Running a business is a multitasking challenge. Among your many priorities, where does customer service stand?
If it's not top priority, it should be. Companies committed to customer experience consistently outperform their peers and have a clear competitive advantage. Successful businesses are 21% more likely to say customer experience is very important, compared to stagnant or declining companies.
Any service-industry company, including those with fleets, should not miss a valuable opportunity to wow their customers.
WHY IS THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE SO IMPORTANT?
"The customer is always right" motto might be an exaggeration, but businesses should take heed of its kernel of truth. If you treat customers well, they reciprocate with generosity, loyalty, and favourable word of mouth.
Let’s evaluate the value of outstanding customer service through a fleet management lens. How does good fleet customer service benefit your bottom line?
1. Customers Spend More
In a recent customer experience report published by PWC, 73% of customers rank the customer experience as an important factor in their buying decisions. Among the consumers surveyed, 43% would pay more for exceptional convenience, while 42% would pay more for a friendly, welcoming experience.
2. Customers Stay Loyal
Remember, it can take years to develop long-term customers—but a single bad experience can drive them away. In fact, 32% of all customers would stop doing business with a favourite brand after one bad experience.
3. Customers Spread the Word
Which is more effective, advertising or customer service? 65% of customers rate a positive experience with a business to be more influential than great advertising. Online reviews can make or break a business. 68% of consumers said that positive reviews made them more likely to use a business.
What is Good Customer Service?
The definition of good customer service might vary among different companies and different customers. Therefore we recommend getting to know your customer base first—and then following up with their top concerns.
Perform regular customer satisfaction surveys
How would your customers rate your service? Unless you ask directly, you might not have an accurate picture. Ask them whether they’re likely to recommend your product. Address any negative feedback immediately, with a personalized response. If you notice trends, target key issues that can be improved at an organizational level.
Regularly respond to online reviews
Platforms such as Google+, Facebook, and Yelp, remain popular, and it pays to keep on top of reviews that reach millions. Check for online reviews regularly (daily if possible) and respond to all of them, especially negative comments. Did you know that 53% of customers expect brands to respond to negative reviews within a week?
Continually innovate and embrace change
All companies should take advantage of technological options that improve customer service. A great example of this, as it relates to managing a fleet of vehicles: by using GPS tracking, you can optimize driver routes—and improve speed and efficiency.
Provide helpful service to your drivers
Drivers are the face of your company, and happy drivers lead to happy customers. Regularly ask for their feedback: Are their vehicles running well? Is their vehicle upfit working for them, and do they have the right tools and equipment to do their jobs? Treat your employees right and they will look after your clients.
Doing Our Part at Foss National
An excellent customer experience should include speed, convenience, consistency, and friendliness. The human touch is essential to leave customers feeling satisfied and appreciated. At Foss National, we not only advise clients on the importance of customer service, we walk the walk.
Here are just some of our client services features:
- Fast and reliable online fleet management portals for managers and drivers.
- Ability to support customers of all makes and sizes
- Extended reach beyond Canada. We support our clients who have global operations. Whether that’s only in North America or those who have a global footprint.
- Dedicated local account management, customer service, and operation teams that manage data created to help customers.
- Fully engaged leadership team—our company management reviews vehicle sales data every morning to ensure we are selling units efficiently and at the highest value.
- Consistent customer service, including identifying cost savings and productivity improvements, sharing best practices, and supporting everyday needs of clients and drivers.
- Providing the best fuel exception reporting in the industry—including daily reviews to identify and contact clients about potential fuel misuse.
Finally, we especially pride ourselves on our human touch. No matter what fleet technology you have, it's worth little without the right people behind it. We highly recommend—and practice—taking care of people first.
Download Fleet Management Checklist: 11 Tips for Success. This checklist will give you practical information on how to manage all your fleet's moving parts successfully.
Article by Basil Marcus