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Certex gets thumbs up

SATISFACTION SURVEY. Customers of the one of the UK's leading suppliers of lifting products and services have been 'playing cards' in an effort to evaluate the service they receive.

A selection of customers of Certex UK has participated in a revolutionary 'game-style' customer survey, which has not only achieved an unusually high response rate but has also revealed exceptionally high levels of customer satisfaction.

The survey – which was conducted by InfoQuest on behalf of Certex – was chosen as an innovative way of collecting customer data and generated a response rate of 68%, as opposed to the more typical 5-10% response of more conventional questionnaires.

Charles Gillespie, Sales and Marketing Director at Certex, explains why Certex opted for a different approach to data collection. “We all know that surveys relying on paper questionnaires or telephone interviews tend to be largely ignored by the intended recipients. They can also be seen as an intrusion on busy schedules and the dilemma is how to open up lines of communication and obtain vital commercial knowledge without annoying the customer and undermining the business relationship.”

To try and overcome this 'data fatigue' and make the process as fun and interactive as possible, a select number of Certex customers received a survey box and deck of 36 cards – each carrying a different question or statement. The customer then had to place the cards in one of the answer compartments labelled from 'totally satisfied' to 'totally dissatisfied' or 'totally agree' to 'totally disagree', and mail the box back to Infoquest.

The format was obviously appealing, with 68% of those contacted taking part. Opinions were sought on a range of subjects but overall 58% of customers were 'totally satisfied' with the company and its services, with particularly high scores in product quality, ease of doing business, pricing, business practices, service technicians, training courses and the responsiveness of staff.

Richard Startin, Service Manager at HTC Plant Limited in Sheffield, was one of the customers totally satisfied with the company's performance. “The survey was a refreshing, simple and effective way of providing accurate and honest feedback. It made a very welcome change,” he said.

John Coldwell, UK Managing Director at InfoQuest, commented on how well Certex performed in the survey and noted the particularly high customer satisfaction rate. “Anything above 60% total satisfaction is rarely achieved and most successful companies aspire to a level of 45-60%. Obviously Certex is at the top of this range – with 58% customer satisfaction,” he said.

Certex has been organising a series of staff workshops to review the data, identify where improvements can be made and develop action plans to implement customer feedback.

About Certex UK

• Certex is one of the UK's leading distributors of lifting products and services, with an estimated 8% of the market share.

• Certex's main customers come from within the manufacturing, steel, construction, offshore, oil, gas, port and shipping industries.

• The company has 16 locations throughout the UK with a workforce of around 150.

• Through its network of distribution centres, it provides a national service to local customers who have specific local needs. These are located in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Erith, Glasgow, Gloucester, Great Yarmouth, Plymouth, Portsmouth/Devonport, Retford, Southampton, St. Helens, Tyneside and Wakefield.

• Certex has a Global Defence Procurement arm, which has offices within the Portsmouth and Devonport Naval bases. It offers the sales and servicing of a wide range of marine and industrial equipment to the Ministry of Defence and its prime contractors, as well as to the commercial, leisure and fishing industries.

• Recognised for its outstanding expertise and knowledge in lifting standards, legislation and product quality, Certex supplies only top branded names e.g. Bridon Ropes, Crosby fittings for ropes and chains, Kuplex chain systems, Elephant chain blocks, Viking branded slings and Walker magnets. Certex has also developed its own brand of chain blocks, lever hoists and accessories. The Bulldog range is renowned for its quality and high performance.

• Certex is one of the few companies in the market place that offers a complete solution package. This comprises product supply and installation, inspection, testing, repair and maintenance, training services and certification management. It also offers a product hire service.

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