Name: Joseph Turner
Location: North Yorkshire
Founded in: 1997
Tip: “If you’re launching something new, don’t go too bonkers. Test, test, test.”
Menswear retailer Joseph Turner is operating in an increasingly competitive online market, making it essential to have the best customer service team possible.
Based in – as founder Chris Legard calls it – “the back and beyond” of Yorkshire, there isn’t a wealth of options when it comes to finding staff with the right skillset.
To avoid sinking valuable time and resources into hiring, Joseph Turner looked at ways to keep existing staff engaged with the company’s goals.
The firm started by encouraging the customer service team to have more of an impact. In this department the work could be repetitive, putting staff at risk of boredom or frustration. But it was also the only team with valuable insight into the customers Joseph Turner was trying to reach.
“We’re a small business, so everyone can have a significant impact, whatever role they’re in. We started sending our catalogues or marketing materials over to the customer service team and they would pick up things that we had overlooked. They would say: ‘our customers won’t understand what you’ve written there’,” Chris explained.
When it comes to analysing progress or making strategic decisions, Chris tries to keep things as open as possible. He makes a point of sharing their financial results and sending regular progress emails so everyone knows how the company is doing. He also invites the customer service manager to strategy sessions, so the team has a representative voice.
“The customer service team is really involved in decisions and gets to give a lot of feedback. It makes their jobs more varied, since they’re not just sitting down taking orders – they know there’s a really valuable contribution to make.”
The open communication at Joseph Turner has helped to keep staff turnover low. The leadership team has spent around a decade with the company and the customer service team has worked there for several years.
Chris admits they’re still at the mercy of an unpredictable market, but the strength of their team makes the business well-placed to press the accelerator.
“It’s really helped that everyone here has a good understanding of the business, the customer and the ethos. It means we’re all pulling in the same direction.”