Mark Howell talks about our award winning approach to customer service
Following on from recently winning the prestigious TCS&D Customer Service Award for 2021, we sat down with MFS’s Managing Director Mark Howell to get his perspective about how the company has approached its customer service challenges over the last few years:
“For MFS, this last 18 months has been a real test of our business, just like it has been for many businesses across the country, as during 2019 we had restructured the company with the aim of enhancing our approach to customer care. Little did we know what a test it would be.
Advance preparation was vital to us being in the right position at the right time when COVID-19 first impacted on the country. With this forward planning firmly in place, our established regional service support structure, backed by a robust company-wide investment in IT, ensured that we were quickly, and easily, able to move our non-frontline staff to a ‘working from home’ scenario in support of our 200+ front line service engineers, well ahead of the government’s request. This meant we were able to provide our customers with a seamless transition, with no disruption to the levels of customer support from the business.
In addition, earlier in 2020, we had also completely re-equipped our entire national frontline mobile service team through a phased introduction of new Euro VI Mercedes Sprinter vans, together with the latest state of the art diagnostic equipment and full communications package, as part of our rolling MFS Engineer 2020 programme.
Historically, supporting our customers who supply the NHS, and the wider Care sector, has always been part of our DNA. A fundamental part of the MFS strategy during the pandemic has been the introduction of several key programmes directly with both the NHS and other organisations, so that we played a vital role in servicing the healthcare and pharma sectors through our nationwide wholly owned service support operation.
I personally am really pleased by how we met our customer’s individual, and varied, requests during this crisis. The scale of our customer support operation makes interesting reading. For example, over the last 12 months, our nationwide MFS service van fleet covered over 3.8 million miles just attending to customers’ breakdown and service requirements. In that period, we attended over 70,000 scheduled and unscheduled customer callouts. At the same time, even when our entire regional and national call centre operation was switched to working from home, we answered over 195,000 service calls in the last 12 months, all of which were answered within an 8 second window.
Finally, to ensure a seamless upscaling of our customer support programme, we also invested in 70 new members of staff to add even further support our customers, whilst operating our 14 nationwide workplaces which were kept safe thanks to extensive investment in PPE and on site Covid-19 testing.
The pandemic has impacted on everyone in the UK, as well as worldwide, however at MFS, we have been able to use our almost 50 year expertise in developing temperature-controlled solutions to best effect by working closely with our customers, our partners and our suppliers so that we have played a significant role in ensuring that all our Cold Chain distribution customers were supported effectively and efficiently 24/7.
At the start of this interview, I suggested that the last 18 months was a real test of our business. I am more than happy to say that MFS has met the challenges of this most difficult time and the nominations that have been submitted to you by our customers for this award fully substantiates how MFS as a business stepped up to the plate for its customers.”
Mark Howell, Managing Director, Marshall Fleet Solutions
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