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The Cavalry looking to get customers grinning with ‘happiness system’

The Cavalry looking to get customers grinning with ‘happiness system’

Looking to boost support feedback in a novel, yet simple way

Peter Low, director, The Cavalry

Peter Low, director, The Cavalry

IT and telecommunications MSP, The Cavalry, is prepping to roll out a new form of customer service feedback that director, Peter Low, believes will boost the company’s already impressive growth.

He told ARN the MSPs growth over the past three years has seen it knock back two takeover offers, one of which was from a major multinational. The company boasted growth of 37 per cent in 2014, for revenues of $4.23 million.

Low calls it the ‘happiness project’ which comes from an attempt to get better feedback from customers who use its IT support services. The company had been struggling to get buy in from its customers in terms of completing feedback surveys.

“We wanted to find a word that gave us ownership of the process, similar to how Volvo is associated with safety. We want to be associated with happiness,” he said.

As a result, when a job is closed, instead of a lengthy form or multi-choice questions – that customers very rarely bother with – customers simply press a green smiley face, or a red grumpy face. The manager then calls the customer back for negative responses. The manager then produces a report card, utilising simple categories, such as people and processes.

The HTML based report, soon to be developed into a real time widget.
The HTML based report, soon to be developed into a real time widget.

He got the idea from a similar feedback system at Sydney Airport when going through customs. Low estimates that it has now seen feedback go from around 10-20 per cent up to 80-90 per cent. Which enables the company to boost its customer satisfaction, and allowing it to constantly tweak its offerings to suit the client.

This also translates into an in-office system based around game theory – the feedback goes into software (soon to be a real time widget on customer support operators desktop) which produces real time leader boards, satisfaction rates, call times and other stats, that encourages competition amongst staff and makes the environment more fun to work in, says Low.

The app then doles out awards to each staff member based on well known characters and tropes – such as the Borat award (‘that’s very nice’ for exceptional customer service), the Buzz Lightyear award (going way ‘above and beyond’) and the Terminator (‘killing it’ in sales), for example.

“You can get philosophical and say – how do you measure happiness? I just say, show me. Everyone knows how important customer satisfaction is,” he said.

The company remains focused on its SMB end of the market, but has been approached more by mid-market operators – but Low stresses that he wants to maintain market discipline and not undermine his company’s reputation by trying to spread itself too thinly.

The new system is being launched amongst a few select partners in February, before being rolled out more widely. The real time widget is still in the works, but currently stats appear on an office leader board, and in HTML.

Read more: NSW Government encourages ICT reform feedback

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