Whatever your business, when you are in the process of growing your company, commercial success can often take priority over staff morale.

As cartridgesave.co.uk has matured, we have come to understand that people make the business, so we have put into place a set of rules that we abide to in all aspects of our work: “Is it better for our customers? Is it more efficient for us?”

Listen to your customers

Sometimes you can get so swept up in the logistics of day-to-day business that it’s easy to miss signs that can help you improve your business and increase profitability.

We answer over 500 customer queries a day and we found that a huge percentage was spent on the same questions. By developing an online FAQ to answer the most regularly enquired problems, we were able to a) saves the customers’ time, b) identify areas of the business that need improving or developing and c) save our staff from having to answer the same queries.

After uncovering the most nagging customer queries, one question stood out above the rest: “What time is my order going to arrive?” To make this question a thing of the past, we decided to take action to avoid wasting both the customers’ and staff time.

We recruited a new delivery supplier to install an order tracking system that has saved us approximately £700 per month and improved efficiency in the warehouse. 80 customers a day are already using this new service, which shows just how much it was needed.

The right staff for the right job

Ensuring that we recruit only the best staff, means that I’m able to use my time to look at how we can improve other areas of the business.

It may sound obvious, but ensure the staff that deals directly with your customers have a high standard of English and math and make sure they have all the tools available to resolve conflicts in as short a time as possible.

First call resolution is naturally something everyone should be working toward, but are your customers aware of what information they need to provide so their problem can be solved straight away? Is your staff able to access all the information they need, no matter what the problem? Make sure everything is in place and properly signposted, and you will relieve the frustration for the customer and help to ease your staff’s workload.

Bonuses and staff rewards

Keeping staff motivated will not only mean a happy team in-house, but will also be noticed by your customer.

One way to do this is bonuses, however they are sometimes viewed as either a punishment to the rest of the team, or a contributor to the occasional overinflated ego. It’s far more productive to invest in your staff, longer term. Pay staff enough so that money is not an issue – they will soon exceed KPIs and this will reflect on the efficiency and profitability of your business. Listen to your staff, we survey our staff every week to ask them what we can do better. Even little things such as branded mugs or recycling bins shows the staff that you care.

Image credit: TPP Not for Profit

AvatarSean Blanks

www.cartridgesave.co.uk, is the UK’s largest dedicated printer cartridge company. By taking a systematic trial and improvement approach, the company’s Directors, have created a double-award-winning Sunday Times Fast Track 100 e-retailer which manages 30,000 orders a month; ranks above all its competitors on independent shopper surveys on sites including Google, Pricegrabber and Shopzilla; and is the UK’s fastest growing printer supplies retailer in terms of sales