Delivering a Successful Peak – Part 1

Effective Communication

By Mike Jones, Commercial Manager

As we count down the days to our expected peak trading period from 16th November, I would like to take a moment to reflect and give you an insight into what ILG is doing to ensure we deliver a successful peak for all our clients this year.

2020 has been quite a year. Like so many people, I’ve found the events of the last seven months unlike anything experienced before in my working life. But even though it’s been tough, and we possibly face some more difficult days ahead, the Covid-19 crisis has forced us to review our current ways of working, understand the challenges we encountered at the start of the pandemic and anticipate how this peak is likely to unfold.

Effective communication

For the weeks leading up to 16th November I’ll be sharing a series of insights into how we can plan together for a successful 2020 peak and set out some simple steps you can take to help ILG help you!

This week I am focusing on ‘effective communication’, with essential tips on how best to communicate with our Client Services Team and a look at what we are doing with our carriers to ensure we can easily resolve issues as they arise. But first, I’d like to reflect on the start of the pandemic and what led us to where we are today.

How the pandemic changed our way of communicating

When the government first imposed lockdown back in March, millions of us were told to work from home. Such rapid and far-reaching change created mass uncertainty for everyone. Soon, we all realised that the world of work had been transformed overnight. Suddenly we were introduced to applications such as Microsoft Teams to conduct meetings and online calls.

At ILG, we witnessed written communication overtaking phone calls as the number-one source of inbound enquiries through the pandemic, but as business started to resemble some form of normality, we saw a gradual swing back to calls. Although well-accustomed to the reactive nature of our industry, it was soon obvious that we had to adapt quickly to this new way of working, not only with our clients but with our carriers too. Change inevitably brings its challenges. In this case we found this new trend hindered us. We felt less effective when dealing with issues and saw an increase in the time taken to resolve problems.

After an initial drop when lockdown in the UK began, we saw an upward curve in call frequency as the pandemic progressed. For us to operate with maximum effectiveness it’s crucial that this growth in calls continues. We always look to grow our outbound calls in line with any peak and are anticipating a record number of outbound calls to be made by our Client Services Team throughout November and December.

What is ILG doing to improve communication in time for peak?

We knew from an early stage that homeworking would continue for our carriers through peak and into 2021. This gave us time to discuss plans with them, identify potential problems during peak and make preparations for 16th November.

By communicating with us effectively during peak, you can help us secure the best outcome for you at the earliest opportunity. Here are ILG’s five top tips:

  1. If urgent, call! – All members of the ILG Client Services Team have direct numbers as well as being linked to our main group number. Please call us for any query deemed urgent so we can dedicate our attention and efforts to resolve your issues as quickly as possible.
  2. Tell us now about your peak plans – Let us know about any upcoming sales, product launches or expected increases in volume. By sharing this information as early as possible you can help us advise you of the best solutions and ensure we monitor your shipments closely.
  3. Know how to escalate – With the right information at their fingertips, the ILG Client Services Team is best placed to find the right solution to your problem. But, if an urgent issue is not progressing as it should, there may be a need to escalate. If so, please use the escalation routes recommended by ILG. This will ensure your issue is raised at the relevant levels with our carriers for a fast and successful outcome.
  4. Don’t force your enquiry to the back of the queue – If you need to chase for an answer to an urgent ticket, it’s always better to call us. Chasing a ticket that’s already open will only send your enquiry to the back of the queue.
  5. Tell us how we are doing – Let us know what we can do to continuously improve. Our Client Services Team’s main goal is to delight and resolve at the first time of asking. Giving us honest feedback will ensure we continue to evolve and improve on the service we are providing.

Peak of 2020 is set to be challenging in many respects. But following the tips above will help us work together more efficiently to ensure the best results for you. As volumes continue to increase there may be some instances where delay is inevitable. However, we are more determined than ever to deliver a successful peak for ourselves and, more importantly, for you.

Read Part 1 of the Delivering a Successful Peak series here.

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