Service is not a department. It's not a box to tick as part of a process. At A&L, service is our philosophy; it's fundamental and core to the foundation of every single thing we do.
Service underpins the entire supply chain. Service encompasses product design, the sales experience, after sales support, building-site service, and everything in between. And, how we handle and facilitate each of those activities.
Ultimately, service is the best way to protect and establish valuable relationships. Service is a critical point of differentiation. Beyond pure pricing considerations, the best way to foster mutually beneficial partnerships is to provide the highest quality experience possible through a mixture of collaboration, dedication, and commitment.
Throughout our entire history, A&L has basically constructed our wider philosophy and approach to service around those qualities and ideas.
Service isn’t something you see, it’s something you feel.
Excellent service consists of multiple actions. It’s a set of behaviours. It’s an overarching attitude.
The essence of service is this: no matter where you are in dealing with A&L, there is a robust process designed to facilitate the next step of your experience. Service is the quality of every interaction that contributes to your total experience; the grease that helps processes and procedures interconnect to deliver on your goals.
For everyone at A&L, service is the critical factor involved in driving success. Whether you have great strategy, strong people development, product development, or financial incentives, it’s the way you engage that ties those ingredients together to ultimately drive success.
We partner with a wide variety of clients from throughout the residential building landscape—from retail clients all the way through to large volume builders.
The key constant in delivering quality service—in everything that we do—is ensuring every action is customer focused. What does that mean?
At the end of the day, whenever you promise something in any interaction, it’s striving to deliver on that promise.
And that’s true for every component of the supply chain and every aspect of a customer’s experience. If you promise a quote within a certain time frame, do everything within your power deliver it. Same for a product, or a service, or a scheduled time to come in and fix something, it’s always the same thing.
In those instances where you don’t—or can’t deliver—on a client’s specific requirements, excellent service is acknowledging that you have made a mistake, owning it, and working as hard as possible to rectify the situation.
Establishing the right balance of people and process
Segmenting service into separate areas—‘people’ and ‘processes’—is a flawed approach. People are critical to service excellence but there is always process sitting and running in the background. Strong processes are key to good service; they make experiences efficient and deliver positive outcomes. Ultimately though, it’s the way you go about dealing with those relationships that is most crucial.
If you get your personal relationships right, you’ll get your customer service model right, and you’ll deliver the efficiencies and processes that need to sit beneath the service experience.
Service is about having the flexibility to meet a wide range of expectations, and the reliability to consistently deliver.
‘Customers’ can be an internal concept as well, particularly when there are so many links in a team’s supply chain. There are multiple interconnections in the way our teams work.
In an environment where teams are interdependent, there may be errors and issues to overcome, but that’s where service culture comes to the fore. Every team in A&L knows that service is geared to success for the end customers: builders and homeowners. It’s about ensuring the end customer’s experience is positive. Every internal effort is geared towards creating a higher quality outcome for the end customer.