02 November 2023
Customer service and the PODStar approach
We all know what
good customer service is and how it feels to be treated like a valued client,
after all, we are all customers in one way or another. In our personal lives, when
we shop, eat out in a restaurant or even when organising our home or car
insurance, we are a customer of a business.
In our professional lives almost
any interaction with another company places us as a ‘customer’, even if we’re
not the ones signing off the purchase order. In each of these situations we
instinctively feel the benefit of good service where we are treated as a valued
customer. Sometimes we all feel the frustration of receiving poor service where
we are treated as a customer reference number and not a person.
customers, especially in a business-to-business setting, once the pre-sales and
order fulfilment process has been completed, the next key interaction is with the
customer service team. Customer services operates as the gateway for customers to
inquire about the product or service, raise any questions or concerns, and to engage
with the company they have chosen as ‘partners’ to resolve their issues.
a business perspective, customer service is a vital part of any organisation and
can go a long way to enhancing (or destroying) a brand’s image and reputation.
It is where customer loyalty can be won (or lost!), where upsell and cross-sell
opportunities can present themselves, and a single sale can become the start of
a long-term partnership.
AI and Customer Service
has been claimed that AI will be the future of many different business
functions, including customer service. Whilst AI is an exciting new technology
that has the potential to provide some benefits it is a long way from being
able to take over completely.
with automation and pattern spotting are areas that AI can excel at, but at PODStar,
we believe that customer service is, and should remain, a human endeavour. Our
support for you will always be led by real people.
do not believe that AI will ever be able to fully replace people as the key
elements of customer service requires that special human touch, such as:
We don’t mean listening so that we can pass you along to the next choice of the
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, we mean actually and actively
listening. People listen in a way that makes the customer feel heard, but also
in a way that clarifies the issues and moves the conversation in the right
and Understanding: Through actively listening people can relate to the
caller, they can understand and empathise with them. They can create the kind
of human connection that AI can never achieve.
AI struggles with any form of complexity and multi-layered queries that don’t
fit into a pattern. Whereas people can more easily and quickly adapt to the individual
they are dealing with. This allows conversations to jump, change course or
repeat themselves as they do naturally amongst people.
Solving: Adaptability leads to problem solving. There are times where the
solution required is one that is ‘out-of-the-box’ and finding those options is
only something that people can do.
Connection: Finally, one of the key reasons to employ people in customer
service is that most customers would rather deal with a person. That becomes
even more important when it is a person that you have dealt with before. Long-term
engagement, especially when issues are successfully resolved, creates a sense
of trust and a strength of relationship that even the best AI cannot replicate.
What this means for you
at PODStar we pride ourselves on our customer service. We are very proud of the
people that work most closely with you, our customer. One of the key aspects of
our customer service approach is that we don’t believe in waiting for issues to
arise, instead we always seek to be proactive. This means that at PODStar customer
service starts as soon as the project does.
All PODStar projects include the
scoping: initial exploratory conversations enable us to understand your
key requirements and produce detailed workflows and integration work. This
ensures that we all have clear visibility of how the project will progress. At
PODStar, during the scoping phase, we gather detailed requirements and produce
an animated mock-up of the proposed end to end solution. This mock-up allows our
customers to visualise and understand the final product’s look and functionality
before committing to the contract.
we use this mock-up at the point of delivery to compare against the actual delivered
solution, to ensure we meet expectations. This comparison is an important step
in gaining customer approval before initiating our free 30-day user acceptance
testing (UAT) period.
support: from the moment the project goes live we are by your side offering
enhanced support, either on-site or remote, to ensure that everything happens
as smoothly as possible.
the PODStar system is fully configured to your desired workflow, including
setting up the master data, so that all implementation is complete.
we believe in providing quality training that is tailored to your specific
needs. Firstly, we conduct a thorough training needs analysis to determine what
training approach is best suited to your current situation and future
requirements. Based on the outcome of the analysis we create tailored training
Management: throughout the process we provide experienced project management
to ensure governance of all project delivery related activities.
you need ongoing support once your project is live, then our team of support
personnel – real people, experienced at providing enhanced support services
that help you to optimise the running of your business operation – is on hand.
the exceptional, personal support they offer means more than that. It means
that any operational issues that you may face are swiftly rectified, so that normal
business operations can continue, and any downtime is minimised. Our customer
support works to ensure that you can always use PODStar to enhance the
efficiency of your delivery operation.
of PODStar Profile
the human intelligence behind our PODStar solution.
Hyder: Divisional Head of Product & Project Management
has worked at TouchStar for almost six years and overseas all aspects of
product development and the end-to-end project delivery process. Marc is
passionate about finding simple solutions to complex problems and removing
burdensome process that hinder efficiency and productivity.
to joining TouchStar, Marc worked at the RAC and Masternaut in telematics
roles. He also served in the British Army for six years with the Royal Corps of
Signals in military intelligence.
his experience and expertise, Marc is on a mission to simplify complexity with
technology that delivers real value by boosting productivity and delivering
cost savings to companies.
“I have met with several companies that wanted to modernise their systems and
move away from paper-based workflows but were concerned their workforce will
resist a change to the unknown. We understand that it can feel daunting for
many employees to make the shift, however no company can afford to be left
behind in an economy that is so competitive. Real-time data is vital for
effective decision making when scheduling drivers and deliveries. Without it
companies are operating in the dark, which can lead to miscommunication, poor
resource allocation and missed opportunities, all of which impact the bottom
PODStar system is so configurable, flexible and feature rich that when
customers ask if our solution can solve their challenges, the answer in 99% of
cases is yes. It is a hugely satisfying part of my job when PODStar
revolutionises how the business functions and makes life easier for the
employees by simplifying daily operations. A successful technology project
should be user friendly, deliver a simple answer to complex scenarios and
provide the company with a solid return on investment. If technology doesn’t
work for the user, then it doesn’t work at all,” concludes Marc.