North East IT company, Advantex is developing with ambitious growth plans following customer service improvement training – said to have boosted frontline operations.
The Follingsby Park-based enterprise level IT provider is experiencing a 30 per cent improvement in service call feedback on the back of the free training, delivered by Derwentside College through the regional Go>Grow scheme.
The move follows Advantex’s decision to invest in upskilling the workforce.
Almost the entire workforce of 60 people, including directors and founders, Dave and Steve O’Connell, have completed the two-day training, and have gained CPD points that will count towards achieving the Level 2 certificate in customer service.
Advantex, which counts Hitachi Rail, Galliford Try, GE Oil & Gas, Newcastle Airport and Unipres among its customers and is an accredited Microsoft Gold partner, was established in 2002 and has a current turnover approaching £6m.
Dave O’Connell, operations director, said: “Working with Derwentside College, they identified that our customer service lacked consistency and therefore there was a pressing need to bring everyone up to the same standard.
“We are still measuring final outcomes and improvement levels, but we estimate that we are seeing a 30 per cent improvement in customers leaving positive feedback after a call or visit.
“We are also receiving more referrals from engineers for customers looking for additional services or support, which is contributing significantly to our growth plans.”
The initiative is part of a regional skills and enterprise programme, Go>Grow, which has been launched in partnership with 30 local training providers.
The programme follows Gateshead College securing £15m of funding from the European Social Fund through the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).
Alison Golsworthy-Miller, business development consultant at Derwentside College, added: “The course is tailored to specific customer needs. In the case of Advantex, they wanted to set a standard for their customer service.
“We developed the customer skills course to help them achieve this and delivered it onsite over several sessions. It reflects real world business life, and staff can apply their training immediately in the workplace to the benefit of their customers.”
Go>Grow has the backing of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP) and the North East England Chamber of Commerce.
Ivan Jepson, director of business development at Gateshead College, said: “Go>Grow partners are combining their expertise and resources to secure the future of our businesses and entrepreneurs.
“This will help to generate new employment opportunities and boost growth, which is all crucial to the economic prosperity of the North East over the next few years.”
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