John O'Connor, CEO Kollect: How We Succeed at Customer Service

John O'Connor, CEO Kollect: How We Succeed at Customer Service

“When was the last time you spoke with your waste management company?’ asks John O Connor.

It’s probably been a long time. When you think of rubbish collection contracted out by government agencies, accessibility and a friendly voice aren’t your first thoughts. In fact, customer service is nonexistent in the waste industry today. That’s why John O Connor, co-founder of Kollect, is looking to change the face of waste management.

You only need to look as far as their website to find the value Kollect has for customers. Right on the front page is their address, two phone numbers, an email and a link to the contact form — all ways to get in contact with a real person for real service.

A Service Simplified for Customers

For the uninitiated, Kollect is an on-demand waste collection service. Your rubbish is only collected when needed, saving money for small families and others who produce little rubbish. To make it easy on customers, simply login to their website, enter your address and request a pickup. No contract, no monthly fees, and definitely no hassle on your part. You can also hire a skip and request junk removal. If you can’t go online to request a pickup, their customer service department takes bookings over the phone.

In fact, Kollect prefers their customers call, since they focuses on building a personal connection with customers, primarily on the phone. “We’re actually experimenting with ways to get more people to call because it’s such a valuable marketing and brand builder for us,” says John.

Values Echoed Through Their Employees - John O'Connor

To keep customers happy, says John, Kollect teaches these core values to employees that model a customer-centric approach:

  • Exceed expectations: Deliver “wow” through customer service.
  • Be you: Be authentic, positive, and have a can-do attitude.
  • Honesty is the best policy: Be straight-up and always do right by our customers.
  • Be responsive: Stay prompt and keep customers in the loop.

These values help connect with customers on a deeper, personal level — especially when compared to the usual call centre with a monotone agent (or is it a robot?) who is reading off of a carefully planned script and wishing their shift was over. It also ensures a half-truth (also known as a lie) isn’t told to a valued customer. Simply put, employees do everything they can to help the customer and never withhold information.

Trust the customers

A quick glance at Kollect on Facebook and it’s easy to see that Kollect’s core values truly work: “Very good service. Staff will do everything they can to help you out,” says John. “I completely forgot to put out the bin last night/this morning and rather than drive on/ignore it the bin collector knocked the door to remind me. Thanks,” says Robaird. “Great service very efficient and helpful, would highly recommend you won’t go wrong here,” says Eddie. These are just a few examples of the overwhelmingly positive 5-star feedback has received online.

Happy customers become repeat customers and are more likely to recommend Kollect to a friend or neighbour. They are building their brand through word-of-mouth reviews and excellent customer service. That’s why customer service is the backbone of their start-up. Kollect owes their success to satisfied customers, says John, and only has plans to keep improving their experience.