James Mc's Story - Service with Respect Campaign

23 October 2020

5 minute read.


Carpenters Group are proud to support the 'Service with Respect' campaign in association with The Institute of Customer Service. Read more about it here


James McConville's Story

We've interviewed our front-line colleagues across our Insurance Services and Legal Services departments to hear their first-hand insight. 

“What a year 2020 has been. A year of uncertainty, change and worry for us all. Our daily routine has been turned on its head. No longer do we have to deal with the daily commute as we make our way to our kitchens and our dining rooms to log in to our virtual office.

Whilst Covid-19 has brought with it challenges for all aspects of the business. In the midst of company finances, furlough and establishing new IT infrastructures for Working from Home, it is sometimes all too easy to forget that on the other side of our laptops is a customer who needs our help.

The majority of customers have shown empathy and understanding since the beginning of the pandemic. Most have acknowledged the challenging times faced by businesses.  In fact, many have taken the time out of their busy lives to let us know how appreciative they have been of our efforts in these turbulent times. Customers have said: ‘Everything went really smoothly regardless of the current circumstances with Covid’ and ‘Even during the Covid-19 lockdown my emails and calls were responded to promptly’ which is really positive feedback to have received.

Understandably, customer patience and empathy has started to fade as the months have passed and so we’re working hard to ensure that we do not become complacent and that our focus remains firmly fixed on their experience as a customer. All of us are just trying to find our way through the crisis and we understand that many have faced the financial pressures of furlough or redundancy, had home schooling thrust upon them for the first time and, crucially, many have developed a deeper appreciation for family, friends and their own sense of well-being.  

There has definitely been an increase in more difficult conversations with clients and it’s fair to say that our team has faced unprecedented levels of aggressive calls of late. As the pandemic has gone on, people’s frustration with the situation has dramatically increased and team members have been accused of hiding behind Covid or that using it as an excuse is a “simple cop out”, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

As clients have adjusted to their new lives, the demand for a service they can trust and rely upon has never been greater and we must continue to adjust alongside them. How customers experience their claim journey from beginning to end is more important now than ever before.

Communication is, of course, key. We must strike the right balance between providing a reactive, agile and adaptive service in the face of the ever-changing landscape and a more proactive customer-centric one. Minimising the effort our customers need to exert is crucial to providing a frictionless and stress-free service.

We’ve found that things can go more smoothly by following some simple, yet practical, steps. Making regular courtesy calls, that are scheduled in our diaries, is a great opportunity to get to grips with a claim and build a good rapport with the client.  Acknowledging receipt of client emails as they come in, lets them know that that we are here, being proactive and things will be dealt with as soon as possible. Giving clients a quick call, email or even a text to provide a quick update can be very reassuring for them. Being direct and honest with customers helps to manage their expectations on timescales. If they know what to expect and when, they will be more content in letting us get on with it.

As we enter more local lockdowns and the unsettled times continue, client anxiety and worry is likely to increase still further unfortunately. Pent up frustration will continue to fuel heightened customer demand as we navigate through and beyond the crisis and so we’re working hard to be prepared.

Thankfully it is not all doom and gloom. We can and will come out the other side stronger than ever as we continue to effectively engage with our customers day to day.  We are incredibly proud to have remained, as one recent customer posted on social media, “professional in [our] manner and especially during Covid-19”. Even through these challenging times, our ongoing commitment to customer service will allow us keep ahead of our competitors and maintain Carpenters Group’s position as one of the UK’s leading provider of insurance and legal services.”