One of the key aims of the One Advice Group is to provide the best customer service in the industry. We place a lot of emphasis on continual improvement, and one of the tools we use to identify strengths and areas in which to improve is customer feedback.

At key milestones in a debt management plan (DMP) and IVA, customers are sent surveys to encourage them to feed back how they’ve been getting on, and to share their opinions on the journey they’ve undergone so far. We want to make sure customers are treated with integrity and in a way that is fair and so we monitor service levels and the delivery of value for money. The aim is to meet, and hopefully exceed customer expectations.

Last year Harrington Brooks received over 7,000 completed surveys from DMP and IVA customers enabling the tracking, monitoring and analysis of trends in feedback. The surveys provide customers with the opportunity to feedback specific comments using a scale of responses ranging from “agree strongly” to “disagree strongly” to statements such as;

  • I am satisfied with the service from Harrington Brooks.
  • The “DMP or IVA” was explained to me clearly.
  • I receive regular updates regarding my plan.
  • My adviser was helpful.
  • I now feel more in control of my finances.
  • I would recommend Harrington Brooks to friends or family.

We also measure the awareness and response to changes we make. Last year, 79% of those who responded said they would recommend us to a friend or family member.

Each week, the senior directors and managers meet to discuss survey results, to assess them and decide up on any appropriate actions required. This can be on a purely micro level, for instance, the rapid response team might contact a customer to resolve an issue they have reported within their individual survey, or it can result in wider change within the company as a result of more macro trend analysis.

Some of the changes we have made as a direct result of customer feedback include;

  • an increase in the number of pre-paid envelopes we send out as standard to customers, so that they can easily forward any creditor communications.
  • the introduction of 0330 numbers. Calls to 03 numbers are charged as calls to normal landlines; and are included in minutes allowances and call plans.

Within survey feedback, it is clear that communication is extremely important to customers – though the level of communication desired was varied. Some preferred to only be contacted when strictly necessary, whilst others wanted regular updates and reassurance as their plan progressed.

To allow us to be more responsive to customers’ communication needs, investments have been made in a number of initiatives, such as:

  • a £50,000 email software system has been integrated to make our e-communications more efficient
  • our Live Chat tool, so customers can get real time advice online from trained advisers.
  • The improvement and re-launch of our My Online Account tool for customers on debt management plans, so that they can access the details and progress of their plan 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Customer feedback does count. We do listen, read and analyses the responses we receive – it’s integral to the group’s ongoing commitment to continuous development and improvement.