17 Dec Why Does Customer Service Matter in a Co-packer?
by Eira Braun-Labossiere
Why does customer service matter in a co-packer?
I read a commentary in The Globe and Mail this week titled “Taxi industry losing war to Uber because of customer service, not technology”.*
My own experience with Uber has overall been better than the regular taxi service. Yes I do love their extremely well thought out app and the cleanliness of the vehicles. But even more so, I have loved the customer service.
I tend to rant a bit about customer service. At work our culture is to do “whatever it takes” to help the customer and we all feel that way. A lot. Probably too much when one day our owner joked that our company motto seems more like “emotionally unable to disappoint”! The point is, when you and I bust our butts to make our clients happy, is it too much to expect the same when we ourselves become the customer?
This should apply to everything from to the young lady working at the grocery till to the middle-aged concierge at a high end hotel. Not only does good customer service make the customer’s day happier, I believe it makes the customer service person’s life happier as well.
Think about the concept of gratitude — practicing gratitude only promotes further gratitude in one’s self and those around him or her. In fact, on a day when you actually do get great customer service why not make a point of thanking or telling that person what a great job they are doing? Or even report their above and beyond service to their manager? When we work with customers we tend to hear the negative feedback. When you are the customer, why not express gratitude for great service too? (Read a great blog on “3 Ways to Practise Gratitude in Your Business“**.)
But getting back to you and I providing great customer service, there are simple ways to practice it. This is the kind of service you should expect from us and frankly I believe you should experience anywhere you are a customer too.
How to practice whatever-it-takes customer service
Smile. I mean, really truly authentically smile. And not only when you are talking to your customer face to face but when speaking on the phone a smile is easy to detect in one’s voice. It makes a difference.
Respond. Whenever you get a voicemail or an email, even if you don’t have an immediate answer, respond within 24 hours, at the very least acknowledging receipt of the message. When there is too great a lapse in time, the message you are sending the customer is “you are not important enough for me to take notice of you”. I don’t care how busy you are, it takes 5 seconds to reply with “I got your message and will respond as soon as possible.”
Responsibility. Please, I beg of you, do not play the blame game. You know what? Our customers could give a flying fig whether a supplier let us down or why a delivery got waylaid. The first words out of your mouth when something disappointing happens should be “I am sorry for X, we are working hard to fix it”. An explanation is in order but the client chose you for your services to provide solutions, not excuses.
Be Real. We can all tell when someone is being authentic. Be polite and respectful and be yourself. That is great way to begin and develop a longstanding relationship. And a good relationship with your client means you both look forward to communicating. Moving a project forward is not a chore, it is a good excuse to get to talk again and get together again. And that makes work fun.
Follow up/Feedback. Do you know what’s cool? When I make a purchase and then a human representative asks me if I was happy with it. I mean a genuine personal question, not a customer satisfaction survey. It makes me feel like I matter as a customer.
And isn’t that the point of customer service? To make the client feel like they matter? After all, the reason you are still in business and have a job is that your customer is your customer! They are spending their dollars on you because they need you and believe you can do the job. If you succeed in fulfilling that role, they might just come back to you again and again.
I’ve title this blog “why does customer service matter in a co-packer”? Customer service is our top priority. We don’t just pay lip service to it, we follow through. It is important to us that our clients have the best experience possible and that is what we believe makes us stand out head and shoulders in our industry.
This stems from our belief that customer service should matter everywhere. I don’t care if you are my supplier, my mechanic, my grocer or my cab driver. Why can’t we expect good service in every aspect of business?
A co-packer is no exception. Does your co-packer smile, respond quickly, take responsibility, behave authentically, and follow up? Expect fair and honest service, you deserve it.
**HuffPost Business blog by Saudia Davis