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Why Customer Service Isn’t A Waste Of Time For North East Recycling Firm

Andrew Gerlach, Head of Service Delivery at Keenan Recycling

Waste collection and customer service may seem an unlikely combination but at Keenan recycling they go hand-in-hand. Excellent customer service and building long-lasting client relations are hugely important to the leading food recycling company.

Head of service delivery at Keenan, Andrew Gerlach, explains a little more about why good customer service is paramount for the food waste collections company – and how it has supported company growth.

“Prior to working in waste management and recycling, I worked in the motor trade, most notably with Jaguar. There, good customer service was crucial, and that same principle should apply across every industry.

Ensuring that all our customers are looked after is a priority for Keenan. Every site on our collections list is just as important as the other. Whether that’s a large university campus or small local café. By focusing on the customer, on their business and how we help them, we build long-lasting relationships.”

In a ‘new COVID world’ where many of Keenan’s key hospitality customers are facing an uncertain future, in-and-out of lockdown, good customer service has never been more valued.

Despite the challenges created by the pandemic, 2020 saw Keenan further grow its business across Scotland and expand into England. This growth trajectory will continue into 2021. Mr Gerlach said:

“We’ve been fortunate to pick up new and large contracts throughout England including new collections in Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester and Gloucester as well as far south as Taunton and Southampton. Without a doubt, much of this came via referral, with new clients attracted to Keenan thanks to our excellent reputation for customer service.”

Backing this, Keenan’s Q3 customer satisfaction survey results in 2020 found an average rating of 9.62/10 when asked ‘how likely are you to recommend Keenan Recycling to others’.

To support the ongoing commitment to excellent customer service, Keenan is introducing new digital tools and technologies to improve and streamline its waste collection service later this year. This includes ‘bin chips’ which allow bins to be weighed and measured automatically and can pinpoint their exact location, making it easier for drivers to locate them on a large site.

But while technology helps, great customer service is still reliant on a passionate and knowledgeable team. Mr Gerlach noted:

“Grant Keenan, as managing director, has created a customer-centric culture that is instilled in everyone. Just like any personal relationship it's important to cultivate customer relationships, and we ensure this is nurtured with regular reviews and feedback to understand what we’re doing right and where improvements can be made.

Occasional complaints do come in, of course, and people make mistakes but we’ll always hold our hand up and admit if we’ve got it wrong. What’s important  is how quickly we resolve any issues. There might be a valid reason why we haven’t collected a bin, but our priority will be to return to the site and collect it within 24 hours.

I think that’s what the customer likes – if they do encounter a problem or have a query, they can pick up the phone and speak to someone and be reassured that they’ll  get an immediate response.

Developed as our ‘first contact resolution’ process, we empower our staff to have the knowledge and know-how at their finger tips to reach the right solution to an enquiry the very first time it is brought to us. Saving our customers time and hassle.  

We’re a very open and trustworthy company, and that means a lot to our customers.”

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Keenan Recycling

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