In the fast paced world of technology, with automated phone attendants, voice recognition, voice-mail, and electronic data interchange (transferring of information) many customer service companies are making use of these types of options as cost cutting measures. The question is: is this in the best interest of the client?
Though it can cut costs to a company, what has been lost is the fact that we are still in the people business. We do business on a person to person basis, not company to company basis and certainly not computer to computer basis.
Nobody makes a phone call hoping to get an automated attendant or leave a message on a recording device, they want to discuss their concerns, find a solution, and move on to the next undertaking in their busy business day.
At Pacific Customs Brokers, our business model is providing PREMIUM client service, so when it came time to invest in a new phone system, we sought out technology that could be "dumbed down".
In our business of international trade, automated phone attendants are a costly mistake. On the surface, money can be saved by automating vs paying an employee to answer the phone. But with automation, opportunities are missed to engage your client, learn more about their business activities, and add value to the services provided for your client.
To separate our service from our competition:
- We hired and trained in-house receptionists to answer the phones 24 hours, 7 days a week.
- We removed the voice-mail function on all customs operation desks. It was our thought, that when our client's truck arrived at the border or their emergency airfreight shipment of replacement parts landed at the airport, the oh so famous voice-mail recording, “your phone call is very important, please leave a message and I will return your call after my long weekend,” was not the response our client needed to hear.
- We also realized that a live reception team answering the phone 24/7 was not going to be enough to provide PREMIUM service to our clientele. So we offered a Customs brokerage service made up of a team of skilled staff that can properly walk the tight rope between trade compliance and industry common sense. Our team takes the time to listen, ask pertinent questions and recommend solutions to a wide variety of trading issues such as free trade agreements, duty rate application, regulated items and import taxes.
We believe our clients appreciate having a real person who can assess each call for urgency, importance, direction, and priority of their shipment. We put people before technology and are keenly aware that it is the people we do business with that contribute to the growth of our business. We have all the technology and automated processes that most brokers have available, but our focus is providing PREMIUM, personal client service with experienced people who will go the extra mile to get the job done.