NationaLease recently announced the winners of its Exceptional Service Awards, given to members who go above and beyond and exemplify the spirit of service. I was curious about what sets these companies apart, so we interviewed them and asked how they were able to provide such consistently high levels of service.
What we found out may (or may not) surprise you. All of the folks we talked to say the same thing — they are able to provide a high level of service because they focus on it.
Maybe it would be best to hear what some of the award winners had to say about serving customers.
"We try to find a way to take care of the customer the best way we can. No matter the problem, we try our best to fix it. There are times we don't have all the resources and manpower, but we still make time and find a way to get things done. No matter the problem, we instantly come up with a solution to serve the customer."
— Chris Brackbill, service manager at York NationaLease.
"Our top priority is to take care of our customers. We do whatever we can to get the driver back on the road safely and soon as possible. It's ingrained in me and trickles down to the rest of the service team. We follow a centralized mission to always take care of the customer. Whenever there is a breakdown, all hands are on deck to get the driver back on the road."
— Vincent Volpe, vice president of maintenance, Grane NationaLease
“Our goal is to always take care of the customer. We work well as a team because we are very much customer-oriented and remain loyal to the mission, company, and customer. We do such a great job because everyone pulls together and works hard. The team effort certainly is one of the factors that contributes to the company's 98% customer retention and long-standing customer relationships.
— Mike Britz, director of operations, Airoldi Brothers NationaLease.
While several of these comments speak to service as it relates to maintenance and repair, I think they also relate to service in the broader sense of taking care of the customer.
In today’s increasingly virtual society, great service really does stand out. Companies like Ritz-Carlton and Chick-Fil-A often are cited as examples of great customer service, and boast impressive profit margins because of it. When these companies are asked about how they provide great service, their answers are inevitably similar to the answers the NationaLease members gave. They train, they reward, they focus on great service.
No matter who your end customer is, you can improve their experience with your company by making service a focus throughout your entire organization. Every single person in your organization plays a role in taking care of your customer. The attitude of the person answering the phone, the way someone in your accounting department handles a billing question, the way your drivers interact when at a customer’s location all are an important part of providing top notch service.
If you want to ensure your customers get the best service possible from you, I suggest you change your focus. When you focus time, effort and resources on service, I am betting you will see impressive results.
Jane Clark focuses on managing the member services operation at NationaLease as vice president of member services. She works to strength member relationships, reduce member costs, and improve collaboration within the NationaLease supporting groups.