by Joanne Cooney, National Account Sales Support Manager

Delivering service excellence

Delivering service excellence
At Bidfood, our people and our customers are at the heart of what we do. This Customer Service Week 2022, we sat down with Joanne Cooney, National Account Sales Support Manager, who has been with Bidfood nearly 25 years and more than quadrupled the customer services team as the business has continued to grow, to ask her more about her role and what service excellence means to her…


What is Bidfood’s approach to service excellence?

To ensure the customer’s experience is always the best that it can be – to get the product to right place at the right time at the right price – in the most efficient way possible.


What does a typical day look like?

No two days are the same and everything we do impacts somewhere within our own business and the customers. Within the Business Support Centre in Manchester we have different teams all carrying out different functions to meet the requirements of our customers in all different ways.

We have Customer Services who are taking calls / emails from customer sites regarding delivery queries; Admin Support predominantly dealing with customer head offices and administrating everything that allows a customer to trade; Service Coordinators and Order Admin reviewing reports around three times a day ensuring we can fulfil customer orders for the next delivery, and if we can’t letting them know; Digital Support managing the customer’s digital journey where they trade via 3rd party portals and managing invoice queries through to resolution and payment; Online Support who deal with all Bidfood Direct customers and recipe management.


What’s your favourite part of the job?

The variety of the people you come into contact with on a daily basis and the sense of satisfaction when issues are resolved or processes improved that makes people live easier.


What are the challenges of the job?

Making sure that whatever we do meets the customers’ needs but doesn’t in any way hinder our internal processes – also understanding what is going on in the wider business that we need to know about!


How do you work as a team to deliver service excellence?

We review resource every day to understand where the pressure points are and allocate resource to where it is most needed that day. The customers will always be the priority as without them we do not have a business. We work really hard to try to ensure that everyone within the team understands the impact of their actions on the customers end experience which helps keep everyone focussed.


What is your proudest moment so far in your role?

Relocating the office twice with absolutely no impact on service to either our internal or external customers – we smashed it and everyone worked so hard together to achieve this 🙂


What does customer service mean to you personally?

Meaning the customers’ requirements are satisfied and they can trust you to get it right. Making sure they are kept up to date at all stages as being reassured that we are doing the best we can. Not everyone gets it right all of the time, however that can still be a positive experience if handled correctly.


If you could give one piece of advice to anyone wanting to be in a customer service role, what would it be?

Expect the unexpected!!!!


How do you see digital tools changing the customer service landscape?

This is a huge shift in the way we interact with customers – if ordering via a 3rd party system everything has to be correct at the outset in all systems in order to give us the best chance of getting the right product at the right time and price to our customers.

The telephone calls (people interaction) reduces and the contact comes either via an email or via a portal – ultimately if we don’t get it right up front we won’t get paid and the customer doesn’t have the product – none of us are happy.

More and more customers are also using customer service management systems now so are collating our service information in their systems instead of us reporting to telling them how we did. It gives the customer full visibility where previously they only had what we reported to them.


Have you seen a change in expectations/requirements on the back of the pandemic?

Not really – things seem to have settled down quite quickly – I think if anything people are more understanding and have a more pragmatic approach as everyone has had to slightly adapt the ways of working during the pandemic so it has potentially made us all a little more flexible?


What’s your favourite food?

Far too many to mention – which is very costly to the waistline – if I was to pick one it would probably be chicken in any form, however, a good red wine and dark rum (not together!) – if they were classed as a food – would be up there, too 🙂

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