A new way of working

Stephen Nadin, managing director of Endurance Doors, talks about the impact of working under emergency guidelines, what ‘new normal’ means to the industry, and how the company is proactively changing the way its sales function operates.

The UK hasn’t been hit by a catastrophic event that is as devasting as Covid-19 since the second world war. This is the stuff that future generations will be analysing in schools for modern history, and while numbers are down dramatically from the peak in April, we will still have to observe certain protocols well into next year.

All businesses have had to adapt, and some have achieved it better than others, specifically those that have been pro-active across all business operations where possible.

Communications have been key for us, and while some businesses have seemingly fallen off a precipice when it comes to talking to customers, we have been highly active via e-mail through a carefully thought out PR programme and by means of several social media channels.

We were quick to publish a Covid-19 installation guide, which is aimed at installers and homeowners, along with hosting an industry marketing webinar held in July. These tools were developed specifically to help installer partners get back to work with confidence, from sales enquiry through to installation and after care. Consumers have also benefitted from the publication, which outlines what they need to do to make an installation a safe one and under best practice.

While the marketing machine continued for Endurance, we were also busy in the background, picking up trade and homeowner enquiries, and we cleared all of our work-in-progress prior to the re-opening of the business. This allowed us to fully focus on the needs of our installer partners right from day one.

Given the circumstances, we quickly introduced Zoom across the business with regular virtual meetings, while the sales team found a new way of working. It’s been a big success in the way that they can engage with more customers every week and to find out their needs and to respond to them within hours. This is in stark contrast to the traditional external sales function of having periodic face-to-face meetings with customers.

This new way of working was something that we were looking to challenge prior to Covid-19 and we’re now changing the way in which they work permanently. It’s a case of working smarter and being better placed to deal with any queries as and when they arise.

All area sales managers will now work from home four days a week, leaving a single day for face-to-face meetings. The other four days will allow them a half day for general administration and the remaining three and a half days for handling customer queries. When we’ve looked at the metrics and KPIs of the sales function, we believe that this is a better way to work and certainly so given the current conditions. It also helps us reduce our carbon footprint too.

For the sales team, it also means that their days are often shorter and so it’s also a strong well-being incentive with this new way of working. When you consider that since 1949 motor vehicle traffic has increased more than ten-fold from 28.9 billion to 328.1 billion vehicle miles, then we also have a duty to our staff that spend most of their time on the road.

The flow of information from the external sales team to the customer and other staff has sped up considerably and we’re also looking to integrate the entire sales force with a new CRM system to help streamline the new way in which they’ll work.

It’s a change that has been forced upon us, but in delivering a world-class customer experience, and in challenging the traditional way of working, we’ve found a ‘new normal’ that will mean better customer care and attention than ever before.