At Knighton Foods, we ‘get’ the whole Customer Service thing; put quite simply, if we don’t meet the customer’s needs then someone else will and we won’t have a business. As proof of this, we are Members of the Institute of Customer Service, which allows us to work with other like minded businesses to continually improve the levels of service that we offer.
We have therefore built our whole business philosophy around striving to deliver the highest level of Customer Service possible, and when we make mistakes (we recognise that we are human and this does happen from time to time!) we have a process in place to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
We don’t want to ‘sell’ to you, we want you to ‘want to buy’ from us, which means we have to create a friendly environment of honesty, co-operation and trust where we can all work together for sustainable and mutual benefit – this is how we do it…
Our people are our single biggest asset – put quite simply, people create businesses, businesses don’t create people (well not yet anyway!). We strive to create an environment of ‘free thinking and fun’ where everyone knows the part they have to play in the success of the business, it is therefore of paramount importance that our people feel valued, enjoy coming to work, and are rewarded and recognised for the valuable contribution that they make. We achieve this through the following key drivers.
We recognise that people like doing business with, and work better with, other like-minded people. For this reason we ensure that we employ people with a similar mindset, focussed on teamwork and delivering great Customer Service. We employ nice people to train, we don’t train people to be nice (but we do train them to do their job well).
Most businesses rely on new ideas coming from the management team, not the people actually doing the job – we believe it should be the other way around. The people who know the job best are the ones who do it every day and we encourage everyone at all levels to share their ideas for improvement with the rest of the business through a formalised suggestion scheme. Every idea is reviewed by a cross functional committee and the contributors are always recognised for their important input. This creates a highly rewarding environment where people feel valued and involved in the development of the business.
A formalised scheme where individuals are nominated by their peers for going above and beyond the call of duty in an effort to deliver great Customer Service.
We are investing in all our people by working with a recognised third party to improve skills across the business. This forms part of our objective to attain ‘Investors in People’ accreditation.
We believe in paying our people fairly, not paying them as little as we can get away with, and everyone participates in the company’s success. We always recognise initiative and effort where appropriate, everyone needs to feel valued and recognition by your peers for a job well done is one of the most motivating experiences in the work environment; our GEMs and Suggestion Schemes play a big part in facilitating this.
But, this is an achievement, not an ascription or attendance culture. Behind all the fun and caring is a very simple message – YOU are responsible for delivering great Customer Service, if you don’t do your job properly, then service will suffer and you will be letting your colleagues and our customers down – whether you are the CEO or the newest apprentice, we are all therefore equally important and equally responsible for our actions and behaviour.
To support our business philosophy, we have developed a Mission, Vision and set of Values which truly encapsulates the essence of our business. These sit at the very centre of everything we do.
“A flexible Powder manufacturer creating high quality innovative products and solutions for the Retail, Out of Home and Business to Business markets.
By valuing our people and fostering a culture of ‘free thinking and fun’, we strive to deliver Excellence in Customer Service at all times”.
“A flexible Powder manufacturer creating high quality innovative products and solutions for the Retail, Out of Home and Business to Business markets. By valuing our people and fostering a culture of ‘free thinking and fun’, we strive to deliver Excellence in Customer Service at all times”.
We believe that Customer Service is not a department – it’s an attitude which must flow through every single person and process within the business. If you get service right, sales and profits will follow.
Customer Service means organising the business for the benefit of the Customer.
Customer Service means treating Customers as people who have needs and wishes you must meet.
Customer Service isn’t about being perfect – it’s about how you put it right when you get it wrong (because you will get it wrong sometimes!)
Delivering great service is not about doing everything for everyone, we believe it is important to manage our stakeholders expectations by being clear from the outset on what we can and cannot do, and the way in which we will do business. We have therefore developed a set of parameters which clearly show what a customer should expect from us, and against which we will always strive to over deliver by at least 1%.
RESPECT FOR OTHERS
People have a right to work in an environment of mutual respect, we will always be respectful to others, will never be aggressive, equally we will not tolerate those who are disrespectful or aggressive towards us.
We will, at all times respond to you in a timely and efficient manner, keeping you up to date on current issues and ensuring that you have the information you need from us to effectively manage your business. For example, if we say we will get back to you with an update on a situation at 16:00, we will get back to you at 16:00 without exception, even if the update is ‘nothing more to report’.
Our overriding mantra is to ‘Under Promise and Over Deliver’ – satisfied customers breed new customers and we want your experience with Knighton Foods to be both positive and enjoyable (and let’s be honest, we want you to recommend us to others!)
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Visitors are always welcome on our site provided they adhere to the strict rules around health, safety and food hygiene. You will always receive a warm welcome at Knighton and you will be nominated a specific host upon arrival; your host will be responsible for you during your visit and is there to help you with all of your needs.
We will always be very clear on our capabilities and on what we can and cannot achieve. While we will try our best to meet your needs, there will be times when we cannot achieve this ourselves. Rather than trying to win business ‘at any price’ and run the risk of not meeting your needs, we will be clear on what we can and cannot do and will work with you to find other manufacturers who are better placed to deliver your requirements where we are unable to do so.
We price our products and services competitively, but make no apologies for the fact that we are here to make a profit and maintain a sustainable business for all of our stakeholders. We actively encourage open book costing with all our customers and are always willing to work with them to deliver as cost effective a product or service as possible. We welcome collaboration on the purchase of raw materials where there is an overall mutual benefit on innovation, cost, quality, production or buying efficiency.
Price changes should not be as emotive as most people make them. We do not like putting our prices up and would prefer to be able to put them down, we appreciate that a large proportion of consumers live on a very tight budget. We will therefore always try to mitigate the need to put up our prices whenever possible and will actively work with our customers and suppliers to protect everyone from market pressures wherever possible.
ORDERS AND DELIVERIES
Customer Service is an attitude, not a department and we do not subscribe to the view that delivering 98.5% of what a customer orders is acceptable. We believe that if you order 100 units, you should receive 100 units on time and in full and we have organised our business processes to give us the best chance of delivering this – after all, if you ordered a four door car, you would expect it to come with four doors, not three, wouldn’t you?
That said, in the real world there will always be situations beyond our control (lorries do have flat tyres and machines do break down) and when this happens, we will do everything possible to get the goods to you as quickly as we can, and will keep you up to date with the progress we are making. Should things go wrong, we will work with you and other manufacturers to find an alternative route to meeting your orders.
Great Customer Service is most visible when things go wrong, and is defined by how well a problem is dealt with and resolved. At Knighton Foods, we recognise the importance of keeping customers aware of problems as soon as they arise, and then presenting action plans and potential solutions in a timely manner. We will communicate bad news just as quickly, if not faster, than good news.
We do not enjoy it when things go wrong and we therefore drive ourselves harder than anyone else can to rectify problems as soon as possible, not because we should but because we want to and it really matters to us; Customer Service is an attitude that we all share and we know we will be measured more on how we resolved the 1 problem than how we got the 99 other things right first time.
Some customers think that fineing manufacturers will help focus their attention on service, we are already highly focussed and will not entertain fines being levied on us as they only serve to increase our costs, which are then reflected in our prices. If, however a customer is materially disadvantaged as a result of the actions of Knighton Foods or its suppliers, we will always want to discuss this in a fair and equitable manner.
CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT (Kaizen)
In line with our values, Continuous Improvement is core to our Customer Service Vision. We know that we can always improve what we do on a day to day basis. Learning from what you have done and improving on it is part of the secret to success, and no matter how small it might be, every improvement counts. Knighton Foods have implemented a Kaizen framework throughout every department to ensure that we continually improve our levels of service, learn from our mistakes and ensure that what we do tomorrow is just that little bit better than what we did today.
We welcome suggestions on how we can improve what we do from our colleagues, suppliers and customers alike. If you have any suggestions on what we could do better, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org – we will respond to every suggestion, no matter how small, thank you.
We also work closely with the Institute of Customer Service to regularly conduct surveys with our employees, customers and suppliers, to better understand where we can improve. You should expect to be contacted by the Institute from time to time and we respectfully ask that you complete their surveys honestly and objectively to help us improve. Please have a look at the Institute’s website to see how they could help you with your business.
WORKING WITH SUPPLIERS
Great Customer Service does not apply only to customers, without the support of our suppliers we cannot meet the needs of our customers and therefore will not have a sustainable long term business.
As a supplier, you are very important to us and you can expect exactly the same level of service as our customers. We will be challenging in our requirements of you and will, at times, make unreasonable requests in order for us to meet our mutual customers needs; we need you to make every effort to deliver what we want but also feel comfortable in challenging us when you can’t. Only by working collaboratively with our suppliers can we hope to deliver the level of Customer Service that we strive for.