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The link between Digital, HR, and Customer Services

Written by Martin Hermsen Comments 0

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I recently switched internet provider, the experience has been painful from start to end. On the day they would come and install everything I was informed through email that they would come around between 12:00 and 18:00. Not a problem, I arranged to work from home. I tried however to get in touch with the provider on that day to see if I could get a slightly more precise time indication, or the drivers number so that I could plan to pick up my kids from after school care somewhere between 4 and 6.

This simple question was far beyond the capacity of the customer services rep who had the misfortune of picking up my call. He could not provide me with the driver’s number, he could not see the route of the driver and make an estimation, the customer Services Rep could not give the driver my number so he could app me 15 minutes before. Nothing.

Contrast that with my experience with the company Hello Fresh. Where I called the day before to have the address of delivery changed. Although all the routes were already set the customer Service Rep was able to see my address, see the delivery drivers’  schedule and route and was able to not only to change the address of the delivery, but also let me know I could expect it to be delivered around 19:00.

One of Richard Branson’s more famous quotes: ‘If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers’ is often talked of in terms of employee benefits (from flexible working hours to bonuses). While this is certainly important, what is less often read about is making sure that employees’ basic needs to do their jobs are met. Nowhere is this truer than in Customer Services.

In this day and age, where I know the exact location of a package shipped from Sudan to my address in the Netherlands at all times, it should not be such a challenge for customer services to tell me a more precise timeline for an installation technician driving around in a city of less than 600,000 inhabitants. Since I find it hard to believe they are purposefully refusing to give out any information that would be at no cost to them, yet make my life so much easier, I can only conclude that they cannot give that information because they do not have it, or do not have access to it.

This is at the heart of ‘taking care of your employees’. Provide them with the tools and information necessary to do their job. In 2015, to a very large extend, that means digital solutions. Customer Services can only serve the customer if they can rely on a state of the art digital ecosystem that not only empowers them to take action, but also ensures that the information they need to creatively address customer needs is only one click away.

Organizations who have grasped that concept and really embraced it are not only ready for the future, I have no doubt they will soon show up in Fortunes list of Best Places to work.

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