With the threat of so many job cuts, pay freezes and the removal of employee benefits is it any wonder that more than 500,000 new businesses are started each year (according to the Federation of Small Businesses).
In line with these reports SJD Accountancy, the UK’s largest accountants for contractors who recorded a 70% rise in limited company contractors in 2010, have now been nominated as a finalist in the Institute of Customer Services UK Customer Satisfaction Awards 2011. So it seems the record growth to contracting was not only due to permanent employees becoming contractors but also due to SJD Accountancy’s commitment to customer service.
John Lewis, Virgin, First Direct and American Express have all been winners of customer service and customer satisfaction awards so when SJD Accountancy were announced as finalists in the ‘Customer Commitment’ category some people might have been surprised. After all accountancy and customer service may not seem like the most obvious of partners.
However there has been a revolution within accountancy, gone are the days of stuffy grey suited accountants. ‘Customers are king’ which is why last year SJD Accountancy hired its first ever Director of Customer Service. It’s rare for a firm of SJD’s size (they employ a little under 200 people) to hire such a person.
Charmaine Vallance Poole, Customer Services Director, commented “As you might guess, I’d say if you want to grow your business there are few things more important than providing high levels of customer service and exceeding customers expectations. This is why we were so pleased to be announced as finalists in these prestigious awards”.
SJD Accountancy are the only accountants to be nominated in this year’s awards.
Mike Faulkner, Chairman of Judges and architect of this new recognition programme explains: “These awards evolved from research carried out by the Institute of Customer Service into the fundamental elements of customer satisfaction. Having identified what is most important to customers, the Institute developed the UK Customer Satisfaction Index, a sector specific guide to customer satisfaction levels as voted for by the public. The awards element breaks down the sector barriers and reflects customer satisfaction on a pan-economy basis.
The awards are designed to recognise excellence and endeavour whilst projecting customer service as a business imperative that boardrooms across the land need to tackle. SJD Accountancy’s foresight in appointing a Customer Service Director indicates that it places customer service as a key business imperative, and indicates that service is more than a bolt-on business process; it is part of the organisation’s DNA. In these straightened times retaining customers and engaging with them takes on a new significance and all the finalists in this year’s awards are excelling in this arena”.
The winner of the Customer Commitment Award will be announced on 22nd March 2011.
To discuss this story further visit our SJD Accountancy Blog.