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Customer service: The proof is in the pudding

By: Ilana Koegelenberg – assistant editor

It’s been a couple of months since the Interact Media Defined (IMD) team completed their Congruence Customer Service training – we check in with some staff members to see what difference the training has made in their work-lives.

IMD is a publishing and exhibitions company of about 35 staff members based in Bedfordview, Johannesburg. Its staff come from all walks of life and are quite a diverse bunch (as we quickly learned when identifying everyone’s different personality types in the initial training). Across the board, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and it’s not just the staff who are noticing the difference – but clients too! We take a look at some of the staff’s stories…

Go the extra mile
Janine Peters is IMD’s online guru. She works on various association and industry websites. Normally, when clients call her about registering on the sites, all she has to do is register their accounts and give them their login details over the phone. But since the training, she has decided to go the extra mile by not only registering them, but also testing the login to make sure it works, and sending them a confirmation email that includes not only the login details, but a step-by-step guide of how to access information. “I now listen more to people, give them input and, once in a blue moon, I even crack a joke!” said Janine. “It gives me great satisfaction to do just that little bit more and the clients have been very appreciative.”

Clients are noticing
Chantalle van Eeden is an external sales rep who sells on MMPR magazine (amongst others). She received the following email from a client recently and it speaks for itself: “I am really happy with the service and response I have received from Mining and Minerals Product Review, two days since my ad went live digitally and already we have a lead. Thanks to Chantalle for all her amazing help.”

Reading the customer
Mari Macnamara, external sales rep for F.I.R.E Africa, was having difficulty getting one of her clients to advertise and was continuously being brushed off. When Mari took the time to really listen to the client, she realised it was merely because they didn’t have time to make up material. Mari offered IMD’s services to help with the advert-make up, the issue was resolved immediately and the booking form signed within 10 minutes!

Better communication
Glyniss Bone is a layout artist and her clients are more internal (sometimes the most difficult clients of all!). After the training Glyniss learned that it’s all about understanding who you are working with and finding a way that works for both parties. “Having understood different personality types, it makes it easier to communicate with colleagues,” she said. “I try to accommodate customers to their job card requirements, a quicker turnaround time and doing many changes in order for the customer to be satisfied with their adverts.”

Follow up
Zeldalee Du Toit is one of the young internal sales reps working on RACA Journal and Cold Chain Africa. She received a glowing testimonial from one client, who was so happy with her customer service, he wanted her to forward his positive mail to her manager so everyone could see how happy he was! “Thank you very much for your hard work. Your service was fantastic and you followed up when you said you did. Please forward this to your manager as I would like them to know that your service and sales knowledge was excellent.”

Have you noticed a difference?
IMD has come a long way since embarking on its journey to provide better customer service, both to internal and external customers. And there is still a long way to go. But every single staff member is making a conscious effort to go the extra mile and be more accommodating. Have you noticed a difference in our service? Let us know! We’d love to hear from you.

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