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What if service is the key battleground?

by posted in Customer service, Enterprise business

This is a guest blog by Ross Keeping, Head of Customer Service at UKFast.

This week I reflected on our Raving Fan mission whilst admiring ‘The Chariot Race’ painting by Wagner in the Manchester Art Gallery. It is an impressively huge oil painting from the late 19th century and brilliantly brings to life a Roman chariot race. It is an intense battleground where the competitors push themselves to the limit using their skill on a gravelled circular course. For winners there is glory and for losers lies defeat or potentially death.

I do not ride a chariot, but decisions I make can influence our battle in the quest for developing a successful business. A recent report named “Service 2020: Megatrends of the Decade Ahead” stated that by 2020 customer service will be the top priority for competitive business. I don’t disagree, but I believe this is already a key battleground for many industries and enterprise level web hosting is certainly one of them.

So when is service the key battleground? When you step out of the budget priced market and provide top quality products there is one big characteristic that customers can quickly evaluate you on and that is service. Did you honestly realise the true gain and pleasure from every new feature on your mobile phone or was it more memorable when the customer representative shipped you a replacement handset with minimum fuss whilst sharing a joke with you?

Truthfully at the high end there are few differences between HP and Dell or BMW and Mercedes or Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s. What will really give you pleasure or inflict pain is how their processes and people interact with you. We base our decisions on the amount of pain and pleasure we receive, and so it follows that service impacts consumer choice and will continue to do so.

We know service is the key battleground and so I reflect on the painting and ask what weapons we have at our disposal at UKFast and within our Enterprise division. Just six in ten companies have a defined strategy for tracking customer feedback and complaints. This stat is very encouraging as we have a solid strategy and have devised numerous paths to listen to our hosting clients, including face to face focus groups, account management, ticket feedback, Net Promoter Score metrics and a swift complaints procedure.

Apparently only 47% of firms have clearly defined service goals and processes. It would appear many firms have lots of work to do. Meanwhile, we closely monitor our ability to connect customers to technical engineers quickly and create Raving Fans – through ticket feedback amongst other things.

As I walk away from the painting and its vibrant colours I know we have a winning approach to service and recognise I can always think wider and look deeper. I look forward to exploring our services further and ensuring our continued success on the business battlefield. I would encourage you to read the Megatrends for the Decade Ahead and see ‘The Chariot Race’ in all its glory – both experiences are truly enlightening.

Service 2020: Megatrends for the Decade Aheadhttp://www.bdo.uk.com/library/service-2020-megatrends-decade-ahead


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