In reality, I am sure one’s definition of great customer service would have a great deal to do with the individuals and the companies involved. Past experiences, current market conditions and even recent interactions would influence what is meant by great customer service. However, from our perspective, these are a few foundational principles of great customer service and things we strive for with all our customers each and every day. It’s the American way!
- Responsiveness – The hardwood lumber business is like a commodities industry. We move fast, we make quick decisions and we need answers fast. That’s why successful companies are those that can exemplify responsiveness to their customers each and every time they interact.
- Integrity – Even in this high tech world much of what we do is still best categorized as doing business based on a hand shake and your word. Deals are done, promises are made, product is shipped and paperwork and payment follows. It is best to do business with companies that deliver on their promise and stand by what they say they will do.
- Reliability – Manufacturers today need their raw materials, like hardwood lumber, when and where they need it. Delivering great customer service requires understanding your customers consumption practices, inventory strategies and helping them execute successfully. In short you have to be there for them each and every time..
- Accuracy – Manufacturers improve their success based on precision. Creating less waste, improving lumber yields or even increasing inventory turns just a few percentage points can make a big difference. Being as accurate as possible in every aspect of service delivery is so important in a great customer service experience.
- Satisfaction – It’s not just about fulfilling the order or completing the transaction. It is about exceeding your customers’ expectations to a point of delight! With an estimated 200 providers of hardwood lumber competing in an industry in excess of $27 billion customers have choices. Great customer service in this industry means making sure your customers are satisfied with every aspect of the transaction to the point where you are their first call for the next bundle of lumber.
What other elements do you feel make up great customer service in the hardwood lumber industry? Let us know.