Sunday, December 1, 2019

Exactly Who is the "Customer" in Customer Service?

Every industry and every employee in them is involved with customer service and the modular housing industry is no different.

Customer service is not just handling complaints and making needed repairs. It’s also about creating good relationships with the factory’s builders, employees and management.

Creating good customer service begins with the modular factory owner forming good customer relationships with their management team (Customer). Owners that ignore servicing these management customers will isolate themselves and the company will fail. The owners of a modular factory will never see their company survive and thrive without working with the management team they have put together.

There is also a Customer Service relationship that needs to happen with all non-management employees as the “customer” wanting to vent and ask for help. Sales Managers need to service the needs of their sales reps. Supervisors have to service their production line customers and the Engineering supervisor needs to be continually servicing their CAD and design people.

Next is the customer service relationship that most owners and management seem to cherish more than any other; the relationship they have with their builders and by extension, with their builder’s customer. In fact so much time and effort is put into maintaining this customer service relationship that many factories don’t seem to have time building any other type of customer service.

As important as this one is it is only one cog in the wheel that makes the factory work smoothly.

There is one customer service relationship that’s often neglected but it just might be the most important and that is the relationship between the Service Manager and the builder. Being the bridge between a happy builder and one that will never buy from the factory again, the Service Manager is the real key to continuing sales. Lose the builder’s confidence in factory service and they will buy from someone else.

I hear from builders all year telling me “this factory’s service is great” and pays attention to the needs of the builder while other builders tell me about the SOB Service Manager that won’t repair anything on time, expects the builder to repair the factory’s problems and then short changes the builder for the repair.

It doesn’t matter if your modular factory has been around for decades or it’s brand new, taking the effort to monitor the Service Department to see how well they service their disgruntled builders (customer) is a priority.

Can you imagine if your Service Manager was put in charge of the Quality Assurance people on the production line? Neither can I but it just might be something both the builder and your service department would embrace wholeheartedly.

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