Thursday, 14 November 2013

Investing in customer service

Our service is designed to ‘take away the hassle’ of furnishing a property – so customer service has to be central to everything we do. But we also have to respect the fact that the quality of our work affects how our clients are perceived by their clients or customers. If you’re an agent you have vendors to think about, if you’re a developer you want to have a good reputation amongst purchasers, and if you’re in property management or lettings –what we do can influence your chances of repeat business from landlords.

Andrew Clark
MD at David Phillips
Because of this, we’ve been making a significant investment in our business so our clients receive an unparalleled customer service experience. Over the last year, we have stepped up our efforts to roll out an ‘account manager model’ across our business. In essence, this means that clients will have their own dedicated team to manage the account. They have an account director who acts as a personal relationship manager to the client, a dedicated customer service support person to make sure everything runs smoothly, a salesperson dealing with home staging and rental furniture, a furniture package person, and an interior designer. Each member of the team has a specialised skillset for dealing with different aspects of our service.

This year we’ve invested in four account management teams. We hired Gavin Hughes from Conran Contracts, who has come on board as an Account Director. He is looking after Barratt Homes – and has been heavily involved with Courthouse, their luxury development in Westminster, working closely with their Regional Sales Director Gary Patrick, and teaming up with DTZ on the launch in Southeast Asia earlier this year. We’ve put together brochure material and sent our people out there to talk with their clients. And leading up to completion, our team will be looking after the furnishing of properties for individual purchasers.

Gavin also heads the Savills account, covering everything: furniture replenishment, our rental service and home staging, packages for investors, and interior design. We’ve been supporting Savills on a number of developments including Greenwich Square by Hadley Homes, Central Park by Family Mosaic, and Quarter Mile in Edinburgh by Gladedale – where we’ve furnished over 100 units to date.

Chris Dale, recently rewarded for his efforts with a promotion, has been put in charge of our Bellway and Hamptons International accounts. Chris has been working with Nick Vaughan and James Underhill at Hamptons, helping them on two Wilmot Dixon developments – Prime Place and Amberley Village. Again, we’ve produced brochures and accompanied the client overseas as well as on their UK launch. We also work with Hamptons’ Interior (decorating) Solutions department, headed by Sarah Clements, and help them with all of their furniture and interior design needs. For Bellway, Chris has been working closely with their Sales Director Peter Knights – supporting them at New festival Quarter, Equinox, and City Peninsula in Greenwich – where he attended the launch in Southeast Asia last week.

The third team manages our Berkeley Group account, which is headed by Ana Stratton. She has been working with St James on Kew Bridge West, Napier West for Berkeley Urban Renaissance and Saffron Square in Croydon, Woodberry Park and Caspian Wharf for Berkeley Capital. And last week we won a tender to provide furniture and interior design solutions for St James’ Riverlight in Battersea. Ana will be working closely with Paul Bennett who is Berkeley’s International Business Development Director.

The last of our new teams looks after our Ballymore account – and is headed by Drew Baxter. He has been at the Embassy Gardens and City Island launches in Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. The team is also helping out owner occupiers with their interior design at 21 Wapping Lane.

As a result of our investment, David Phillips Group has the largest customer facing team in the industry by a long way – and we’re looking to double its size throughout 2014. This means that we’re hiring. In particular, we’re looking to strengthen the teams led by our account directors Gavin, Chris, Ana and Drew – so we can give our clients an even better experience. We’re interested in hearing from high caliber individuals within the industry, people with a customer service or sales background who have worked in the property sector, as well as interior designers to join our design team.

So – if you are interested in joining a company that prides itself on customer service, please contact us at: jobs@davidphillips.com.