Paul Harris, Curo Group

Paul Harris

Paul Harris

Executive Director CX
Curo Group

UK

Paul is one of five finalists to be highly commended by our judging panel.

When Paul joined housing association and house-builders Curo Group two years ago as executive director for CX, the company had just launched its new five-year corporate plan. Charged with enabling the organisation to deliver ‘renowned’ customer service, Paul promptly developed a five-year strategy, replete with KPIs and targets, based on the four pillars of culture, leadership, Voice of the Customer and digital transformation.

Paul has subsequently led a series of new programmes and changes to facilitate the strategy, including introducing annual customer workshops (called Curo Labs) to share thoughts and ideas over three days; launching a training programme called CX Academy that encompasses a range of workshops, seminars and teach-ins, focused on six modules: empathy, language, adult-to-adult conversations, identifying needs, taking ownership and listening; creating a leadership programme designed to embed behaviours and culture required to take customer service to the next level; and a new insight model.

The new insight model alone has led to a range of new customer-focused initiatives including a self-service platform to enable repairs booking and rental payments online, the revision of processes to help tenants in arrears and the provision of new services for deaf and disabled customers.

Progress on the plans is shared with the rest of the company through quarterly executive briefings and through regular blog post by Paul and other members of the team, and crucially the customer feedback loop is closed through Curo’s quarterly “You Said, We Did” update.

While the five-year strategy is ongoing, the results have been impressive, with CSAT scores improving significantly, allowing the team to hit its annual reward target for the first time since it was brought in eight years ago. Amongst Paul’s key achievements, satisfaction amongst sheltered and supported housing customers has risen from 88% to 96%.

The dramatic change in resident engagement has brought with it a sea change in attitude both internally and externally. Colleagues around the business now build in customer engagement to their plans, keen to gain insight and opportunities for improvement, while customers recognise that their views genuinely matter.”

Judges’ praise for Paul’s application:

"Picking out highly commended applicants from such a fantastic range of finalists was a close run thing and Paul rightly edged it with the completeness of his application relative to the other challengers, and the detailed way his strategy and plans are coming to fruition." – Adrian Swinscoe

"Paul described a strategy focused on showing customers that their business truly cares and therefore, going beyond addressing function and ease to addressing the emotional requirements." – Mosun Shasore

“I liked the honesty in Paul’s story. He was hired for digital transformation, but it quickly became clear that there were more pressing priorities around culture, leadership & Voice of Customer. Setting 4 Pillars and building up KPIs and strategic objectives around each pillar was clear, understandable, robust and interesting." – Daniel Ord

Return to CX Leader of the Year 2019 finalists>>> 

Curo Group