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Acestes

Acestes Pte Ltd

Improving service standards through the utilisation of a customer-centric strategy

Summary

Customers today are quick to take their business elsewhere at any hint of poor service standards. While businesses recognise the need to provide exceptional customer service, just simply telling employees what should be done may prove to be ineffective. What businesses should focus on instead is guiding employees on how to improve on serving customers.

At a Glance

In every industry, the provision of exceptional customer service standards has always been an integral part of an organisation – given that meeting your customers' satisfaction is paramount to growing your business.

Recognising that consumers today are increasingly particular about service standards, Acestes Pte Ltd (Acestes), an enterprise providing one-stop services and solutions in investigation, insurance claims adjusting and security to customers, sought a solution to address potential performance gaps within the workplace, and to raise its customer service standards.

Why the need to improve customer service standards and their experience?

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Investing in new customers is between 5 and 25 times more expensive than retaining existing ones.

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89% of consumers are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer service experience.

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78% of customers have backed out of a purchase due to a poor customer experience.

With the pandemic, the expectations and demands of customers are now higher than ever before. Today, they want quick responses and personalised interactions at every touchpoint – and are not afraid to take their business elsewhere if their needs are not being met.

What are the steps taken by Acestes to enhance its customer service levels, and address the performance gaps of its security staff? Were they successful? Read to find out more!

Diagnosis of Performance Issues

Often, procedures put in place at the workplace detail ‘what’ employees should be doing, but not ‘how’ to go about doing so. Similarly, for Acestes, current SOPs for its security staff merely describe the procedures, and not how they could interact with customers.

Furthermore, there has been no formal training put in place to address performance gaps of security staff. A review of the CCTV footage at the sites manned by Acestes showed that staff were not able to respond appropriately to problems which could potentially lead to unnecessary conflict between security staff and residents. In the long run, if staff do not uphold the image and reputation of the company, it will ultimately impact the ability of Acestes to expand or retain current sites.


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Solutions

With the primary aim of attracting and retaining both new and existing customers, upskilling of of staff were needed to help improve work processes, and the quality of service delivered.

To determine where the existing performance gaps were at, it was vital to first identify the various customer service touchpoints, and the operational processes that required effective handling of customers. From there, the following interventions were implemented:

  • Developed customer service blueprints for processes that required effective handling of customers
  • Co-created relevant training materials, such as a facilitator guide, slides, and an assessment plan based on the Skills Framework for Security Industry to train staff
  • Conducted workshops for selected corporate and operational staff
  • Execution of a Communications strategy, where a series of messages were disseminated to inculcate customer service standards among the operational staff
  • Developed a customer feedback form for residents living in condominiums

Challenges

Inevitably, due to the nature of job for security officers where their work revolves around shift duty, it was difficult to schedule them for training workshops. There was also difficulty in obtaining footages recorded by staff on scenarios where effective customer service skills were needed – which would have been beneficial for learners during the workshop.

In addition, the lack of manpower in terms of developing course materials was evident for Acestes, as there was only one staff who had the necessary certifications (i.e., DACE and ACLP) and had to juggle between work duties and developing the materials.

To add on, obtaining responses from the residents living in condominiums proved to be a challenge as well.

Achievements

At the end of the workplace transformation project with IAL CWLP, Acestes achieved the following:


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At least 20% of the staff trained at the end of the project – 12 out of 50 staff were trained

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Developed blueprints for 4 processes incorporating customer service:

  • Handling parking violation
  • Handling suspicious persons
  • Handing suspicious vehicles
  • Handling internal staff – corporate
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    Zero complaints for rude behavior were received during the course of the project

    When asked about the critical areas that led to the success of the project, Acestes shared that support from the Management was extremely vital, aside from instilling a customer-centric mindset in staff.

    In addition, ensuring that staff had the capacity to attend training was essential as well, particularly because they were on shift duty – hence, more effort was needed in terms of coordinating a perfect time slot for them to attend the training workshop.