Honda customers contacting the company this week may have been in for a surprise when they found themselves speaking directly to the company’s car division general manager David Strangeway.
Strangeway was taking a break from his usual management role to get personally involved with Honda’s customers as part of the company’s participation in National Customer Service Week.
Customer Service Week is aimed at raising awareness of the crucial role played by customer service professionals, generating a stronger commitment to customer service excellence…and having a bit of fun.
Getting senior management and other staff involved in customer relations activities was just one of several activities organised by Honda UK. There were staff competitions and prizes, a quiz involving the company’s Clevedon-based contact centre and free refreshments for all. Customers were not neglected, for as well as getting advice from the company’s top brass, every 100th caller received a small gift.
"We want to raise the awareness of the Customer Department and demonstrate that customer relations is something which affects every employee, from office cleaner to managing director," commented Jane Nicholls, customer relations manager. "To do this, we encouraged all members of staff to pick up a phone and get ‘up close and personal’ with our customers – with a regular member of the customer relations team nearby to help should things get tricky!
"This experience gave employees a chance to encounter the kind of calls which really make up the bulk of the work at customer services, to raise awareness of the rest of the company of the value and hard work of the team," she added.
"Satisfying the customer was always one of Soichiro Honda’s top priorities," said David Strangeway, hanging up his hands-free kit at the end of the day, "and it’s still the number one priority for us today. I found the experience enlightening, with plenty of questions, queries and enthusiasm," he added.Published 9 October 2003