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Last updated: 14.10.14

Training focus 'helps brands improve customer experience'

The latest list of brands ranked for their customer service standards has revealed the importance of delivering the right staff training to keep consumers happy.

The 2014 customer excellence ranking from consultancy firm Nunwood, which was put together from the results of a survey of 7,500 consumers, shows how brands such as QVC and Saga Travel are ranking highly in the list thanks in part to improved training initiatives, Marketing Week reports.

QVC, which was placed third in this year’s rankings, allocates part of its budget to staff training and development and sets clear objectives for improving employees’ skills.

“There is a lot of investment in our people through coaching and development, theoretical and practical training, and then investment in our leaders and coaches so that it is sustained over a long period of time,” James Keegan, director of customer services at QVC, said.

Saga Travel, meanwhile, moved up 195 places to number 28 in Nunwood’s rankings compared with last year by helping staff to enact its customer-focused mission statement.

“We looked at everything, such as how we get feedback and insight from our team and customers, how we train and support our frontline teams to be the best they can be and how we were align our objectives to the delivery of that mission,” director of travel sales Niccola Mignacca explained.

Nunwood’s customer experience list for 2014 was topped by First Direct, with John Lewis coming second. 

Elaine Wilson of ASK Europe recently said in a column for Retail Gazette that the retail sector needs to do more to improve staff training - especially for new managers - so that brands are better equipped to cope with the various challenges they face in the digital age.

She claimed that many newly promoted managers are expected to simply learn on the job and receive little direct training to help them adapt to the demands of their new position.