Do you see a change in your Supply Chain lately?
What are you doing about it?
Today, in my experience, you are fortunate to be treated well as a customer in retail or a restaurant. These “feel good” places are now the exception. I only go back to those few who offer excellent customer service and good quality.
Today, we “talk” about customer service, but really displaying genuine customer service in the supply chain is lacking. Today, people feel it is “extra work” to please the customer. “Do I really have to be pleasant to the customer all the time?” It is an exception, in my experience, to be treated well in restaurants, retail stores, and industry.
My daughter is a part-time sales associate. She has seen other sales associates simply wandering around the store aimlessly with customers needing help with merchandise or to buy the product. Sales associates call in saying that they can’t come in. The department manager is frustrated. This hurts customer service. The only person he can count on is my daughter to fill in at a moment’s notice. He brings this to top management’s attention only to find out that if they have tenure they are “untouchables” and he feels that is wrong and affects him, his department, and of course, customers and therefore, customer service in the supply chain. In the past, this kind of behavior was unacceptable. Attendance was typically 100%.
Today, we must go beyond the customer's expectations. Are you doing that?
Applications of How to Improve Customer Service in the Supply Chain
Currently, professionally, we talk about the [removed] (VoC) as a way to increase customer service in the supply chain. We can’t just talk about it. We have to listen to the customer and make necessary changes to please them, improve our companies and increase profitability. Today, it is used in [removed] , but should be part of a company mission statement.
The “voice of the customer” is a process used to capture the requirements/feedback from the customer (internal or external) to provide the customers with the best in class service/product quality. This process is all about being proactive and constantly innovative to capture the changing requirements of the customers with time.
The “voice of the customer” is the term used to describe the stated and unstated needs or requirements of the customer. The voice of the customer can be captured in a variety of ways: Direct discussion or interviews, surveys, focus groups, customer specifications, observation, warranty data, field reports, complaint logs, etc. The point is: listen to your customer to improve your business and your customer service in the supply chain. Implement their comments by priority or Pareto’s 80/20 principle to improve your operation.
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module resides in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
[removed] CRM is a business strategy that enables businesses to:
There is also CEM. Customer experience management (CEM) is the collection of processes a company uses to track, oversee and organize every interaction between a customer and the organization throughout the customer lifecycle. The goal of CEM is to optimize interactions from the customer’s perspective and, as a result, foster customer loyalty.
The point of all of this? Let’s return to the old method of really feeling embracing customer service and not just saying and acknowledging it. Educate your people as to the importance of customer service as a top priority. Your customers give you profitability, pay your bills and give your employees their pay checks. Without customers there is no company.
Implement VOC and take customer comments seriously, to improve your operation. Listen to your customer. Be courteous on the phone. Don’t put your customer on hold indefinitely, check in with them frequently, if you have to put them on hold for a short while. Don’t force it: feel it. Use the CRM tool to improve customer service. Use social media to assist you in providing excellent customer service in the supply chain.
Cross the paradigm shift back to providing customer service that truly goes beyond your customer’s expectations. After all, what else is there, but excellent customer service for a company to survive? Hopefully, soon, we aren’t outsourcing customer service to frustrate our customers. This just doesn’t work. What works is the old phrase, “If you treat people (internal and external customers) well, profits will follow.”
Collaborate with your internal and external customers to improve your operation.
Fill the candy dish up again……….