Corporate Concierge As A Customer Service Tool

By Karen O’Brien at Sage

The term “concierge” evolved from the French Comte Des Cierges, The Keeper of the Candles, who tended to visiting nobles in castles of the medieval era. In medieval times, the concierge was an officer of the king who was charged with executing justice, with the help of his bailiffs.  In more modern times, a concierge is an employee of an apartment building, hotel or office building who serves guests with duties similar to those of a butler. The position can also be maintained by a security officer over the graveyard shift.  While in Spanish regions, a similar position, known as the portero, exists.

In Sage, an idea was brought before the Executive Team. Instead of customers calling in and getting through to the IVR (Interactive Voice Response), they get through to an actual person, who could ensure they get through to the right department first time.  Thus, giving the customer a wow factor experience rather than pressing buttons for options that at the end of the day, you are not even sure that these options will get you through to the correct person.

Karen O'Brien of Sage ready to take your call

Karen O'Brien of Sage ready to take your call

How many times have you rang a company to speak to someone directly and hung up after however long, pressing different options or you eventually get through to a person only to find out it is the wrong department and they have to put you back into the IVR system for you to start pressing more buttons.  Very infuriating and not a good customer experience.  At the heart of Sage beats the WOW Factor experience for all our customers.

The concierge service became an important part of Sage’s way of showing the customer that we understand and want them to get the best service possible.  Some customer comments include “Much better than going through the very annoying computer system and selecting options”  or “A lot nicer than listening to machine & pushing buttons, my call was directed to correct area straight away”  or even “I don’t like the press 1 for xx press 2 for xx; it was a nice surprise to get straight through to a person”.

So how does Sage sum up The Concierge Service for their everyday working ethos: The Concierge Service is a team of people who act as the first point of contact on all Sage phone numbers and assist all Sage customers by handling their calls and directing them to the exact queue or person; they also give advice / information / directions and take messages if needed.

During our busiest time of the year (Payroll & Financial Year End) they also set customers’ expectations regarding extra advice, details about our Sabio call-back solution, call volumes and expected call wait times before the customer was placed in the queue so the customer was fully prepared. This service has also helped the business immensely by setting the customers expectation at the start of the call and now the customer gets through to the correct queue / person first time and they are not frustrated after been told they are through to the incorrect area and need to be transferred.