Customer Service Takes the Cake
By: Ashley Ingram, HR Business Partner and Training (HRBP), Transplace
We are excited to continue our “Sweet 16” birthday celebration all month long, which honors the company’s 16 years in business. This week, we focus on what Transplace believes is our greatest asset – our people and the high-quality customer service they deliver. Our company makes it a point to value teams and invest in our employees’ professional growth to uphold the company mission. We do so by first emphasizing the importance of thrilling the customer every single day and exceeding customer expectations with exceptional service with measurable results.
I’ve been a member of the Transplace team for six years, and during that time, I’ve seen first-hand how employees develop into great performers dedicated to the core values of the company. As a Human Resource and Training Partner, my main responsibility is no longer to cover freight, set up new carriers or track and trace shipments like it used to be when I worked in Operations. Rather, it is my responsibility to ensure that all employees have the tools and resources to do their job successfully and to feel confident and empowered to handle internal and external issues, solve problems and provide solutions with a smile on their face and a great attitude.
Setting the Foundation
Transplace sets up the road to success for each new employee during their first 90 days. During that time, employees are immersed in a 90-Day New Hire Roadmap (learning plan) where they learn about the history and culture of Transplace, customer service fundamentals, forms of communication and the importance of work-life balance. In addition, we have a customer service course which is taught live across all of our Centers of Operational Excellence (COEs). This customer service training has become one of the greatest internal employee programs and is a central piece of our company culture. The training focuses on the fact that all employees have the responsibility to provide excellent customer service consistently – because doing so is a key competitive differentiator for Transplace.
And company training doesn’t stop at customer service. The 90 Day Roadmap and subsequent training ties in with our Core Values. We have a corporate goal that each employee completes at least 24 hours of training per year through both internal and external initiatives. “Thrilling the Customer” and “Respecting the Individual” are part of our core values and are considered the utmost priority, so it’s very important that we’re constantly cultivating skills such as listening, problem-solution orientation and thinking about how we can go the extra mile. Solving problems and offering alternative solutions also tie in with our Core Value “Process and Technology Excellence.” When employees identify a problem and can provide a solution within their control, they are eligible to participate in a “Quick Win,” which is one part of our Lean Six Sigma program. This is just a small sampling of how Transplace continuously thrills the customer and keeps customer service a central focus.
Extending the Program
Transplace customers have noted Transplace employees’ customer-service-centric culture. Recently, a leading manufacturer of trusted and recognized household and commercial brands wanted to know what Transplace does in terms of hiring and training for customer roles. After sharing an overview of our recruiting process and internal training, the customer asked us to come on-site to conduct a similar training tailored to 60 of their employees –which we viewed as an exciting new way to thrill our customer. Their employees interact with customers on a daily basis by phone, email and face-to-face interactions and are on the front lines representing their company and its respective brands much like the Transplace employees.
The training we provided was personalized to their business and core values – instead of using the same Transplace examples, we customized the session with examples of what they may face in their respective line of work. And, while the customer was certainly appreciative, the icing on the cake is knowing that Transplace has a system that works, gets noticed by outside entities and can be tailored and applied beyond our organization. It is important for all employees to realize that they play a critical role in “Thrilling the Customer,” whether the customer is internal or external. I couldn’t be more proud of this program that reinforces true company values at the core of its culture. And most deserving of the recognition for the high-quality service executed daily contributing to Transplace’s success is our greatest asset – our people!