Excellent customer service is no longer a bonus when it comes to interacting with clients, it’s expected. In the day and age of over sharing on social media, and reviewing experiences on publicly accessible platforms, one bad customer experience is enough to significantly tarnish an established company reputation.  As the old 10-1 rule goes, a customer is likely to tell up to 10 people about a negative experience, but just 1 about a positive one -- making sure you’re that 1 positive experience is imperative!

Bad experiences stick

Almost everyone can recall a time when they were on the receiving end of bad service. It sticks. And it significantly affects our relationship with the company in question. We’re likely to switch allegiance to an alternative, even after years of loyalty to the same brand. From a business perspective, it's important to change your point of view to that of the consumer -- ask yourself as a  consumer what standards would you expect from customer service? You must be setting the customer service standards you expect your business and your team to deliver -- simply establishing this standard is the crucial start of successfully implementing customer service excellence.

What exactly are ‘Best-In-Class’ standards?

In order to be the benchmark against which other competitors measure their customer service standards, the ultimate goal should be to continue exceeding what your customers and competitors expect from you and to set new industry standards. Going above and beyond your clients’ expectations is the name of the game when it comes to ‘best-in-class’ -- merely acknowledging the importance of customer service is not enough.  

Customer service is about creating positive and memorable experiences. That doesn’t just lie with your front-line or customer facing staff, it’s everything that goes into the interaction you have with a particular client, from the moment they make initial contact with your company right through to the end of the relationship and every single process in between.  

Standardizing customer service across your employee network

Perhaps the most important point to consider when assessing the quality of your customer service is how well your standards are being uniformly carried out internally. If each member of your team has their own idea of what is expected with no clear guidelines to follow, you’re on a fast track to customer service that has no consistency, no reliability and does not accurately convey your brand’s quality of service.

Consistency and standardization all starts with training your staff effectively -- customer service excellence cannot be delivered without adequately trained employees.

Educate your workforce

While it may be a part of standard employee onboarding, staff training should not be a one time occurrence, particularly when it comes to customer service education. Routine training should be provided to all of your employees regardless of what position they hold. This is to order to ensure customer service standards are not only known and understood, but adhered to across your employee network. Regularly training just one part of your team opens up the door for service standards to lack elsewhere. If everyone receives the same training at the same frequency, uniform clarity is established when it comes to customer service expectations.

Optimizing technology to improve customer service  

As with every other area of your business, technological advancements have made it easier to standardize every element of your business needs, including your ability to deliver customer service excellence. Seldat Technology Services (STS) has developed several platforms that enable supply chain companies to not only streamline their business, but provide top quality, standardized service.

  • WMS360 - A web-based Warehouse Management System that perfects operations in single and multi-warehouse environments, transforming the complexities of day-to-day operations. With WMS360 warehouse management solutions include full transparency, traceability and flexibility so little room is left for avoidable errors and mistakes when it comes to fulfilling your clients supply chain needs.

  • Sel2B-  A B2B platform for distributors, wholesalers and manufacturers to manage procurement, sales, promotions, products, suppliers, customers, deliveries and more, all in one centralized platform. Bringing visibility to so many areas of your supply chain from one platform enables greater service standards to be met and sustained.

  • DMS - The ultimate Delivery Management System to keep track of your goods in real time. As a carrier, transparency when it comes to your deliveries is key -- the more information you can provide to your clients, the greater their trust in your services.

Delivering ‘best in class’ customer service standards is a must in today’s competitive supply chain landscape -- those businesses that aren’t keeping up are in danger of falling by the wayside in favor of those that have got an iron clad customer service strategy.  The keys to success? Educating your workforce through effective training, and taking advantage of the tools that will streamline, optimize and standardize every element of the service you’re providing-- it’s all ready and waiting.