8. Customer Service

[MUSIC] Welcome back to this lesson on customer service in the supply chain.
Upon completing this lesson, learners should be able to understand how customer service in the supply chain can lead to customer satisfaction and impact revenue. Recognize how service performance is measured. And understand how order management and order processing is accomplished. Effective customer service operations are critical to the success of every organization. It’s important to note that customer service concepts apply to both external to the organization customers as well as internal customers. Examples of internal customers are such as when departments collaborating on joint efforts such as manufacturing and warehousing on customer fulfillment operations. Or procurement and engineering working together on sourcing a new part. Dissatisfied external customers can serve as a roadblock to acquiring new customers and ultimately endanger the reputation of an entire organization. In today’s world, unhappy customers may turn immediately to social media and other means of communication to discourage others from doing business with your organization. Many aspects of customer service seem to be quite obvious, however, in speaking with numerous companies, I hear a common theme that customer service common sense is lacking in many employees. Some characteristics of good customer service include, on-time delivery, which is getting something when you want it.
Politeness, which is being treated with respect and in a courteous manner in all interactions.
Personalization, I believe this one can be an effective differentiator for developing a long-term relationships with external customers. This entails making customers feel special or unique.
And quality, which is providing products and services that meet the expected customer specifications.
At the core of customer service is good communication. There are a number of different ways that customer service can be delivered today, including call centers. Where professionals train to deal with customer orders and address questions and issues, are located together to address customer concerns. I found it fascinating to learn of the extent of call center operations for some large organizations, such as utilities. Where they may have tens of thousands of call center representatives located in facilities around the globe using advanced satellite communications to balance call loads across call centers.
Technical support is focused on answering technical and other specialized questions regarding products and services, and may address issues with repairing products.
Customer service stations, which are locations that customers can go to return, or exchange goods, or ask questions, typically are located within large retail operations.
Live chat, which creates a virtual immediate communications mechanism between customers and companies without the need for telephone and often with advanced technologies.
A live chat operator can have very specific information regarding the customers needs based on observing their behaviors on the website.
Email is another way to support customer service. However, it is often viewed as outdated or insufficient when a rapid response is needed. And in some cases, may cause more bad will than good will with customers due to concerns with lost emails, etc. In-person customer service delivered either through visits to retail stores or by having agents come to a customer’s home or work location can be beneficial in better assessing more complex issues and understanding customer feelings.
Now we have a question. Stop and think about a time when bad customer service led you to make you a change in your purchase habits.
Did you communicate with a customer service function? If so, by which delivery mechanism?
There are a number of service performance measures that should be used to help judge the effectiveness of customer service operations. These metrics address different dimensions of service, including adherence to quality standards, timeliness standard, logistics performance and cost performance. Service performance measures generally should be viewed as metrics that are shared by the entire supply chain, in that multiple supply chain processes must be working effectively together in order to achieve good customer service. For example, carelessness in replenishing warehouse shelves could lead to incorrect inventory being placed in dedicated product storage slots. This in turn may lead to picking error or timeliness issues in filling and customer and customer orders. In this case, the shipping department should not bear the full brunt of the service issue when the root problem may have been an error on the part of the replenishment function.
The order management process is closely aligned with overall customer satisfaction and customer service. And that it is a key interface between the customer and the organization. Fulfillment starts with an order, which then goes through various validation stages, before being released to a warehouse or a manufacturing operation for creation and/or order picking.
The shipment ready order that is released to a transportation carrier for delivery to a customer. Throughout the process, information is gathered and communicated regarding the order status. This type of order status is very similar when applied internal to an organization as well as external to an organization. I also want to point out the importance of returns and reverse logistics processes to customer service. Most of us probably think of supply chain as being focused on forward supply chain processes. Such as the sourcing of materials, creation of goods and delivery of finished goods. However, it’s important to realize that returns, repairs, replacement and spare part operations are just as important, or in some cases, more important to overall customer satisfaction than forward supply chain processes. Unfortunately, reverse logistics processes often tend to be much more complex and overlooked than forward logistics issues. In some cases, reverse logistics is important and integral to the success of forward logistics. For example, smartphone manufacturers may count on a certain supply of returned or damaged phones to be put into the pipeline as cannibalized parts for manufacturing, being reprocessed, etc, and reused in new phone manufacturing. Likewise, emerging business models, such as clothing, jewelry, rental services, rely on reverse logistics as much as forward logistics.
In this lesson, we learned that customer service in the supply chain lead to customer satisfaction and impact revenue. We also learned the key elements of order management and order processing. And recognized how service performance is measured. And finally, we discussed the importance of reverse logistics. Thank you, and we’ll see you on the next lesson. [MUSIC]

Jim Rohn Sứ mệnh khởi nghiệp