I’m sure we’ve all experienced at some stage in the past where a bank, insurance company, pension provider, etc. has called you and said, “…this is just a courtesy call to check if our products are still giving you what you need…” You accept the call and you are passed on to another member of staff who, before you know it, is saying, “For ‘££’ extra each month…”, “You can add this to your cover…”, “You can expect to earn this much extra on your pension…”, etc. With great effort, you are finally able to say that you are happy with what you’ve got, or haven’t got the money to do the extra this or that, and put the phone down feeling really annoyed that it wasn’t a courtesy call but a covert attempt to sell you something new or extra.
Conversely, I’ve experienced that mindset from a client. For a couple of months I had been trying to arrange a CELCAT Customer Care Visit, but kept being put off. When this happened, my immediate inclination was that the client was considering dropping CELCAT and didn’t want to speak to me. However, I finally got the meeting and afterwards the client was pleasantly surprised. The meeting ended with him saying, “…that was really useful. Thank you. I thought you would come and just try to sell me some new products.”

So, as far as CELCAT is concerned, what is the purpose of a ‘Customer Care Call’ or, as it’s sometimes termed, an ‘Account Manager Visit’?

There are several objectives we have in mind when visiting or, as at present, video conferencing with our customer care efforts:

  1. To see how you, the client, are getting on with the CELCAT software. Are there any areas where you are experiencing issues? We will then offer advice as to how best to combat these issues or, if we can’t help, speak to someone back at HQ who can.
  2. Usually, we will give tips or tricks on getting the best out of CELCAT software. For example, do you know that just pressing the letter C on the keyboard opens a calendar in the Timetabler desktop client which defaults to today’s date?
  3. To ensure that we are speaking with the right people, we will check contact details during a Customer Care Visit. This helps staff not involved with timetabling, attendance, etc. being unnecessarily bothered with things they may have little to do with. It also ensures we are not trying to contact those who are no longer at the institution.
  4. We will discuss timetabling or attendance related matters and inform you on industry best practice, or what will work best for you from a CELCAT perspective based on our experience and respected business guidance. If necessary, we will suggest where training or consultancy may improve matters within your institution.
  5. Additionally, we will inform you of relevant new software features released since the last visit, or upcoming features that will soon be available, and happily offer a demo of these things in operation; either during the meeting itself or by arranging another suitable time to do so. There will be no pressure to try and sell these new features but, of course, we will be happy to inform you of the cost should you ask for it.

So, the CELCAT Customer Care Visit is an important part of our service to customers. We would like to be seen not as a salesman trying to sell new products or services, but as a valued adviser to our clients. As an old friend of mine, now sadly deceased, once said, “…I don’t want to be seen as just an external consultant to your company, but a trusted part-time employee who is here to try and help you get the best from what you do.”