Focusing on Customer Serivce

In the highly competitive hardwood lumber industry, being exceptional in customer service is crucial. Focusing on customer service never goes out of style, especially in today's world.

Baillie is rooted in customer service thinking as well as a continuous improvement as business evolves. Attention to detail, the rapid response to inquiries, and a willingness to go above and beyond are all key traits required to drive long-term customer loyalty.customerservice 

Nevertheless, simply saying you want to focus on customers is one thing. But crafting a genuinely customer-centric culture within your organization is another. To accomplish that it requires a steadfast focus customer-centric strategy and a genuine commitment to satisfying the customers’ needs in all transactions.

Regardless of industry, we have found that if you focus on a few key points you can increase your chances of success in developing customer service orientated thinking in your organization.

Implement a “customer-first” agenda. If business leaders don’t make it a point of leading by example and there’s little chance of implementing desired changes if leaders don’t maintain that focus in all their communications and interactions with employees.

When implementing a customer-centric culture in your organization, consider reserving time at each companywide meeting to talk specifically about customer needs. Share your thoughts on new strategies the company is adopting in this area and how you believe this will help the customer experience. Equally important, is recognizing individual team members who go above and beyond in helping customers. Creating a work environment where thinking about your customers takes priority over virtually every other agenda item does not happen overnight, but it will often lead to desirable outcomes for your customers and for your own business.

Offer Multiple Support Channels. These days, customers expect to find multiple channels of support. There are many ways in which you could offer this. Whether it is the ability to get assistance through your website, through their mobile devices, over the phone with a customer service agent, e-mail, etc. The more channels of communication you offer your customers, the greater the chances that they will come away satisfied with the experience of dealing with your business.

Don’t Take Existing Customers for Granted. Of course, it is important for businesses to pursue customer acquisition strategies. However, a customer-centric culture emphasizes the ongoing cultivation of existing customer relationships as well. Every customer has their own preferences and purchasing patterns. When you conduct business in a way that meets those preferences, the customer has more reason to do business with your organization.

Anticipate Concerns from Customers. Companies that have a “customer-centric” mindset are often the ones that most effectively serve their customers. Rather than to wait for potential issues to arise, anticipate areas of possible concern, and take proactive steps to meet those challenges. Be adaptive as opposed to being reactive when helping with concerns from customers.

For us this could be, be communicating shortages or price increases of a hardwood species like White Oak or Ash in the coming months. Or alerting a client of possible shipping delays due to the Covid Pandemic everyone is facing currently. By bringing possible issues to your customer's attention, you can plan for positive outcomes.

While business transactions and support can sometimes be complicated, that doesn’t mean the idea of customer-centric service has to be. Whenever you can solve a problem for a customer, or give them a fresh way of facing a challenge in their own business, you further nurture your business relationship with them. Once you demonstrate you’re worthy of their trust, chances are good they will stay with your business through thick and thin.

What ways have you found effective in improving customer service in your specific industry? We would love to hear them!

Brett Del Prince
Baillie Lumber
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