Arena Group was founded in Leeds in 1991 driven by the vision of creating a ground-breaking culture at a time when the industry was rife with sharp practices and poor customer service. The founding team strongly believed that sales and growth would naturally arise from excellent service. This prediction is borne out with Arena completing over 25 consecutive years of growth with a presence far exceeding the original Yorkshire-based footprint.
Along the way, Arena was recognised with the 2008 national award for customer service excellence, also from the Chamber of Commerce. Then President, Neville Raynor commented, “With such an amazing track record in customer satisfaction levels, Arena really deserves to be recognised for this significant achievement.”
Then in 2016, Arena launched a unique approach to ensure excellence in csutomer service with it's own Total Satsifaction Metholodology.
"Our Total Satisfaction Methodology (TSM), is a unique method designed and built in collaboration with our clients, based on MSc action research and academic study,” Gary Putson, sales director explained. “TSM now frames everyday actions of all Arena employees and has helped us all raise the bar in terms of client satisfaction and retention rates in increasingly competitive markets. TSM also builds on the values upon which this business was successfully founded over 25 years ago - service excellence really is in our DNA!”
Gary Putson, Group Sales Director, joined Arena in 2005, successfully driving Arena’s growth objective, focussing as much on customer satisfaction as sales. In 2015/16, Gary instigated a quiet revolution throughout Arena. Sponsored to complete a Master’s degree, Gary’s thesis Improving client retention and profitability by closing the gap between client expectations and organisational assumptions inspired and challenged equally. Gary realised that, although Arena’s retention rates (compared with industry averages) were robust, to maintain its reputation, fundamental change was needed. And so he devised TSM; beautifully simple and extraordinarily effective.
TSM is now fully embedded into every aspect of Arena with a comprehensive programme of customer-facing activity. Arena’s directors and extended management team lead the delivery of customer excellence, using ‘scrum practice’ to provide a cross-departmental view of customer-facing best practice, sharing problems and encouraging collaboration on customer matters.
In 2017, Arena Group was announced as the winner of a prestigious award for customer service excellence by the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. Receiving the award, Gary commented, “I am very proud to receive this award on behalf of the Arena Team. It recognises the commitment and effort put in to create a client-centric culture across the entire business.”
Also, fundamental to Arena’s success are ‘Arena People’, individuals who display the right core competencies and values on recruitment and consistently in their day-to-day performance.
As well as TSM, other key features which stood out for the award judges included:
- A dedicated Customer Relations Management (CRM) team proactively call every customer after every service call. Anyone not ‘totally satisfied’ is added to a log for immediate action.
- The Partnership Review Programme that tailors interactions with designated account owners for all customers
- A Sales/Service collaboration programme, transforming relationships between these key departments
- ‘All-hands-to-the-pump’ days where senior managers attend field calls to gather feedback and learnings.
- Tailored training/resources for frontline teams including remote listening, coaching, and desk aides
- An annual Quality Audit by the CRM team with full reporting and trend analysis
- Peer review reports with a second engineer attending when a return service visit is needed within 10 days. This provides feedback as a learning and improvement opportunity