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How can I implement a customer service department in an industrial services company?

Author moheldayem
#1 | Posted: 9 Apr 2008 07:15 
Dear Colleagues,

It is requested from me to implement a new department it is the customer service department,our company is an industrial services company we supply lubricants and filters,purifiers,lubricant analysis,bearings rollers also we supply technical support through our technical department.

How can I implement a customer service department ?

Warm Regards,



Author ayaree
#2 | Posted: 12 Apr 2008 18:19 
Hi, I am not sure where to begin with this question, so I will just try to offer some constructive thought, which may or may not go in the directions you need.

Why is a customer service dept required? What is needed, a group of people to receive inquiries and respond with information, to process requests and channel them in the right direction, to provide a first layer of support for the technical dept and other departments? Are there specific areas of operation in the company that require a hub of communication that this CS Dept will provide and then facts and figures can be discovered through tracking? Has it been found that insufficient results in service are an issue in your company without a CS Dept, and this new dept is intended to improve upon some things?

I don't have any idea what you would answer to these questions. But I guess I will assume that most of the questions apply, and try to proceed from there on what I would do.

-Understand my company. (Sounds like you do.) What are its products, services, what can it do and not do.

-Know my customers. Some must buy products that other customers do not. Are there layers and different types of customers (end users, distributors/channels/resellers, clients with whom contracts are agreed upon, regional staff within each customer organization. Which type of person in my company do these different customers need to be in contact with--or not. The audience involved (who is in contact with CS) matters, because that will determine the complexity of job knowledge involved and the level of expertise in representing the best face of the company. From the worst caliber of brainpower, customer service means "somebody needs to answer phone calls from customers." From the best or better caliber of brainpower, "we need to set up a group of peple that will represent our company and provide responsiveness to customer needs; they will do this by fielding requests of the following kinds, processing orders, liaising with other areas of our company and represent the customer needs in their actions along the way. If there is anything messy here, let's create some order and map out who needs to call upon whom for what and the expected outcomes of all these types of communication that will flow through this CS dept."

-Which depts in my company will immediately (and maybe evetually) need to interface with this CS dept. Do production teams and technical teams and billing need to be tied to the activities of this CS dept? I touched on that above.

-What are the basics of what the CS employees will provide and when a customer expects these employees to provide something that goes above those basics, what is the plan on how to handle that, and who is going to be available to follow through without fail, so that a customer does not go in circles, press a lot of buttons and memorize a lot of things specific to your company or hear requests to do homework?

-How will this CS dept fit into the overall culture of the company, are there ways to nurture job satisfaction, ensure the presence of a team spirit within the team and the depts it will deal with (proper reporting structures can help with this, ie, do not place employees into a barrel and expect them to figure it out without management that understand and support them). Are there ways to recognize successes and ways to make sure it is not difficult to improve (documented procedures that are updated, training programs, opportunities to work on special projects or different teams to maintain a sense of freshness if there is ever a lack).

-How will company success be tied to this team?

-What are my costs, where can I gain the most talent from fresh starters to the job market, where do I need more seasoned talent, what is my safety net if employees move, have I been ensuring constant cross-training if there are distinct roles within the group.

Not sure if this is too much meandering, but hopefully it will touch on some things you will want to consider as you endeavor to build this new team of people.

Author moheldayem
#3 | Posted: 5 Jun 2008 02:24 
Thank you very much,

Any other ideas please?

Author Leonard
#4 | Posted: 5 Jun 2008 10:50 
You might consider training the technical support personnel 1st, as Customer Service Reps, then begin to recruit and hire people with a technical background who are not solely dedicated to the technical support dept.
This way you have some company continuity as you start up your dept. and it gives you time to fine tune picture of who you are looking for.

Good Luck

Author flonelchuks
#5 | Posted: 11 Jun 2008 13:10 
Ayaree thanks for that response. guess u must b a star on the field.

To improve on customer services ensureure employee are given adequate customer care training.

Author ayaree
#6 | Posted: 11 Jun 2008 19:38 
Flonelchuks, you kind of made my day/evening/maybe tomorrow or the week.

Don't really know how much I am STAR material, and I am not always feeling that great/purposeful/advancing, frankly. But people (people that need to be able to say "I want to work there") are major drivers for me - not really a lot of liveliness beyond that, as it begins to feel like adding/subtracting, from my personal perspective. I just pulled together some thoughts on "how I would start," given the question, and some pieces to it involved areas I have seen missing, some pieces I have actively put together or overseen or instigated (that last word should maybe be in CAPS). Nothing formal behind it and no special certification and certainly not what I thought my schooling/"degree" would propel me into.

Author ayaree
#7 | Posted: 16 Jun 2008 18:39 
Moheldayem, have you found your additional responses? What do you make of them?

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