We all make mistakes – that’s what being human is all about.
When Kollect started, I’m not afraid to admit that we were naive and we made some big mistakes, a lot of them business mistakes. Most of these were the costs associated with going over and above for our customers. From day one we wanted to provide a customer service that would make people stop in their tracks and think “wow – I actually felt like that company cared about me there”. One of our core values was to create wow through customer service. We wanted, and we will never stop wanting, to make our customers feel appreciated. Consequently, when we started, we collected people’s extra bags for free – you know the ones that people sometimes leave beside their wheelie bins? We wanted to collect them because we knew that some weeks are busier than others for people and this would be a good experience for them. But you know what? That cost us a fortune as pretty soon our collection costs had nearly doubled and we had to stop this blanket practice as it nearly put us out of business. Nowadays we only do this when a customer gets in contact and is under pressure. Generally customers request this service once or twice a year.
The point is, that was a mistake – although with the customer’s best interests at heart. We are unashamedly passionate about what we do, how we do it and who we do it for. We know we’re not the biggest company in the land but – and I’m going to sound cheesy here – that doesn’t matter to us as long as we know that our customers are telling their friends and their family that they had a good experience with us.
We’re not perfect (show me someone who is) but when we mess up, we admit it, and we fix it. As far as I’m concerned, it all comes down to passion. If you are not passionate about delivering a great experience day in day out for customers you wont make it in Kollect. Most of the team have shed tears of frustration and I’ve seen them regularly take work home with them and going above and beyond to keep a promise to a customer. If that’s not passion for customer service, then I don’t know what is.
We’re passionate because we believe that’s the only way to do business. Passion keeps you going when the going gets tough…Passion helps you get over failures…Passion will energise you when you are down…Passion will help you build a great team. Do I sound like an American motivational speaker? I don’t care…I’m passionate and by saying it out loud, I’m making sure that our customers can hold us to it.
What does Kollect Passion look like?
We have daily meetings and go over what we did wrong the previous day – learn from your mistakes and introduce processes. We have a internal unwow channel where every comment, suggestion or criticism from customers is put up by the team from drivers to helpers to office team.
Every Friday, we contact the customers that we have let down in some way – even if it was the tiniest thing (we’ve had customers say “oh would you go way out of that…it’s fine!” – it’s not fine!) and we make sure that they were satisfied with how we righted that particular mistake.We listen to your feedback and we genuinely act on it.
The world hasn’t evolved to such an extent that robots collect your rubbish (thankfully) so if a customer forgets to leave a bin out, we’ll reschedule at no extra cost – because that’s just being nice. If your bin is not out and our drivers can get to it, they will pull it out and empty it.
We put back your bins where you like them kept – not in the middle of the road or obstructing the place your car needs to be at end of a long day. We care about you, and I hope it shows.