Success in customer service is essential to the success of any business. In order to give the best possible customer service , it is important to understand the key issues that will make the difference between great customer service and inadequate customer service. One of the most important keys to great customer service is knowing how to set expectations. Understanding what you should expect of yourself as well as what you should expect of your customers will help set the stage for exemplary behavior as a customer service employee.If you treat the customer with great care, they will generally respond likewise
I agree, Barbara. I also don't like being bothered by sales people when I'm browsing in a store, however I like customer service to be available when I need to call them about something. I think each customer is different, whether they like sales people coming up to them or not, and whether they care about having easy access to customer service. It will always be hard to balance this out, as each customer is different.
I think there is a difference between outgoing customer service (someone calling on you) vs incoming customer service (you reaching out to them.) For example, pesky salespeople drive me crazy when I am browsing for something, but I want someone on the phone the minute I have a problem. The problem for anyone in the middle--let's say a distributor or a retail chain--is striking the right balance. How many salespeople are too much before they become pesky, but how many folks have to man call-in centers 24/7? It's all about deployment, and I don't envy the middlemen. Customers are unpredictable creatures.
the problem of customer expectation and satisfaction is more pronounced to service based industry such as aviation, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) etc. where customer dynamics change in weeks and months. These industries spend hugh amounts on surveys and research to find ways to keep their customer happy. One such survey found out that providing too much and too little support is not conducive to customer satisfaction. That was kind of surprising as i thought the more support i get from a sales team the better.
Several customers services have been arranged by providing H24 devoted consultant to support individually each customer. The result is you can call any time Support Centre all you receive info/support/ticket track by speaking with same person. It is something in consolidation especially in the area of financial or assurance services, my opinion is in supply chain on which there are several actors in place (manufactures, suppliers, distributors and so on) it could be not easy to setup similar services.
You mentioned a good point about how social media can be used to circulate real-time information about supply chain data. I think it may be a good idea to use Twitter to inform your customers about updates related to goods movement and delivery. What do you say?
I agree with eemom. If I have a problem, my first instinct is to call on the phone. I find the supposed connection to a live person through a web site's chat frustrating b/c that person is usually following a script and not really responding to the problem at hand. Also a number of times, issues have to be escalated to someone higher up, and the fastest way to get there is through the phone. Pointing out an issue via email usually only brings a response in 24 hours, and that often just states the lines of the script that are supposed to let you know they are working on it without actually resolving it.
Real-time systems dispatching info on supply-chain help a lot customers in feeling good "care" support. In general track-updates are available via Web or secure-Web through https connection. The sensitive point is sometimes customers (or key people within customers interested in how shipment is going on) haven't a web connection just in time. It could be strange, I experienced across the globe several times restrictions due to lack of data (fixed-xdsl or mobile-gprs/umts) connectivity. Then social media could fill this gap for the fact you can receive/provides tracking updates simply by poor sms/gsm connection. Benn Parr, editor and entrepeneur highlighted several advanteges (http://on.mash.to/Mpxf4) in social-media as real-time dispatcher.
When you happen to be in the distribution section of your organization, you are faced with lots of challenges from your customers. Majority of them are related with the delivery of goods on time and in the right condition. The situation gets more complex if these are custom-made goods where you are procuring parts from several other organizations. It becomes very difficult to manage customer expectations in such scenarios.
From what I have seen, customers are interested in knowing about the state of their order and the time it would take for the goods to reach them. A lot of companies, who have information systems controlling their supply chain, have started to publish their real-time supply chain data on the internet. This data is available to the customer through secured login. The customers are able to see about the state of their order at any time. They themselves can track the shipping and delivery of the goods. I think when the customers have so much information on their end, it does make a significant role in managing their expectations. That's one way many companies are able to achieve the 'customer delight' by providing real-time updates 24x7.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.