Case study 2

Retail Company


Reduce customer complaints and improve the customer experience in a consistent and sustainable way.


  • Heavy investment in brand and marketing had seen initial growth which petered out
  • Customer complaints about poor service delivery and behaviour increasing
  • Turnover of people within 12 months around 80%


We were initially called into deliver customer service workshops for Company X, but through our initial research we discovered that the fundamental problem was the temp to perm agency recruitment process    The agency didn’t have a base line of excellence to measure candidate suitability and the main selection criteria seemed to be availability.     There were two issues around this;

  • low desire to want to work for Company X
  • poor attitude leading to high turnover


We advised Company x that a more sustainable solution to the poor customer experience issue would be to review their recruitment processes and develop a behaviour framework which could be used to attract and assess potential candidates and be used as their performance appraisal process, where how you do what you do matters just as much.

To ensure the behaviour framework reflected the reality of activity we ran a series of comprehensive focus groups with:

  • High potential leaders
  • Front line champions
  • Directors
  • New starters and good leavers
  • Customers
  • Potential candidates

In addition we spent time job shadowing front line roles.

We were able to identify 4 key themes from the focus groups, which enabled us to develop 4 People promises, which through further work with front line teams became a comprehensive behaviour framework, which incorporated the organisational values and safety critical non-technical skills.

The framework transformed the recruitment process and all recruitment was brought in house.  To ensure sustainability we:

  • Upskilled line managers to be assessors
  • Developed a suite of assessment centre material
  • Ran train the trainer sessions on brand and tone of voice
  • Designed and facilitated recruit for behaviour workshops for line managers

In addition, we trained the Learning and Development team to run a series of short workshops on bringing the People Promises to life, through performance appraisals, giving feedback, coaching, reward and recognition.

Within 12 months the key performance indicators had improved:

  • 30% reduction in customer complaints about behaviour.
  • The quality of candidates increased and turnover reduced by52%
  • Absence reduced from 12 days to 8, saving over £2m
  • Recruitment costs had reduced, saving over £1m in first 12 months

In addition employee engagement increased and the net promoter score increased by 15 points.

The duration of the project was approximately 120 days utilising 2 facilitators