In the supply chain industry, building strong customer relationships is key to building success. How can you provide good customer service and prove your value?
1) Make your customers—both external and internal—feel special.
How can you make your customers feel special? Make it easy for them to do business with you. If there’s a problem, solve it. If they ask a question and you don’t have an answer, go find it! And never make them feel like you’re doing them a favor.
2) Offer periodic bonuses or gestures of good faith .
Take a lesson from some of the most successful online retailers: Surprise your customers by offering them an upgrade or other additional value for no reason, without being asked. Everyone likes to get surprises, and if it’s something that makes their job easier or their workday more pleasant, they’ll remember it.
3) If you make a mistake, know how to apologize—and fix the situation.
Companies are run by human beings, which means that mistakes are bound to happen. If you find out a mistake was made, don’t wait for the customer to find it and mention it to you first. Go to the customer and take responsibility for the error. Apologize, then offer to make it up to them.
4) Exceed expectations.
Always go the extra mile for your customers. What can you do to provide more value? Can you make it a goal to call all customers back within two hours? Can you beat their deadlines? And try not to refuse a reasonable request just because of company policy. See what you can do to bend the rules if you can do so without risk.
5) View complaints as opportunities, not problems.
When you get a customer complaint, ask yourself, “Do they have a legitimate point? How can I use this to improve my business?” You may find ways to improve your products and services once a problem has been pointed out.
6) Treat your employees like you treat your customers.
Engaged employees mean happy customers. Employees who don’t feel valued or appreciated will not do their best work, and that means your customers won’t be getting excellent results or service.
And how can you keep your employees engaged?
- Communicate. Make sure they are kept up to date on what the goals of the business are, and make sure everyone knows when changes are made in policies or procedures.
- Health and Safety. Make sure your workplace has an effective workplace health and safety program in place.
- Positive Outlook. As a manager and employer, it’s part of your job to keep team spirit and morale high during difficult times.
- Monitor Workloads. Keep an eye on current workloads and expectations to be sure your resources are being used and managed effectively. And don’t let your employees get so overloaded that customer service falls by the wayside.
We know the importance of excellent customer service, because we practice it! At ZDA, we specialize in supply chain recruiting—and our dedication to our clients has led to lasting partnerships. If you need a supply chain employee or a supply chain job, contact ZDA. You’ll find the best service in the business!