can do."
Without exact numbers, Mark is positive their CSAT proof, in the form of client reports, has helped M3 Networks win crucial deals.
"SmileBack is a key part in our customer success strategy, and in our sales strategy," says Mark. "Having great customer feedback helps us prove we can deliver a consistent level of customer service over many years.
"When we are pitching to clients, the customer feedback we have through SmileBack helps us be armed with statistics to show we are the best choice. We do win most of the business we go for, and SmileBack is a bit part of helping us have a slick sales process."
Why employee happiness translates to customer happiness
Employee happiness really does impact customer happiness, as Jason Whitman from JustWorks notes in a now oft-cited blog on employee happiness:
"Happy employees are more likely to go the extra mile to help your customers out, show resilience in challenging situations, and to help your company’s profits grow. All those factors result in more satisfied customers and a better retention rate."
Assuring an overall excellent customer experience is vital to your bottom line. Research from eConsultancy shows 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. And the willingness to provide great customer experience only comes from within.
It is a reality Mark recognised pretty early on, and today SmileBack plays an important role in assuring a happy workplace.
"A lot of companies believe that providing great customer service means getting problems solved, but that is not always the case. Great customer service means going beyond that and giving the customer something to remember after the technical issue has been solved," says Mark.
"We use SmileBack to give feedback to our staff, and follow up on any neutral and negative responses. For the team, we have screens up in our rooms to display the live SmileBack review feed. This helps our team see any comments at any time from our clients."
All of this positive feedback has led to a happier workplace.
"I would definitely say employee morale has improved," says Mark.
"Working in IT - and especially in customer support - can be a pretty thankless task, as no one ever calls you to praise you for a good job. But seeing these comments come in gives us a little pat on the back. It helps show we are doing good work."