Customer service is the bridge that connects you with potential profits. Burn this bridge through negative customer service experiences and you could destroy entire branches of profit opportunities. But how do you know what works and what does not when it comes to stellar customer service? To start with, your focus should be less on the customer service reps and more on back office automation. By reducing your employees’ workload in back office areas, you put them in a prime position to enhance the customer experience.
Reasons to Improve Customer Experience with Process Automation
The marketplace offers so many options in logistics thanks to the speediness and instant connections of the internet. A few clicks within a Google search and customers can find logistics companies at all points on the spectrum. Whether they are interested in affordable logistics, local providers, international logistics experts, or logistics firms within their specialized niche of shipping—it is so easy to find exactly what a customer needs. Therefore, your business must provide premium customer service to overcome the competitive nature of logistics.
The internet has also revolutionized the customer experience. No more can customers solely depend on word of mouth to find out how good a company is. Through review sites like Yelp and Google Reviews individuals can do their research regarding customer experiences. Too many negative reviews is considered an accurate indicator of poor company performance. On the other hand, having a wealth of five-star ratings puts companies on the radar of potential customers.
One tip here is to monitor the review sites where customers are reviewing your business. Whether you agree with the review or not, leave a comment and offer to clarify the situation. Extend your customer service here as it helps to offer clarity for readers of reviews, i.e., even if the review is horrid at least the company is aware of the complaint, which is a step in the right direction.
Competition, the internet, and customer review sites are all reasons why you must overhaul the way you provide customer service. Given the speediness of the internet you also have to focus on amplifying the time it takes to manage customers. This is where process automation offers the greatest benefit. You can keep up with the hyper-speed of customers by using automation to handle customer service tasks in a flash.
Using a business process automation tool to automate manual tasks cuts down the time it takes to achieve customer goals, which is a win-win for everyone involved. It ensures you can provide customers with an amazing experience, which is the new expectation of businesses.
Ways to Improve the Experience for Customers
This brings us back to the many ways you can make a better experience for your customers. To start with, as we have eluded, promptness is mandatory. We live in a world where instant gratification is a way of life. Customers want everything yesterday. They want to have access to information and resources within seconds, and expect these to be available either online or easily accessible by companies. It is your job to provide prompt customer service, or you risk losing customers to those competitors who are already five steps ahead of you.
At the same time, everything you provide for customers must be 100 percent accurate. Mistakes cost money, and in the case of customers these can also betray their trust. If you are unable to get the details right, then why should customers depend on you for their business needs? After all, there is another competitor right around the corner. While speediness is paramount, accuracy is mandatory. By automating your processes via document management software, you minimize human error and provide customers with accurate information every single time.
Take Highland Transport, for example, one of the largest truckload carriers in Canada. Highland provides hundreds of deliveries daily and needed a way to ensure accuracy on paperwork. This accuracy was established through quickly accessible electronic data. By automating invoices and affiliated documentation, Highland was able to improve customer service and gain a greater administrative efficiency. Accuracy counts in Canada and the US alike.
Along with promptness and accuracy, you also have to look at the good old method of human interaction. When you provide customers with friendly interactions and a pleasant experience, this breaks down barriers. Whether customers come to you in a panic because they need a rush delivery, or they are concerned with a load that is not where it should be at that moment, your job is to focus on their needs.
Sympathize with the customer and understand that it is your job to alleviate their concern. Arguing or belittling the customer is the last thing you want to do. Instead, take the advice you have heard from elders all your life. Be kind. Kindness counts the most in customer service and can save your business from losing valuable clients.
All of these factors lead to professionalism, which means more trust and more business. That is your bottom line and what you need to focus on throughout the customer service experience.
How to Deliver Excellent Customer Experiences
Putting a plan into action ensures your customer experiences will exceed expectations from here on out. Start by getting organized. For inspiration, check out Warner Fleet Services of Salt Lake City. This transportation provider offers fleet maintenance and trucking services. In order to achieve customer excellent across the board, Warner Fleet Services has developed back office automation that allows staff and drivers to upload up to 75 different documents to a single file.
Each of these documents are easily sorted and accessed using an electronic searching system. Everything has a place and those places are easy to find. Quick look-ups provide accessibility by anyone, from anywhere via secure access. Focus on providing an easy-to-use database for your employees who are able to use the system with minimal steps to save them time and hassle.
Freeing up your staff’s time to focus on front office processes ensures they are spending more face time with customers. The customer benefits from a more personalized experience. This breaks down any barriers or miscommunication associated with negative customer service.
To learn more about how automation can improve your customer service skills, check out this whitepaper on business process automation.
Microdea is a rapidly growing enterprise software company focused on the development, sale and support of document management and business process automation technology for the transportation industry. Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Markham, Ontario, Microdea serves hundreds of customers spanning multiple countries and a range of transportation fields including rail, transit, truckload and LTL carriers, shipper private fleets, brokers and 3PL.