Rapid response for fast-paced retailer

Macoi Story

I’m as impatient as they come. I want it done – now.

The charismatic Darren Griffin, Group Managing Director of MACOI, does not tolerate being kept waiting. And why should he?

In the fast-paced retail industry, he has succeeded in building a business where he not only commands the boardroom, but furnishes it too.

Darren is the no-nonsense, entrepreneurial force behind one of the UK’s leading providers of office and education furniture. MACOI is at the cutting-edge of innovative functional design, yet retains traditional service values. 

“The customer is king. Without emails our whole world grinds to a halt. We don’t get enquiries, we don’t get orders and people think we don’t love them anymore. Our connection to the outside world is fundamentally important to the business.” MACOI chose Cambridge Helpdesk to support their IT in 2009, and Darren  relies on them to maintain his  40+ staff members’ contact with their clients.

An ambition to exceed high customer expectations is what makes the difference in his industry, and Darren expects his IT support provider to share this goal. He values Cambridge Helpdesk’s commitment to prevent issues and determination to resolve problems as quickly as possible.

“I used to go out and sell, and one of the things I tell my reps is to try to take a problem off a customer’s desk and find a solution as quickly and efficiently as they can. We’ve had a few issues over the years where services have gone down, and the Cambridge Helpdesk guys have always managed to find a solution to get us up and running again quickly. They’ve got similar beliefs about service to me, and they look after us unbelievably well.”

A particular instance sticks in Darren’s mind. “I’d just got through the gates at Palma airport when I realised I’d left my iPad on the plane. I use it for work and I couldn’t risk it falling into the wrong hands. I phoned Cambridge Helpdesk straight away and they deleted everything from my iPad there and then. Then the airline found it and it was returned to me the following day, at which point Cambridge Helpdesk reloaded all my content again. You can’t fault service like that.”

Darren likes the fact that he and his staff can pick up the phone to Cambridge Helpdesk whatever their question about IT or telecomms and “get a straight answer straight away”. So much so, the service has become a continuation of MACOI, with Darren admitting, “I don’t see them as an outside company I consult, I literally see them as an extension of my business”.

As you might expect, Darren drives a hard bargain and enjoys the annual formal business review with Cambridge Helpdesk. “We look at where we were, what we’ve done this year, and what we want to do next year. Together we agree what the business needs. It’s always a negotiation and there’s never any putting up of prices for the sake of it.”

The dedication to customer service, fast response and value for money means Darren has the confidence to set aside IT worries. “I’ve got enough things here to manage and to be honest I don’t want IT to be one of them. Cambridge Helpdesk take that issue away. My job’s to run this business, not play with IT. If it was I’d run an IT company!”


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The customer is king. Without emails our whole world grinds to a halt.
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