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Sarah metcalfeBy Sarah Metcalfe, Head of Customer Service at SureFlap

Customer Contact Expo, the UK’s largest event for the customer contact and customer service industry, is now less than a week away, and I’m looking forward to joining some of the industry’s leading experts on both days to talk about how SureFlap provides its excellent customer experience and has rapidly grown its business.

As the leading provider of intelligent pet products, customer service has been a major focus for us since day one. We knew that creating a great product means nothing unless you back it up with amazing customer service. It was for this reason that in early 2013 we decided to bring our customer service operation in house. The aim was to improve the experience for pet owners who seek detailed advice about installing flaps and any issues they may have with their pets using them.

To deliver on this strategy we decided to take advantage of cloud technology. This enables us to offer a unique and personalised experience to our hundreds of thousands of customers across Europe every time they call. NewVoiceMedia’s cloud customer contact solution, ContactWorld for Service, and its integration with Salesforce has allowed us to establish a very successful customer service operation. Now, whenever a customer calls, we have immediate access to their entire history and all of their interactions with us, as well as the ability to manage multiple languages.

We have had a hugely successful year, expanding into new markets, and increasing our market share. Our call volumes have increased by 52% but we are still able to achieve our impressive Net Promoter Score of 95% across the globe. In terms of our growth, ContactWorld is completely scalable. As we’ve expanded to new countries in Europe, North America and Australasia, we’ve been able to add new country telephone numbers, and new consultants in minutes.

We’ve seen an average increase in sales of 68% YoY since 2013, and have besureflap caten able to support this growth with just one new full-time and one part-time customer service representative. We’ve now sold more than half a million pet doors since we launched and we’re really proud that our product is being recommended by vets and behaviourists all over the world. Each week we send out over 300 satisfaction surveys to gather feedback on our customers’ experience and our products. Our cloud-based system alerts us any time someone scores us less than 9 and we then use this as an opportunity to follow up with them and find out how we can improve both their own experience and our processes in the future.

At SureFlap we are particularly focused on creating a happy workplace. The cloud-based combination of Salesforce and NewVoiceMedia gives our team the tools to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. They are empowered to make and effect change in our business by having access to real-time reporting and information. They can spot problems, trends and common requests quickly, meaning each team member is able to make a real contribution to constantly improving the business. This inevitably means a happier workforce, a happier workplace, and happier customers. The effects of focusing on happiness and well-being in your workplace cannot be underestimated. Studies prove that happy employees work harder, longer and are more profitable for your business, and recruiting a new member of staff costs twice as much as keeping your current employees happy.

The value of creating a company where great customer service is at the heart of everything you do is, in my view, fundamental to the success of a business. Happy workplaces and happy employees automatically allow your business to focus on treating your customers right. Ensuring you listen to your customers, and your teams that support them, allowing changes to your business, processes and products based on their suggestions will help your community of customers grow further, and will have a positive impact on every aspect of your business.

In my session next week, ‘Customer Experience in a Connected World’, I’ll be talking more about why we decided to bring our customer service in-house and the benefits we’ve seen since implementation, along with the future of customer service as we take the next step in intelligent pet care. We see smart products being key to creating the future of pet care. As we enter the Internet of Things market we will be supporting and connecting owners and their pets in a way that has never been done before. Both Salesforce and NewVoiceMedia will be part of how we deliver these solutions to our customers.

To find out more, watch the video below and download our case study. Then make sure you’re registered to attend Customer Contact Expo and I look forward to talking to you and taking any questions you may have in the Speaker Theatre at the Networking Bar.

About Sarah

Sarah joined SureFlap five and a half years ago, taking responsibility for the company’s customer service and guiding it through an extraordinary period of expansion and growth. She now leads a talented multi-lingual team who deliver outstanding customer service and happiness to all SureFlap customers around the world.

Sarah is passionate about happiness in the workplace, and knows the positive impact this has on the customer experience. Originally from British Columbia, she brings a wealth of customer service experience from a background that includes charities, logistics and manufacturing. Inspired by the teachings of great customer service companies like Zappos and Happy Ltd, she wants to share her experience and the success of SureFlap with others.

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About Sure Flap

SureFlap was founded by cat owner and Cambridge physicist, Dr Nick Hill, in 2007 to solve the problem of unwanted neighbourhood animals getting into his house. Nick developed a cat flap that used his cat, Flipper’s, implanted microchip like an electronic door key, giving him exclusive access to the cat flap and leaving intruder cats at the door. Since then the company has expanded its range of award-winning microchip operated pet doors and launched the SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder in 2014. SureFlap products are now sold all over the world and have changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of pets.

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