Simple lessons in boosting customer service

The core product or service you deliver may not be rocket science, but the simplest of changes to how you deliver that to customers can be the key to your triumph or undoing.

For example, the food delivery sector has exploded in recent years as the likes of technology, the share economy and an increasingly time-poor population combine to create consumer demand for efficiencies.

In this instance, making your business stand out from the crowd of competitors, rather than having to raise awareness of what you do, takes precedent – as Marty Halphen of The Fruit Box Group knows only too well.

Having purchased a small fruit delivery business in suburban Melbourne and transformed it into a national business with annual turnover of $50 million, Marty says the key to that success has simply been the standard and style of service he delivers to his customers.

“People say that fruit and milk, it’s not rocket science – and it’s not rocket science. But when we started delivering milk five or six years ago, the experience the customers had [was] that milk would be just be dropped off in loading zones. They could be dropped off at three in the morning, and it wasn’t until eight or nine o’clock when somebody came to work, went downstairs, picked up the warm milk, had to cart the milk over four, five, six different floors,” explains Marty.

“The opportunity there is that there’s an occupational health and safety issue. There’s the issue of milk going off. There’s the issue of not being able to break up the order and have that order delivered to each of your levels. That’s the type of learnings that we have had by listening to the customer.”

It is this approach to solving customer problems, explains Marty, that has effectively transformed his business from being purely product-driven to service-driven.

“It’s not about how fresh the fruit is or whether or not milk has shelf life, that’s a given. I think it’s all the service. So prompt delivery, the breakup of delivery, having your drivers being all police-checked, having a national presence, not just delivering to a site ... is what makes the product attractive to our potential customers,” he says.

Marty adds: “I think competition is great – where there’s competition, there’s the ability to get more sales. The way in which we work in our business is we are always trying to better our own times.

“We’re not trying to really run a race directly against competitors. All we’re trying to do is enhance the customer experience and not take anything for granted, and constantly improve our service.”

Hear more insights from Marty on rapid business growth and transformation, customer service strategies and the benefits of a strong CSR platform to a business’ bottom line on the My Business Podcast below:

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