What we do to improve our customer service standards

By Tuomas Timgren, 13 November 2014

Our customers are our top priority. Without them we simply wouldn’t survive. When we sent out a customer satisfaction survey to find out how our customers perceive us, we received some good business reviews. But more importantly, we got great feedback on how to improve our business. Recently we initiated a comprehensive project to develop our customer service standards within Greencarrier Liner Agency.

Our strengths – we walk the talk and have extensive knowledge of the business

The customer satisfactionsurvey revealed that our customers think that we have professional and experienced staff with extensive knowledge of the business. We’re also happy to walk the talk of our values – commitment, involvement, humour and joy – and to have a satisfactory cooperation with our customers. But even if we’re a bunch of nice people to do business with and truly live our shared values, there’s more to it than that…

The things that really matter when it comes down to everyday business

One can’t ignore that it is the “hard facts” that really matters when it comes down to everyday business. Things like export booking confirmation, the time of pre-arrival notification and the accuracy of export bill of lading and invoicing. As the business climate is changing we’re moving from the personal, intimate way of doing business to the more rapid, fast handling systems and processes. Demands are higher as well as the pace. Our customers must be able to reach us instantly by phone or email. If there’s congestion in a shipment they need a person to contact who can provide information or set up a meeting.

Getting everyone involved by educating and training our employees

In order to improve our customer service standards we decided to perform a number of activities.  We wanted to get everyone involved by educating and training our employees. The purpose was to foster new and improved sales, customer service aspirations and performances, strengthen the team spirit and translate the mind-set “Yes, it´s possible” into individual behaviour.

In the end of 2013 customer service training was held for all operational staff focusing on our knowledge, skills and behaviour and setting standards for our customer service. In April we continued with sales training focusing on knowledge and increased competence within the business and environmental issues in the industry. In May we sent out the customer satisfaction survey to find out how our customers actually perceive us.

Our focus areas for improving our customer service standards

To sum up our training, workshop and the survey we have highlighted five focus areas that we want to improve. We can see in the results that our valuation work has succeeded and been well implemented. Some of the focus areas we already have good results in, as our accessibility and accuracy of invoicing. But there are always improvements to do! Now we need to set some new targets for the hard business values where we can identify the improvements that need to be done.

  • Export booking confirmation. We have the ambition to confirm bookings within two hours.
  • Accessibility. We always want to be reachable to our customers. We will answer phone calls within five to ten seconds and emails within two hours.
  • Accuracy of export/import invoicing. We want our customers to always have confidence in our work and feel that the accuracy of export and import invoices are correct and processed in the right way. Our ambition is to have 98% accuracy of our invoicing.
  • Accuracy of export B/L. When sending B/L to customers we want these to always be correct with the right information. Our ambition is to have 98% accuracy on the export B/L as well.
  • Time of pre-arrival notice import. When sending our pre-arrival notice to our import customers we want to send this within seven days, and to our transit customer within two days.

Our new standards will be followed up by our operational and sales staff in customer meetings, and hopefully we can see some improvements the next time we do the customer satisfaction survey!

What would you say is the most important part of customer service when it comes to logistics and transport companies? Feel free to leave a comment in the field below or interact with us in our social media channels. We’d love to know what you think!

/Tuomas Timgren, Greencarrier Liner Agency

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