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New Heights For Environmental

17 January 2012

Client satisfaction with Costain Environmental Services (formerly GSD) is reaching new heights as the division seeks feedback from its customer base.

Quarterly client surveys that began in late 2008 have shown a steady overall improvement in ratings for Environmental Services' performance. Since 2009, average scores have improved considerably. In terms of highest scores achieved for particular aspects of work, figures have jumped from 75% in 2008 to a remarkable 98% in 2011.

It is important to recognise that the increase in scores has been achieved over a considerably larger customer base. When the process started, there was a 40% response rate from 34 clients. Today, the response rate has risen to 65% among 82 clients.

“We use the same questionnaire that’s used by Costain to rate its supply chain,” explained Performance Manager, Carly White. “Effectively we reverse the questionnaire by asking clients to rate us.”

Customers mark us under five headings – People, Time, Cost, Quality and Safety. “We’ve always been rated pretty well on safety,” added Carly. “We’ve improved mainly in areas such as communication, collaboration, teamwork and adequacy of supervision”.”When we first started the process, it was designed to find out where we were. Problems were identified. We looked through the results to see where improvements could be made in the business and then put the necessary fixes in place.”

The system was very responsive to problems that raised their heads and any proposed solution was closely monitored to ensure it worked, she said. “Clients have proved quite receptive to this. It’s definitely helped to build relationships.”

Costain Environmental Services work is conducted for a mix of both external customers and internal clients elsewhere within Costain. Interestingly, said Carly, most of the complimentary responses came from external sources: “Perhaps Costain clients have particularly high standards that reflect the Group values,” she ventured.