This week we’re chatting to a company who, using every tool in their Feefo toolbox, have mastered the art of using customer feedback to improve every area of their business. For Synergy Car Leasing it’s not about just collecting reviews – it’s about using the insight within their feedback to fine-tune everything from their customer service to their employee engagement.
Head here to listen to the podcast, or keep reading to find out how they’ve managed to achieve a whopping 47% response rate to their feedback requests!
Thanks so much for joining us. Can you give us a bit of an overview of Synergy Car Leasing?
Hi! I’m Paul, the founder and CEO. We’ve been in the business for 14 years, providing vehicles to individuals as well as having a number of long-standing and growing relationships with businesses. Now we’ve also got this wonderful electric vehicle opportunity, supplying electric vehicles which are making company cars more desirable again.
We offer a transparent service, so you pay what you pay without any surprises or hidden terms in our contracts. We take the time to ensure that the experience that our customers have matches their expectations, and that every single person we work with receives the opportunity to provide their feedback via Feefo - taking the good with the bad!
You cover a lot of bases then, but obviously customer input is really important to how you run your business as a whole…
Absolutely. For example, at the moment we can offer an online service with a sanitised delivery process, e-signature documentation and regular proactive updates via email or text. We try and fit our service to our customer’s exact requirements.
That customer-centric approach is more important now than ever, and having those things in place has probably served you incredibly well over the last few months!
Definitely. It’s all about communication with your customers. We were delighted to receive the Feefo Platinum Award for 2020 and acknowledge three years of Gold service, but we do sometimes drop the ball and get it wrong. The important thing is how graciously we pick it up and respond. I think the key to any of those problems is about communicating promptly and accepting responsibility, and then working on a solution that gets the customer back to where they want to be, making them feel like we’ve acknowledged that things haven’t gone right for them. I think the opportunity there is that some of the best relationships come out of a bad situation.
We’re all consumers in some way - customers are everything! Without customers, none of us have got a business, none of us have a job or any wages! I think that’s the key for me.
"We’re all consumers in some way - customers are everything! Without customers, none of us have got a business, none of us have a job or any wages! I think that’s the key for me."
We’ve worked with you guys for quite a long time now, and you really use all the tools at your disposal to improve and benefit your whole business – and that’s from an internal and customer-facing point of view. Could you give us some examples of some of the successes you’ve seen as a result?
We’re all about constantly raising the bar. We could sit on our laurels and say, ‘we’ve got a Gold Trusted Service Award’, ‘we’ve got all these five-star reviews’, or ‘we’ve got a 94 Net Promoter Score’. The fact of the matter is, you’re only as good as your last piece of feedback. Consistency, which is one of our company values, is the holy grail of quality experience for a customer. If you go somewhere and know what you’re going to get, you end up with a business you can trust. You know you’re going to get treated with the same level of respect, responsiveness – the same level of overall consistency.
Net Promoter Score is a really good overall reference point. It gives us an opportunity to benchmark ourselves against other businesses. All of these measures enable us to keep track of where we’re up to as a business at the top line, but also how individuals are performing in the service that they deliver to our customers. We can monitor by account manager, the number of feedback responses that have been requested, the number of reviews that have been received, the number of NPS’s that have been received – we can then look deeper into individual situations.
We also use feedback for training and development by ‘reviewing the reviews’ in our sales meetings. We put them on a big screen and just roll through the feedback, celebrating individual’s successes
"All of these measures enable us to keep track of where we’re up to as a business at the top line, but also how individuals are performing in the service that they deliver to our customers."
One of the things you touched on was about looking at the bigger picture and spotting which issues are affecting your successes...
We look closely at the feedback that we get, and we use that feedback to make sure that what we’re doing is on the right track, to see if we can improve what we’re doing, to question whether we can share anything that may have gone wrong with our team, and then to find the best possible outcome.
There’s one thing I know will interest a lot of existing Feefo customers, and anyone who uses feedback to inform their experience. You guys have really good response rates – you most recently reported 47%. Come on, what’s your secret?
To be honest, if we left it to our sales team or a computer to request the feedback, I think we’d probably get ten or twelve percent response rates. We ask that our team introduce Feefo in the first telephone conversation that we have with a customer. They’ll ask the customer how they found us, and ask if they’ve seen any of our reviews. Our advisors just let our customers know that if they choose to do business with us, they’ll get the chance to share feedback on their experience. When we complete the delivery of a vehicle, we always carry out a completion call. We mention Feefo again, and tell them that now is their chance to leave their feedback. We mention that it only takes between 10 and 15 seconds to do.
If the customer wasn’t happy with the service, we stop the call and fix the problem before calling them back and asking if they’re completely satisfied, and whether they’d like to leave us a Feefo review. We always say that we’d appreciate them stating in their review that there was a problem. We then always ask if they’d recommend us, and very often they already have!
"We encourage the customers to take a look at the reviews in their own time to get a better idea of what we do. We have a compliance officer who monitors the performance of our sales people, one of the points he checks being whether they mentioned Feefo."
You have really beautifully illustrated how entrenched we are in your processes and systems, but also how that feedback can have a presence throughout their journey with you, from the moment they have their first call right up until completion. Obviously, being able to read the feedback from other customers in between really helps them to make decisions with confidence…
The reality is that a customer, even if it’s a small transaction, can make a difference with their feedback. Keeping an eye on our response rate gives us a good barometer and it allows us to motivate internally and manage situations.
There are certainly learnings that other businesses can take from this – like having an excellent customer welcome journey where you work in that customer feedback messaging from the start.
I think that communication at the beginning is about reassurance and trust. When we signed up to Feefo in 2014, I said, ‘you mean we share the information with you and then the customer publishes the review with you in the public domain?!’ I thought to myself, you’ve really got to believe in yourself! But that’s the reality of it - if we’re not willing to back ourselves or deal with the consequences if things go wrong, then in today’s marketplace I don’t think we’d be fit for purpose.
Because our staff know that their customers will be providing feedback on every experience they have with us, and that the feedback is going to be on show on the website, it provides natural upward pressure. We even use it as part of our recruitment process when we’re selecting people to try and work out whether we think they can work to the standard that we hold ourselves to on a daily basis. I think feedback works on multiple levels. What it does is create an environment of positivity around problem solving, taking responsibility, accountability, and communication.
"I think feedback works on multiple levels. What it does is create an environment of positivity around problem solving, taking responsibility, accountability, and communication."
That’s something that we try and advocate a lot. Collecting feedback isn’t just about those basic benefits – it goes a lot deeper and it can be used on so many levels across the whole business to make improvements, drive morale, to improve standards.
And finally, if you could give one bit of advice to other Feefo users, what would it be?
Don’t collect feedback for the sake of it, because ‘everyone’s got to have reviews’. Get information from your reviews that allows you to get closer to your customers. If you can get closer to your customers and you can understand them, you have a better chance of retaining them, growing referrals and repeat business.
That’s pretty good advice! I don’t think we could have put it better ourselves!
To find out how you can use customer feedback to see the same incredible results, get in touch!
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