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Blog: Outstanding Customer Satisfaction SECBE Awards 2019 finalist - Clarkson Alliance

29 May 2019

Sponsored by Willmott Dixon

Clarkson Alliance

Clarkson Alliance was founded in 2003 with the goal of improving the way the construction industry serves its customers. Their vision is to provide confidence to customers that their project outcomes will be delivered on time and on budget. They believe that the construction industry needs to change to ensure all customers receive an outstanding level of service that prioritises their outcomes. Too often, all-important client outcomes get lost in a sea of contractual wrangling, swallowed by complex jargon, or disregarded due to the worryingly common approach of ‘well, it’s always been done this way’.

As part of Clarkson Alliance's commitment to continuous improvement they have conducted customer reviews on all projects since 2011. This review process includes face-to-face feedback meetings with customers every six months. The qualitative and quantitative feedback received at these meetings are shared internally - to support staff training, personal development and process improvements.

The customer review meetings are complemented by rigorous project and cost management processes, which provide regular opportunities to review project progress in relation to the agreed outcomes and measurable objectives.

In line with the company’s vision, they have gained expertise in building and developing high performing teams. They recognise that no single individual is responsible for the success or failure of a project and so they work across the project team – with designers, contractors, consultants and customers – to ensure all members are united around the agreed outcomes and inspired to produce outstanding results. Clarkson Alliance continually refine both their customer review process and project & cost management services to ensure they meet customer needs.

In more detail

The Clarkson Alliance customer review strategy sits within their core company values – to deliver exceptional outcomes on every project delivered. It is driven by the belief that the industry can and must change if it is to improve its reputation amongst customers. Customers frequently tell them they wished other consultants invested the same effort in listening to their views throughout a project, regardless of how it is progressing. The effort they invest in visiting clients twice a year is evidence of their commitment to delivering an outstanding level of customer satisfaction.

They have developed a clear methodology for understanding customer priorities at the beginning of a project. They take steps to monitor priorities throughout project delivery, communicating with the customer throughout and ensuring they close the feedback loop and implement changes. They say that receiving authentic feedback is invaluable and taking the time to seek both criticism and praise, and – crucially – making changes where required has enabled them to develop and improve their service.

Clarkson Alliance systematically analyse the qualitative and quantitative feedback with the whole company, sharing lessons learnt and discussing strategies for improvement. This regular review means prioritising customer satisfaction is ingrained in all employees who understand its significance to the company’s ongoing success. They champion the fundamental importance of customer satisfaction to the other consultants they work with on projects, demonstrating the ways that it engenders collaboration.

They believe that there is a lot that industry can learn from Clarkson Alliance’s strategy to deliver exceptional customer satisfaction, including:

  • Invest in people so they are inspired to deliver excellent customer service. Empower staff to work to their strengths and they will produce outstanding results.
  • Share authentic feedback across the company. Customer feedback is about more than a positive testimonial for a website, it is an opportunity for company-wide improvement and professional development.
  • Listen to customer goals and ensure you have processes in place to revisit them regularly.
  • Make changes based on feedback – the industry needs to evolve to improve.
  • Communication is key to collaboration and building effective working relationships.

“Everyone we have worked with from Clarkson Alliance has immersed themselves in the projects with real enthusiasm and interest … it feels as though they really take ownership” Ivan Horsfall-Turner, Managing Director, Freedom Leisure


Highlights:

  • Clarkson Alliance are often praised by customers at review meetings for a unique strategic approach. By investing significant time in visiting all their customers and taking the time to talk to them in an open and honest way, they want to show they care about their project and their ultimate satisfaction.
  • They believe that people are at the heart of projects. They focus on listening to and understanding the people they work for to make sure they deliver exceptional outcomes.
  • They focus on building and developing teams – from speaking with customers and eliciting their feedback over the past eight years they have increasingly focused on creating, developing and maintaining high performing teams and becoming experts in leadership and building relationships.

For more details:

Visit Clarkson Alliance

The SECBE 2019 Outstanding Customer Satisfaction Award is sponsored by Willmott Dixon.


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