TWO friends have set up in business to teach other companies how to persuade their customers to love them.
New Chapter Learning, which is based in Durham, was started by customer service experts Michelle Holmes and Jacci Wright.
Both women started work at The Co-operative Bank after leaving school, then worked at the Halifax and Lloyds TSB. They met when the two firms merged.
Ms Holmes said: “We made a formidable team. When the bank announced the restructure of its talent and development team, with inevitable redundancies, we decided to take voluntary redundancy and use our skills doing something new.
“I had recovered from a bout of depression in 2011, having found myself working 70-plus hours a week and travelling across the country with my job.
“On returning to my job I’d taken more control and was already looking at a more even work life balance.
“When the bank announced it was to restructure the department I worked in I decided it was time to take total control of my working life and leave to set up on my own as a consultant.”
New Chapter aims to help clients keep hold of their customers by showing how to implement good customer service. Ms Holmes said that recent research shows that 24% of UK customers have stopped doing business with a company in the last six months because of a bad customer experience, nine out of 10 shoppers will walk away without buying if they get bad customer service.
The business is using e-learning and virtual classroom technology so it can work with people in different locations at the same time. Ms Holmes said: “One of the most exciting things we’re working on is developing an interactive game on customer service.
“We’re also designing a customer service course that can be delivered in eLearning with supplementary on the job training materials that learners can use to put their learning into practice.
“We are looking at the possibility of taking virtual classroom technology into schools and colleges.
“We are working with a couple of institutions, with support from BT, to see how this could work for them.
“We’re even looking at innovative ways to market the company and have just put the first of a series of cartoon strips on our Facebook page about the unfortunate Cropper family and their customer service woes.”