CUSTOMER SERVICE PROFILE AT CON-WAY FREIGHTSTUDENTCOLLEGE ONLINE ??“ CUSTOMER SERVICE |
Project I: Customer Service Profile Final Paper |
As defined by ACA Group customer service is: ???excellent customer service is the ability of an organization to constantly and consistently exceed the customer??™s expectations??? (Douglas K. Howardell, 2004). It is a fact that we will not be able to give each customer everything they want. However as a customer service provider your goal should be to satisfy the customer needs and expectations. The way to do this is to establish good relations and rapport.
A company must acknowledge that every aspect, decision, and development affects the customer. Learning what the customers want and need by developing an action plan that implements customer friendly and processes that provide excellent customer services both face to face as well as behind the scenes. This is also a way to develop a rapport that can distinguish a company from its competition. Each company is judged by what they do not by what they say as consistency is a key.
Actions that will help to establish good customer relations and rapport includes answer the phone, not making promises unless they will be kept, listening to the customer, deal with complaints swiftly with purpose for resolutions, go the extra mile, show appreciation to customers with things such as give-a-ways, be helpful and train staff to always be helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable. Performing these actions a company will be able to satisfy the basic customer needs common to all customers. Applying these actions and others such like it combined with the basic customer needs; service, price, quality, actions and appreciation, a company will become known for its good customer service (Harris, 2010).
Con-way Inc. traces its history to Leland James, who, in 1929, founded a small regional trucking company in Portland, Oregon, named Consolidated Truck Lines. The company enjoyed great success through expansion and acquisition, and was later renamed Consolidated Freightways (CF).
During 1971 ??“ 1983 CF faced pressures from oil embargos and union labor costs, was thrust into deregulation. Consolidated Freightways took this opportunity to include air freight and trailer manufacturing. During 1983 ??“ 1985 Consolidated Freightways created Con-way a nonunion, regional short-haul service in markets where CF wasn??™t actively selling its services (Con-way Inc., 2008-2011). The regional companies Con-way Central Express (CCX), Con-way Western Express (CWX), and Con-way Eastern Express (CEX) were established as part of a strategy to expand (Con-way Inc., 2008-2011). In 1991 CF, Inc. launch Menlo Logistics to broaden its service portfolio beyond less-than-truckload (LTL) transportation, and to capitalize on the growing trend of bundled logistics services. Menlo was among the first of a new breed of integrated logistics companies (Con-way Inc., 2008-2011). The Truckload division was launched in 2005 to more efficiently manage Con-way??™s hub-to-hub freight network across its regional companies. This new subsidiary provided line-haul service on full loads of LTL shipments moving in transcontinental traffic lanes. Con-way, formerly CNF, Inc., underwent a corporate rebranding process, and the new name, Con-way Inc., was officially introduced on April 19, 2006.
On May 5, 2006, the new ticker symbol on the New York Stock Exchange became CNW. Menlo purchased Cougar Holdings Pte Ltd. and Chic Holdings Ltd. in 2007 (Con-way Inc., 2008-2011). Singapore-based Cougar expanded Menlo??™s operational scope in Southeast Asia, and Shanghai-based Chic gave Menlo a pan-China presence (Con-way Inc., 2008-2011). These two acquisitions vaulted Menlo into a major Asian logistics company (Con-way Inc., 2008-2011). The acquisition of CFI gives Con-way a major presence in truckload freight (Con-way Inc., 2008-2011). Today, the Truckload division operates more than 2,600 tractors and 7,000 trailers, with more than 3,000 employees, including 2,500 drivers (Con-way Inc., 2008-2011). Unlike most companies, Con-way Inc. not only have a mission statement, they also have a vision statement and value statement. These statements are as follow,
Mission Statement: Guided by our core values, we deliver quality services and innovative solutions to our partners everywhere. We transform vision into reality.
Vision Statement: At Con-way, our employees are our greatest competitive advantage. By focusing on our values, we will realize the vision of making Con-way our clients??™ greatest competitive advantage in global supply chain services.
Values Statement: The Con-way core values are INTEGRITY, COMMITMENT and EXCELLENCE. Everything we do at Con-way reflects these values, and we constantly strive to improve. INTEGRITY at Con-way means just that: Everything we do is done with fairness, compassion, respect, courage and much more. COMMITMENT is not fancy ??” it??™s either there or it??™s not. At Con-way, we keep our word and deliver what we promise. EXCELLENCE is what we strive for in all that we do. Our core values all combine to produce excellent people, excellent results and an excellent organization.???
Con-way??™s customer service is full of integrity and fairness. The policies reach internally to their employees out to their external customers. The site provides several ways for a customer to contact them. As a customer you are able to email, call, fax, and visit local terminals and hubs. Their network of more than 365 operating locations reach across the 50 United States, Canada, Mexico, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and domestic offshore locations. In addition to world-class transportation performance, Con-way Freight offers exceptional customer service at every level, supported by industry professionals and state-of-the-art processes and technology that save time and ensure consistent exception-free shipping (Con-way Inc., 2008-2011). Their customer service policies are focused on the customer??™s needs. If the need of the customer is not met, they have policies in place to accommodate less then exceptional customer service that provides credit issuance. The also provide Account Executives to each account. Depending on the relationship of the customer will determine if they are appointed to a local AE or a National AE. However if a company is deemed to be a national account, Con-way does not fall short by locating a local AE meet the customers??™ demands within the company??™s policies holding high regards in keeping integrity and loyalty first.
The internal customer services it provides to its employee are recognized by industry magazines such as the Return on Performance magazine, March 2010 issue titled, ???Building a strong employee culture is key to Con-way??™s success???. Con-way promotes diversity and inclusion in the work force. Cross training allow the employees to handle customer concerns and issues with one call from a customer. The morale of the company is high. Cross training gives the employee the since of how much they are appreciated as well as opportunities of promotion and advancement within the company. The company also gives first choice to employees of available positions. Recently the announced the reinstatement of company matching of the 401k retirement plans. It is a fundamental business practice critical to their success (Con-way Inc., 2008-2011).
Every employee is empowered to handle to customers??™ needs. For example the drivers are titled Driver Sales Representative. The title was given to help empower them to up-sell on Con-way??™s services and handle situations with one stop. This builds relations and rapport with one on one service being rendered. This strategy works well in developing good communication with the customers. When a customer has a complaint they are able to contact their AE which will then issue necessary credits, and make or have corrections processed on billing account issues. If misfortunes such as loss or damaged freight occur, the customer is able to visit the web site to complete a claim form. The process generally takes 30 days. The customers are given their AE??™s direct contact numbers and emails and are able to contact them at any time. Even during the weekends. Because the customer is able to speak directly to their AE and receive follow ups also immediately. For example, a customer is able to email their AE with an issue of loss freight. The AE is then able to respond directly to the customer via email with tools such iPads, which indicates how important and how much their business is greatly appreciated. Other examples include being able to call into a service center and having the initial representative handle to customer??™s request as every employee is empowered.
In conclusion the strengths and weakness of the customer service environment at Con-way is very close. Their service, price, quality, action, and appreciation are certainly their strengths. However their weakness lies within the tools given to their customers. Although the company practices and promote cross training, the overwhelming calls into a location can cause late responses. Tracking the customers shipments are done online and can be accessed by the customer. However the notations in the tracking log is often misunderstood and a representative that did not personally make the notation can sometimes relay wrong or misleading information. I would recommend that the company reevaluates their automated exception logs so that it is more universal to have the same meaning across the board.
Because the company promotes a ???customer first??? attitude they do not mislead the customer about their policies. For example if the customer places a claim on freight that has been damaged during transportation, they are not automatically awarded the claim. There is an investigation completed which includes inspections of all paperwork and the actual goods shipped. If it is determined that do to the fault of Con-way, the claim is awarded immediately. However if it is due to improper packaging by the shipper/customer, then the claim is not awarded. In both scenarios a detailed script of the investigation is given to the customer, their AE and posted a network profile that is accessible by any employee. Each customer is afforded personal attention and must be contacted weekly or daily to ensure they have everything needed to ensure they are receiving the highest service provided by Con-way. This is priceless to Con-way, as a happy customer is a frequent customer that will continue to return for service.
Work Cited and References
Con-way Inc. (2008-2011, July 14). About Con-way: History. Retrieved July 17, 2011, from Con-way: http://www.con-way.com
Douglas K. Howardell, C. (2004). Retrieved June 30, 2011, from The ACA Group: www.theacagroup.com/customerservice.htm
Harris, E. K. (2010). Customer Service – A Practical Approach; 5e. In E. K. Harris, Customer Service – A Practical Approach; 5e (pp. 1-133). Bartlesville: Pearson Education, Inc., as Prentice Hall.