I’m a huge advocate of Good Customer Service – I train it all the time and I’m always on the look out for new ideas, so when I experience something new, I like to see if Benchmark can use it.

I recently bought some stunning pearl earrings from The House of Briar (on our way up to holiday in Scotland it is a MUST stop off and I am allowed 90 minutes retail therapy by the hubby) – and this year was no different.

The earrings are loose hanging and as I am very clumsy, I asked if they had some plastic backs that I could buy to stop them falling out. The salesperson did better than that – he spent ages looking for some backs and then produced some gold-coloured ones and included them free of charge.

When it came to paying the bill, he put the receipt in a small envelope and passed it over to me. A small touch, however, one that struck a chord with me as it now made it substantial and was not going to be shoved in my purse and lost when I try to reconcile my credit card account!

I also recently stayed in Parc Manor Hotel, Cardiff where they cannot do too much for you! They are cheerful, kind, and thoughtful.

When I went down to breakfast on the first morning, I was greeted with my own personal menu for Room 3 ……………… how easy to do is that, how special does it make you feel?

I also had to order some lateral flow tests for Covid testing while I was there (I had forgotten to take mine down with me) and asked them to be delivered to the hotel. When I arrived back Mario – on reception – advised me my parcel had been delivered and was in my room.

Sure enough – there the box was, on the desk in my room.

So, what do I do at Benchmark to make the customer feel a little bit special?
Well – firstly I call it the MMFI factor (make me feel important)

And use it in all my training.

Secondly, I make all the training files I give out personalised – and I make sure that I spell the name correctly (nothing worse than your name being misspelt!)

Thirdly, I also – when delivering online training – send out a Benchmark survival box. This arrives in the post a few days before the training, and it contains the course notes, pen and Benchmark coaster plus sachet of coffee/Yorkshire tea plus a sachet of milk and a Kit Kat. This way I am introducing myself before we even start the session …………… trainees appear on Zoom eating the Kit Kat and drinking the tea or coffee,

Fourthly, Trainees always get 4 emails from me. One every week after they have been trained which refresh and revitalise the theory, they have learned with me during the education.

I’ve had some terrific responses to these.

‘These reminder emails really work – I had forgotten this part of the course’.

Hope you had a good holiday and yes all going very well here – using your reminder emails in team meetings!

Negotiation coming on nicely!!

Fifthly – I change my voicemail message every day! Yes, every day.

It will always say something like:

This manages the caller’s expectations and also tells them how quickly I will respond.

Sixthly – I always personalise my email out of office response as it helps paint a picture of Benchmark and myself.
Recently, I put this out for 16 days:

Thanks for your email.

I am currently on holiday in Scotland with the hubbie and our two dogs.

I will be checking my email regularly so please be assured I will respond soon.

Thank you for patience.