Birse Civils Ltd
Birse Civils Ltd Case Study

Birse Civils Ltd

When Steve Barker joined Birse Construction in 1995 he found a business starting a radical transformation process. Birse was committed to adopting a co-operative way to working with customers which mirrored the move within the industry at that time. However, the company still operated in functional silos of business development, estimating, operations and commercial functions, with each working in relative isolation.

Soon after joining Steve gave a presentation to senior managers on customer care and the importance of taking a holistic approach to dealing with customers and projects across the functional operations. This resulted in a change to the business management structure to facilitate this.

After being appointed to the board of Birse Civils Ltd at the beginning of 2000, Steve visited a number of leading UK businesses with a reputation for providing excellent customer service, none of which operated in the construction sector. From these visits he was able to formulate a customer care strategy that would work within the 6 subsidiary businesses that reported to the board.

He developed a bespoke impartial customer satisfaction measurement system based on the various contract structures whereby every calendar quarter, each customer provided structured feedback on a select number of key issues and ranked performance on a 1-10 scale. In parallel with this, Steve developed and delivered a training course for senior management in each of the 6 businesses to enrol them in the importance of the measurement system. More importantly, he enrolled them in acting on any feedback, be it excellent, bad or indifferent.

Customer care became the second most important value in the business after health and safety. The customer care culture became so ingrained in the business that customer satisfaction measurement is still operated to this day and the business is renowned for having developed excellent customer relationships to underpin its business growth and success.