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Prioritizing happiness: The key to satisfied customers

Interview with Håkan Högberg, Product and Marketing Manager at H1 Communication AB

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Happy employees create a positive, productive working environment; they are motivated, enthusiastic and committed: Combined, these characteristics result in satisfied customers. “Established in 2007, the founders of H1 Communication were determined to create a company that focuses on its employees,” explains Product and Marketing Manager Håkan Högberg. “They really understood the value of a good working environment that motivates customer service agents to go the extra mile. This was one of the cornerstones of H1’s culture from the outset.”

Key tenets of this philosophy include having fun at work, demonstrating appreciation, showing respect for and interest in each other, recognizing and celebrating good work, giving constructive feedback, and turning complaints into desires.

H1 specializes in CRM, and is split into three distinct business units. Its Answering Service is effectively a remote personal switchboard service which manages clients’ calls in line with a pre-agreed protocol. Technical Support provides clients’ customers with a technical helpline.

Customer Service offers a full customer contact service in relation to the broader aspects of back office functions such as invoicing, taking care of phone calls, e-mails, text messages, chat, web and social media. “Outsourcing is a very complex process,” Mr. Högberg points out. “H1 is an extremely agile organization – the owners are very hands on and extremely customer focused, which helps in making fast decisions. We offer our experience to our customers to make the whole process as smooth as possible. Because the company provides the best possible work environment for our customer service agents, we have a very low employee turnover which ensures a high degree of continuity for customers.”

H1 Communication is one of the leading outsourced CRM provider in the Nordic countries, and the only one which is privately owned and managed. Headquartered in Ostersund, the company operates three further locations in Sweden and also has an office in Norway.

I have seen what a diff erence it makes to approach customer service professionally, and I think our services are truly something to be proud of. Håkan HögbergProduct and Marketing Manager
Håkan Högberg

Close to the border with Finland, the Haparanda office employs Finnish staff to meet the needs of that particular market. Customers come from a broad range of sectors, including financial services, retail, e-commerce, e-mobility, vehicle service businesses, and energy and electricity providers and their suppliers. “E-commerce is, for us, a particularly interesting sector; it is growing fast, and many companies in this industry find it more cost-effective to use services such as ours,” notes Mr. Högberg. In a high-tech sector such as CRM and outsourced services, it goes without saying that digitalization plays an important role.

“We handle huge amounts of data; companies need it and it is a very valuable tool that can be used in many different ways,” the Product and Marketing Manager points out. “However, it is only valuable as long as it is exclusive and there is no leakage. It is therefore crucial that we keep this data safe, and we have been developing solutions for this for many years.”

Indeed, any potential customer who is concerned about information security risks can have absolute faith in H1 Communication; unique for such a company, it is ISO 27001 certified, guaranteeing that its information handling is secure. It is also ISO 9001/14001 (quality and environment management) certified and compliant to ISO 18295-1 (KPI and service information agreements).

Although outsourcing is still on the rise, demand has nevertheless become more sustainable. “The market is really working in our favour at the moment,” stresses Mr. Högberg. “We made a big acquisition last month, and this will give us a stronger and more robust market position. Our aim for the future is to be in a position to approach larger accounts, and continue to focus on data protection.”

To support its goals, H1 is in the process of moving its headquarters to a new location. Mr. Högberg joined H1 Communication two years ago, with experience of the manufacturing sector, including international business. Not surprisingly, the company’s Happy philosophy© was a key factor in his decision. “I was relocating with my family back to the area I grew up in,” he says. “I met the management team of H1, and really liked the company spirit and the ideas behind it. It also presented a new challenge for me, because I had never worked in the CRM sector before. It has been fascinating to get to know the industry. My personal aim is to help the business grow, and become even more successful. I have seen what a difference it makes to approach customer service professionally, and I think our services are truly something to be proud of.”