4 Examples For How Customers Voice Helps Shaping Customer Experience
By Aluma Ben Horin, Global Customer Experience Projects Manager, TAPI
At TAPI, we are proud of our culture of continuous improvement. For the customer experience team, that means we strive to serve TAPI’s customers better today than we did last year, last month or last week. We recognize there is always room for improvement but in order to improve, we need to know how we are performing. Customer feedback tells us that.
Like other organizations focused on customer experience, TAPI periodically surveys our customers. Learning whether they are satisfied with our service is important of course, but our goal is to go one step further. We want to know how we can outdo ourselves, how we can exceed their expectations to deliver the best service in the industry. We view our customers as long-term partners, and to strengthen those partnerships we need to understand their needs and expectations at every level.
How feedback is delivering results
Feedback on customer surveys enables us to design new processes that result in faster, more effective service and help our customers meet their goals. We take survey comments to heart, and use them to make changes that benefit both our customers and the TAPI employees who serve them.
Here are 4 examples of the changes we have made or are planning to make, based on survey feedback:
Communicating expected due dates. Customers told us they would like to know in advance when they can expect an answer on a service request. Often, they are requesting a shipping update or need information from another department such as Regulatory Affairs, Compliance or Production. In response, we are in the process of creating the Expected Due Date Project to improve our communications with customers. If we will not be able to answer a question immediately, our goal is to update the customer through TAPI Online – our customer portal, or send the customer an email response (if they don’t use our portal yet), stating the date they can expect follow-up information.
Initiating more one-to-one contact with TAPI experts. Survey responses indicated that customers would benefit from easier access to TAPI experts to get time-sensitive questions answered more quickly, such as those regarding regulatory issues. A pilot project is in the planning stages to connect the relevant professional units with customers who have specialized or technical questions to help them get the information they are looking for.
Identifying and sharing industry trends. In the fast-moving pharmaceutical industry, regulatory requirements are continuously being reviewed and updated by agencies worldwide. Our teams who keep identifying emerging trends have begun sharing their research and findings with customers about upcoming regulatory changes in specific markets, so they can better prepare to meet new guidelines. At the same time, we update our Customer Experience team’s knowledge base so they can answer customer questions more quickly.
Tools and training to improve response time. We are pleased that many survey respondents gave us high marks for customer response time but we know we can do even better. We began a professionalism excellence initiative to provide customers with the answers that are right the first time, eliminating follow-up requests for more information. We continuously update our employees’ online knowledge base with detailed information about our working procedures and guidelines and frequently requested information by customers. With essential data now at their fingertips, Customer Experience professionals can take care of more customer inquiries on the spot, reducing the need to track down answers from colleagues or managers. Employee training is a priority for the Customer Experience team to ensure employees at all levels are prepared to interact professionally with customers and promptly meet their expectations. TAPI has initiated an online employee training program with new course content introduced every month. Managers reinforce new skills and behaviors, and answer questions during regular face-to-face team meetings.
Thank you for your voice
Because TAPI customers are willing to spend a few minutes filling out our online surveys, we are able to make real and significant improvements that benefit our entire customer base. In addition to the surveys, we occasionally interview customers by telephone to get their perspective on how we can do things differently or better. Thank you to our customers for their responses in the past and we cannot emphasize enough how much we count on their participation in the future. Customers are what make continuous improvement possible, and will help us reach our goal of providing the best customer experience in the API industry.
Aluma Ben Horin is Global Customer Experience Projects Manager for Teva Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (TAPI), a business unit of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd.
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