More than just business: How silver chef gives back to our customers and our community
Silver Chef has been an Australian owned and operated company for 30 years. It's in our DNA to help our community and to keep generosity at the heart of what we do - after all, we're in the business of allowing small business dreams to become a reality.
But in recent years, we've been able to take that a step further and establish some amazing programs to work with our customers, community, and environment.
We want our customers to enjoy more than just a great product and helpful service. We want our customers to know that they are investing their money with a company invested in the future.
We like to hear your feedback. No, really.
At Silver Chef, we are avid supporters of hearing what you have to say about our service. And forget about suggestion boxes at the front desk: we round up your feedback using an international program called the 'Net Promoter System'.
The NPS is a very complicated title given to a very simple question: 'On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend Silver Chef to a friend or colleague?'
The NPS score is about our relationship with the customer.
The higher the NPS score, the better our connection with our customer base.
The question is posed to current, and previous customers of Silver Chef, and the score they give will split out your respondents into three groups: the promoters (loyal enthusiasts) the passives (satisfied, but unenthusiastic), and the detractors (unhappy customers).
The purpose of NPS is to provide our business with a loyalty metric and a discipline for using customer feedback to fuel growth. Simply feeling that 'we're doing well' isn't accurate, nor does it really reflect what our customers are thinking.
The NPS is measured in a system of -100 to 100. Here are what some Australian finance companies scored:
National Australia Bank (NAB): -16(as published in their 2015 Shareholder Summary Review) Heritage Bank: 25(as published in their 2014 Customer Report) FlexiGroup: 14 (as published in their 2015 Annual Report) Silver Chef: 76
We blew them out of the water with an impressive score of 76 (as at Q1 FY16/17). That means that the majority of respondents answered the question, "On a scale of 0-10 how likely are you to recommend Silver Chef to a friend or colleague?" with a score of nine or higher. And that's a fact we are VERY proud of.
Not only do we listen; but we take action, too.
When taking into consideration how to improve our customer experience as per the feedback from our NPS relationship testing, we sought out a set of guidelines that were practical, sustainable, and modern.
We found this in the B Corp certification system.
B Corporations represent an emerging group of companies that are using the power of business to create a positive impact on the world and generate shared and durable prosperity for all. That means making smarter decisions for employees, your carbon footprint, and how you deal with your customer.
For some companies, it can be providing at-work babysitting services for parents. For others, it will be committing to a paper-free office. For us, it was inspired by helping people achieve their dreams.
Silver Chef received the prestigious B-Corp certification in 2015, and we're proud as punch.
The B Corp stamp of approval is given to a small group of businesses - in fact there's only 1,888 companies globally who are certified. So, what does it mean?
For Silver Chef, we have a lofty goal, which we are resolved to achieve, of moving 1.5 million people out of poverty through our charitable partner Opportunity International Australia.
We also pride ourselves on helping people live their dreams – not just customers, but our staff and those within our local community. We plan to do this by introducing employment policies to include minority groups and some of our communities' most disadvantaged.
Years ago, we created a BHAG for the business: a set of Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals that we need to achieve by 2020. These targets hold us to account and define the choices we make, and how we conduct business.
One method of ensuring we do this is our work with Opportunity International Australia.
We have teamed up with Opportunity International Australia to give families living in poverty the tools they need to transform their lives, their children's futures and their communities.
As a company that gives small businesses a leg up, we feel a special affinity with Opportunity International, who loan as little as $70 to individual people in more than 20 developing countries.
These loans are used to start or expand a business, providing income for families, jobs for neighbours, and a safety net for the future.
To date, Silver Chef Ltd. has helped more than 945,000 people out of poverty. By 2020, our goal is to help 1.5 million people out of poverty.
Our work with Opportunity International Australia is a major drawcard for many of our customers.
Opportunity International is ingrained in our business and has been for over a decade. This fact is key in some of our real-world interactions with customers.
Shira Bregman is a sales coordinator at Silver Chef, and recalled the following interaction with his client, the 'Ground Up Cafe'.
"Last Thursday Steven, owner of The Ground Up Café, called, just checking on the status of his account. While reviewing his file I noticed that we had all pieces of supporting information and I could approve Steven right then and there," says Shira.
"After a brief discussion regarding our processes and policies, Steven informed me of how Opportunity International was the main reason he had considered using Silver Chef."
For Steven, this was the final push to aligning his business with Silver Chef.
"This is because he is hoping to create a company that gives back to the community and be involved in social responsibility, as it's something he holds close to his heart," says Shira.
"It just goes to show there are so many aspects about Silver Chef that really stand out as a truly awesome company. Each person has their own reason to work with us."
We're focused on continued development in improving our business.
A major priority moving forward is working on how we, as a company, can preserve and protect the environment and engage the community. This includes:
Considering our carbon footprint and researching recycling options to embrace a new approach to waste management;
Examining our buying policy to ensure that we're supporting local businesses and environmentally businesses where possible - our customers are also encouraged to look at their own supply chain to see if they can make any adjustments;
Formalising our ongoing support of charities by developing a not-for-profit support policy to provide discounts and equipment;
Developing a work experience program to be launched early 2017, which will cater for people with disabilities, refugees, and our Indigenous community.
That means that you, as our customer, can be rest assured knowing that your money is being actively reinvested on our behalf into sustainable and environmentally aware programs.
We are a company that's committed to listening, acting, and planning.
We want to hear what our customer, our community, and governing bodies such as B Corp have to say. We want to grow to meet their challenges head on, and continue to work with our local communities to share in our success.
Because we believe there's more to business, than just business.
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