Keeping the customer in the loop

Unicorn Ingredients has always put great customer service at the front and centre of its business, from its launch in 2008 to this day, as it celebrates another year of profitable growth. Customers, typically manufacturers of bakery, cereal, salad and healthier snack products, are treated with simple, old-fashioned courtesy and accounts are handled with a personal touch.

That approach comes naturally in what has always been a people-focused business, but it has paid dividends over the years from a business point of view. Many issues are avoided or nipped in the bud because Unicorn has embedded strong customer¬-focused communication systems into the day to day running of the company.

Automated answering systems have no place at Unicorn’s head office in Epsom, Surrey. All email queries from customers and suppliers are answered, in writing or by phone, and preferably resolved as well, within 24 hours.

Daily meetings are held with the heads of each department to highlight any potential problems across the business which might impact on customers, and to work together to prevent them.

Each customer then has their own commercial account manager, who is kept informed of any issues relevant to their account, to make sure that the customer is informed if relevant and that the channels of communication are kept open.

If a customer raises any complaint about a consignment or a delivery this is responded to within a 24 hours window, with the account manager contacting the customer to assure them that the issue is being looked into. The complaint is then immediately passed on to the supplier or service provider for an on-site investigation. Unicorn’s aim is to be able to feedback the results of a full investigation into the complaint to the customer within seven days.

Joint MD Nicola Divers says that customer satisfaction is the benchmark for deciding whether the week has been a success for Team Unicorn:

“We measure ourselves weekly on “on time in-full” deliveries and on any complaints received. That has helped us along the way to do what we need to do to improve the figures. We are always trying to improve our base and make sure that we focus on keeping the customers happy.”

With a turnover now in millions and a global presence, getting the basics right from the very start has been a winning formula for Unicorn Ingredients.

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