We bang on about it a bit, but seriously, having happy customers makes us happy – and we are a happy, enthusiastic, bubbly lot here at Affinity for Business and we hope that reflects on the way that our customers feel treated… it has been a bit of a journey, and a journey at lightning speed, which has taken a lot of effort and a lot of doing what we ‘felt’ was right to get to this point…
AfB was formed a year ago today (we operated in something called shadow market – which was like us operating with stabilisers for a few months before the market officially opened in April and we broke away completely from Affinity Water). So happy ‘shadow market’ birthday to us!! We were quite a different animal a year ago, there were very few members of staff, the brand had just launched but it didn’t yet have a clear identity… and our poor customers (who at this time couldn’t switch) were either struggling to understand the formal necessary letters they were receiving about market opening and wondering what the heck was happening or just didn’t really care.
So what has happened, why are we now this bubbly lot of customer obsessed people who are feeling more than a little excited about what the future will bring?! I guess it’s a combination of talking, understanding, creating a happy place to be, talking some more, defining what the ‘affinity for business’ identity is and living by it and then nurturing our employees, both the new and old. Our MD Helen Gillett has been pretty inspirational in her approach, which is open and honest – she really does listen and asks for advice and ideas from the whole team – she doesn’t pretend to know the answers to everything – I mean who does – but she works with us to get to them which gives us some ownership in the success of AfB. We are all learning, all the time, and the business has had to be pretty ‘fluid’ so that we can adapt and evolve our processes quickly… but we don’t ever lose focus on those who are keeping this journey going – our customers. We are loving this new market and all its crazy challenges – we only sell water, not too taxing one would think but the rules, systems and processes we are required to abide by can add layers of complexity that are sometimes extremely challenging.
It is often said that if you look after your employees then they will look after your customers. I am a strong believer in that, why on earth would you put yourself out for a customer if the company is treating you like a number? And so it is with that attitude that AfB is moving forward, we look after our team, we don’t get it right all the time – but we hold our hands up when we do and learn from what we have done wrong.
We are putting ourselves out there on Trustpilot and we are doing that so that we can learn – warts and all – and be held accountable publicly – because we do want to get it right.
We are also engaging with Glassdoor – again so that we can nip any problems in the bud and see how we can improve.
So here’s to all those companies (many of which will be our cherished customers) who are striving to get things right as often as they can – Happy National Customer Service Week 2017!!!