“Customer service is not a department, it’s everyone’s job.”
American Central Transport has a long history of being recognized by its customers as its top service carrier. It is important that we continue and improve this long held tradition. One of our Core Values is that of Accountability, which means “doing what you say you are going to do.” If we can’t do something, we say so.
Why is this important? We all get paid by the mile, both drivers and the company. ACT doesn’t produce any miles at all. The customer does. The customer gives us miles and we give them to our drivers. If a customer is not satisfied, the customer can very easily and quickly give those miles to another carrier. Result… we all lose miles.
If you are not accountable for delivering on time service or meeting other customer requirements, you are not only hurting ACT, but all other drivers and yourself because you are jeopardizing everyone’s miles. We can’t allow that. If an associate doesn’t hold themselves to our core value of accountability and if after counseling, they don’t improve, we just have to say that it is a bad fit. We owe that to ourselves and our other good drivers to take care of our customers.
Customer service affects pay. We are paid by the mile, and so are our drivers. If we want more money per mile or raises, then we have to raise our rates which we charge our customers. Once we do this and are confident they will hold, then we can raise our associates. If you raise pay, but don’t get more from your customers or more productivity, then you will make less and less money until you are losing money. Nobody benefits from this. When our salespeople go to a customer to keep or to raise our rates, our service is a critical part of the conversation. Carriers with poor service simply can’t charge as much, and, as a result, can’t pay their drivers as much. We all have a direct and vested interest in making sure the customer is happy. What makes the customer happy? Whatever that customer demands, so long as it is legal. There are many carriers and brokers who will take our miles away if they can.
Our belief, for as long as I have been here, is that if you want the customer service, you must hire the best drivers in the industry. To do this you have to pay the highest rates. If you are paying the highest rates, which we have always done, it is more than fair to expect excellence in all we do. Associates who don’t share our core values or care about service not only hurt the company, but hurt us all.
What is good customer service? It is doing what you say you’re going to do. It is about caring, planning, communicating and being proactive. This is tied closely to another core value of ours, Integrity…doing the right thing, even if nobody is watching.
Happy Miles! -Tom
“Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game. Service wins the game.” ~ Tony Allesandra