As PR and marketing professionals, there is nothing that gives us a buzz quite like a consumer having the kind of epic customer experience that makes them take to social media to sing a brand’s praises.
#ClientLove #GoodService #MakingOurJobEasier
Social media puts the power squarely in the hands of consumers. They can voice their opinion on a brand offering in a (very) public platform, with potential for large visibility and reach. This is great for business if their opinion is favourable, but what happens when it’s not? And as brand custodians, how do we help our clients encourage type-happy consumers to post ‘YAY’ instead of ‘NAY’?
Super Office, one of Europe’s leading Client Relationship Management providers, recently posted an article titled ‘Five Ways to Deliver Excellent Customer Service’. They revealed that their five areas of focus would be; respond as quickly as possible, know your customers on a personal level, fix your mistakes, go the extra mile, and think long-term.
ZDNet UK, a leading online technology publication which explores customer reviews in the IT space, takes these concepts one step further, by introducing the element of technology into the customer experience. In their blog titled ‘What New Technologies Will Improve Customer Service’, they share their conclusion that “new technologies are raising consumer expectations when it comes to customer service”. While smaller businesses may not have the necessity or financial backing for advanced technologies, global corporates now face the challenge of creating incredible experiences for their customers using digital tools.
We sat down with our client, Paul Stone, CEO Africa and MD South Africa for DHL Supply Chain, to find out how his teams focus on giving their clients a tweet-worthy experience: Thank you for chatting to us, Paul.
Q: How does your team strive to ensure that they meet customer expectations?
A: DHL looks to enter into long term partnerships with our customers by becoming an intrinsic part of their business while delivering service excellence and efficiency.
Q: When DHL looks to move into business with a new customer, what are the key aspects that you would look for, as a client, before signing a contract?
A: DHL looks for a culture fit when engaging with a new customer, where we can leverage our global scale to enable disruptive change in their organisation. We are not looking to have a transactional relationship where we are viewed as only a “supplier”.
Q: Although DHL Supply Chain is business-to-business this doesn’t eliminate the threat of brand-bashing on social media. What is your team’s approach to dealing with both good and bad feedback that is posted publicly?
A: As you would expect DHL have a large marketing and publicity team who do a fantastic job ensuring that the DHL brand is recognised globally at events such as ‘Formula One’ and the ‘Stormers Rugby’ here in South Africa. We take all feedback seriously and look to ensure that the facts are reported accurately, that is the best we can do.
Q: Over the years, McDonald’s has faced severe backlash about the way that their chicken nuggets are made, so it isn’t too surprising that they don’t really discuss their cooking process. What is DHL’s policy regarding visibility when it comes to their consumers?
A: DHL supply chain build innovative and bespoke solutions for our customers, where our integrated warehouse and transport systems provide the customer complete real-time visibility of the product, from time order to final delivery. It’s critical that in this digital age we provide transparency to our customers.
Q: Now more than ever, technology plays a huge role in the customer experience – what technological innovations does DHL implement in this regard?
A: DHL understands that the only way to continuously improve our operations is to embrace and deploy advanced technological solutions. As an example, we have drones deployed in a warehouse in South Africa that count stock, simplifying the process and improving accuracy. In addition, we have an augmented reality glasses solution where we allow our people to have their hands free rather than a traditional RF device, fundamentally improving the accuracy and productivity of our operations.
Q: When you think of a brand that is technologically advanced, innovative, and customer-friendly, who immediately springs to mind and why?
A: Amazon, who are a DHL customer, are leading innovation in shortening the lead time from order to delivery. This is a game changer in global supply chain and it will force companies to radically change their current approach to supply chain.