Clearview North October 2013 - Issue 143 - Page 58

CLEARVIEW EXCLUSIVE HARDWARE&SECURITY A TRAINING-CENTRED APPROACH TO CUSTOMER SATISFACTION Last month, Grouphomesafe opened the doors to its new purpose built Training Centre at the ERA site in Willenhall, West Midlands, alongside the company’s UKAS-accredited test facility. Eager to take a peak, Clearview was lucky enough to be the first magazine to be invited to visit the new facility and meet with Group Technical Director, Ben Penson, and Head of Technical Product Training, Graham Loakes, to understand how this new development marks a real turning point in the cohesion of the Grouphomesafe brands, while maintaining the individual strengths and expertise of each, and how this offers added value to its customers. THE DRIVING FORCE “Grouphomesafe is a significant supplier in terms of volume but, up till now, has been somewhat of a sleeping giant that hasn’t particularly shouted about our progress,” explains Ben. “However, we have begun to change this, with product development being the main driver. So it has become necessary to introduce the Training Centre in order to help our customers to sell more effectively the enhanced product offering and its benefits. “During the various training sessions, Graham Loakes demonstrates the advantages of particular product enhancements, such as security and improved durability, to fabricators and installers. We also equip them with the tools to sell effectively and realise the true value of the products through price and customer perception. “The overall aim is the recognition of an improved offer to customers on all fronts,” continues Ben. “The key elements of this are good value, in terms of product, and good experience, in terms of the interaction the customer has with us. It is very important that they get exactly what they wanted when make contact with us.” MULTIPURPOSE The Training Centre is an example of how Grouphomesafe has successfully integrated its various brands and is now promoting a unified company culture through education and empowerment, to the direct benefit of its customer base. “The Training Centre is not solely for the use of our customers,” Ben says. “It is also a place where staff can come and brush up on their product knowledge. This improves job ownership and engagement and, in turn, improves overall customer satisfaction through the product information and technical advice they receive from us. “After all, Grouphomesafe has the widest range of products of any supplier, offering solutions at all levels, Optim, Maxim and Ultim. It’s essential that our staff are able to provide solutions to our customers and be clear on the advantages offered. ‘give them the opportunity to try the products out for themselves, right there and then’ “When customers and personnel come to the Training Centre we demonstrate the added value of our products, through ease of fitting, by taking them through the technical setup and then give them the opportunity to try the products out for themselves, right there and then,” adds Ben. TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION “The interaction that takes place in the training room provides a platform for feedback that can be applied to the product development process, giving us a better understanding of the needs and demands of the industry and enabling us to find an appropriate solution.” 58 OCT 2013 The Training Centre has its own dedicated personnel headed up by Head of Technical Product Training, Graham Loakes, who explains, “The ultimate goal is for the Centre to be booked up everyday. A reorganisation of warehousing has made way for a room that has been designed especially for training, which creates the right environment for freedom of thought, where questions can be asked and answered and where ideas can be shared.” “This is all a culmination of a culture shift that has taken place within the company, which came as a result of an employee survey where some disparity was evident. The company-wide consolidation that has now taken place builds on an ethos that began years ago but one that is now really gaining momentum, with great benefits to both customers and the workforce.” The Training Centre not only marks an important stage of the transition but also works to reinforce and emphasise the Grouphomesafe objectives and values by creating a network of informed and enthusiastic brand advocates. A full staff training programme is currently underway and a standard training course pack for customers is available. Bespoke training packages to suit specific requirements are also available on request. Full details of the Grouphomesafe Training Centre and the type of course available can be found on To read more, visit