Spotlight on IAA finalists: Customer service - Whissendine

Spotlight on IAA finalists: Customer service - Whissendine

Really getting to know their customer needs and a focus on speed have earned Whissendine Post Office and convenience store a place in the IAA finals for Customer Service.

The wait is almost over. The Independent Achievers Academy awards ceremony is this week. Here’s a look at the last of the 12 retailers with a Post Office in the running.

Whissendine Post Office and convenience store in Oakham is through to the finals of the Independent Achievers Academy (IAA awards) in the Customer service category.

First class customer service

Tejal and Suraj Agath truly put their customers first. They always go the extra mile to provide first class customer service from taking shopping bags to elderly customers’ cars and putting names on newspapers for regular customers. Tejal also went to the home of a regular customer who had left an unstamped letter behind to see what service was required and it was a vital letter needing next day delivery.

They took on their shop and Post Office from their relatives Mr Nirav & Mrs Nipa Modhvadiya earlier this year. Both had previously worked for Asda, Tejal had been a Customer Services Assistant and her husband worked in the warehouse, so they both brought essential skills for running a retail business.

Getting to know you

Mrs Tajal Agath, said: “When we took on the shop we introduced ourselves to everyone and asked customers for feedback about the shop and Post Office to see if there were areas where they would like improvements. When customers who suggested new product ranges, we introduced them and let them know, but we did not put them under pressure to buy.

“We got to know people’s names and more about them to build up a relationship to make our customers feel special. We quickly got to know which customers were happy-go-lucky and wanted to chat and which ones wanted a simple greeting without a conversation. We aim to be both friendly and professional.”

The Mace village shop was taken on by the Modhvadiya family in November 2015 and in May 2016 a Post Office was added, to the delight of the local community.

Up to speed

Tejal and Suraj decided to have all retail stock delivered to the shop, which costs them a little more, so that they did not have to spend time at the cash and carry, otherwise both of them could not always have been at the store to serve their Post Office and retail customers.

Tejal said: “Customers really appreciate the speedy service that they receive and our long opening hours (over 70 hours a week). We have very satisfied customers. I made sure that I was quickly up to speed with all the products and services offered at the Post Office and if don’t know, then I find out. That good knowledge is vital to offering a good Post Office and we are also knowledgeable on the retail side. We pay attention to their needs and wants so that we can offer them a better service and to make them feel special.”

The couple even have a suggestion box outside the store so people can give anonymous feedback.

These customer service initiatives have helped Whissendine Post Office and store to reach the finals of the Independent Achievers Academy (IAA). Wishing the team the best of luck!