What a busy day I’ve had today, that’s not import though.
You have all at some point been in contact with a company that left a sour taste in your mouths due to either disregard for your time, unhelpful solutions for minor issues and worst, unhelpful direct contact staff who you strongly suspect subsist entirely on a diet of lemons and tears of frustrated customers.
Be it an electricity supplier with seemingly no regard for agony of your ‘candle-lit’ evening, to mobile service providers indifferent to your communication blackout predicament, poor customer service is a blight that cuts across all industries.
While we in logistics are also prone to the same responsivity issues, we are not a bunch to sit back and see deplorable customer treatment unfold.
Customer service is quickly becoming a major concern for companies in different arenas, including our own industry.
Good customer service in logistics is efficient first and foremost for the most obvious reason: keeping customers happy.
While the concept of customer service itself is vast and difficult to comprehensively define, it can be distilled into a few key factors for supply chain management, key of these being staff attitude.
Logistics firm employees in direct contact with current and potential clients require training on courteous interactions, empathy and displaying an eagerness to help, in a bid to make clients feel that they matter to the company.
Similarly, ensuring open lines of communication are kept with customers, whether individuals or corporate entities, goes a long way toward helping improve relations.
Updates on the status of a shipment, follow up calls to ensure packages were delivered in satisfactory condition, and being available to answer customer queries are all practices considered part and parcel of good customer service.
Of equal importance is ensuring that customer complaints are addressed in a timely fashion.
Each of these measures ensures that the supply chain manager is in tune with the customers, helping improve company performance based on client feedback.
Correcting the wrongs and maintaining what is right leads to a greater understanding of what the customer wants from a logistics firm, meaning service is improved along the way.
Understanding industry needs and preferences is, naturally, an important part of business in any arena, more so the logistics area.
By having a good grasp on client desires, supply chain managers are better able to spot emerging trends and take advantage of them ahead of the curve.
A mark of industry leaders, staying ahead of the game also means logistics firms are better able to anticipate customer needs and meet them, leading to high levels of customer satisfaction.
It goes without saying that satisfied customers will likely do repeat business with the logistics firm providing excellent service, ensuring a steady revenue stream for supply chain management companies.
This also minimizes the cost of searching for new customers as it is generally more profitable to cater to a loyal consumer base than to constantly seek to replace disgruntled customers that refuse to do business with a firm.
Satisfied customers are also likely to recommend the firm to their friends and family, reeling in new customers at no marketing cost to the company.
All companies, not just within the boundaries of supply chain management, must pay careful attention to the issue of how customers perceive them as a result of one unfortunate customer service incident.
Armed with this information, can you now identify the implications of proper customer service in your own subjective context?