In Focus: DHL
10 years ago by Usman Ghani
In a joint interview, the Country Manager of DHL in UAE, Mr. Frank Uwe Ungerer and Customer Service Manager Mr. Ben Dart, shed light on DHL’s vision and practices of customer service that take the company “Straight to the Top”
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“WE DIFFERENTIATE OURSELVES THROUGH SERVICE LEADERSHIP TO ACHIEVE CUSTOMER LOYALTY”
Q: What is your vision for imparting a customer-centric culture within your organization?
DHL’s vision is to be the employer of choice, investor of choice and provider of choice. This is our motto, work ethic and commitment to our customers and stakeholders across the world. With that in mind every country implements various initiatives to fulfill this strategy and strives towards keeping the customer the center of attention. One such initiative is being extremely customer-centric in everything we do. This ultimately results in customer loyalty and contentment, which drives growth and profitability.
Q: In your opinion, how do customer service ideologies differ in UAE as compared to other regions of the world?
The UAE in general has a high standard of customer service across its various industries. This is due to several reasons such as state of the art infrastructure and equipment, i.e. internet connection speeds, 4G connections, etc. All these elements overall improve the standards of customer service in the UAE. However, there are still areas of improvement such as the backend processes and provision of the right information for the customer service agent which can always be refined. ¬
Q: What is the philosophy of DHL which drives its customer service excellence?
As the International specialists, we aim to lead the logistics industry in terms of quality, efficiency and customer satisfaction to ensure we provide unique and tailored logistics solutions for each market we operate in, including the UAE. We differentiate ourselves through service leadership to achieve customer loyalty. That is why we use NP and Customer effort scoring. The system i¬s globally recognized as both a loyalty metric and a discipline for using customer feedback to fuel profitable growth in the business. DHL first introduced NP, 4 years ago with the objective to maximize customer loyalty and ultimately increase market share. This is driven by empowering every employee with ownership of their NP score, resulting in a personal commitment to improve customer satisfaction.
Q: With the increasing popularity and adaptation of e-service systems across the UAE, how much emphasis do you place on your online customer support mechanisms?
DHL has always been focused on developing and upgrading IT capabilities in order to facilitate and enhance our services as well as improve customer experience. That is why DHL Express UAE was the first logistics provider to be awarded with the ISO 20000 certification for IT service excellence in the MENA region.
Q: What kind of online customer service and support are you currently providing to your web visitors in UAE?
We currently offer several types of online customer service support, from tracking services and a dedicated e-commerce helpdesk, to an online feedback platform called ‘Straight to the top.’ whereby customers that have any concerns, complaints or compliments can write directly to the senior management team to voice their opinion.
Q: What is the mechanism of resolving customer complaints in DHL and are there any particular concerns customers usually have?
DHL handles and successfully delivers thousands of shipments on a daily basis from all over the world. However, sometimes we experience faults and minor delays that cause some of our customers to complain. That is why the Customer Service department is segregated into 4 divisions – Contact Centre, Customer Care, Key Accounts Desk and Customer Service Development. Each division is responsible for a specific area within the customer service domain whether it’s for handling customer queries or complaints or for training and development of our customer service team.
Q: How do you assess customer satisfaction and brand loyalty?
The use of the NP philosophy and the ratings that we receive from each customer helps us analyze and understand customer satisfaction and loyalty. However, being extremely customer centric we take further steps and proactive measures whereby we gather large amounts of data on the various touch points to understand our processes and benchmark them for further improvement, even if there are no issues that need to be addressed. This way we make sure we are always ahead of the game.
Q: What is the USP of DHL that differentiates it from competitors?
DHL Express is the market leader that drives the logistics industry in the UAE with more than 50% market share in the time definite delivery services and we are expecting to continue growing our market share in the UAE and across the Middle East.
Q: DHL has achieved a benchmark of being one of the best companies to work for in the UAE. What factors have enabled you to achieve this?
We have successfully developed a feedback culture whereby employees can freely tell one another at any time what they are doing well so that they continue to do it. You must also tell them as well where they need to improve. We never try to be critical. The aim is to provide motivational feedback. Beginning with me, down to every supervisor, this is a daily 2 way communication practice geared at instilling the necessary culture of constant improvement.
Q: How much focus does your company place on customer service training programs for employees?
We have a dedicated team for Customer Service training and development which makes sure that all customer service advisors are up to the standards that our customers expect from us. However, it does not stop there. DHL has successfully implemented one global training platform for consistency called the Certified International Specialist program.
Every one of our 100,000 employees globally goes through this system because everybody requires the same basic knowledge and understanding of our industry and company. Once a person finishes a CIS course, they are then tested and certified, including managers. Another strategy we implement in CIS is that all the training we do is conducted internally by DHL employees.
Q: What are the future plans of your company to enhance customer experience?
Similar to the previous years, we shall continue to maintain our growth trend, enhancing our customer experience by investing in our people in addition to expanding our service capabilities within the region.
Frank Uwe Ungerer: Country Manager DHL Express, UAE
Frank-Uwe Ungerer is the Country Manager for DHL Express, UAE. Based in Dubai, Frank is responsible for all DHL Express operations within the UAE.Frank’s career with DHL spans more than seven years. He joined the company in 2003 as Country Manager Russia and was then Managing Director of DHL Greece & Cyprus before arriving in the UAE.Prior to that, Frank worked in St. Petersburg, where he held the position of MD for the Russian/German Joint Venture Cargo Terminal Pulkovo. He started his career in the logistics industry working with international airline Lufthansa Cargo for 12 years, where he held several senior positions in Germany, Russia and China.
Frank is an Honors Graduate in Transport, and holds an MBA from Ashridge Management College, London, UK.
Ben Dart: Customer Service Manager, DHL Express, UAE
Ben Dart joined DHL UAE in Feb 2004 after leaving the UK where he managed several Customer Service teams across the technology sector. He was promoted to a Senior Management role in 2005 and led the team to winning 2 Call Centre Industry awards. He won the Dubai Service Excellence scheme in 2008 for DHL’s Service Points. In 2008, Ben became DHL UAE’s Head of First Choice – A role that ensures continuous improvements in Customer Loyalty through application of Six Sigma and LEAN methodologies. He recently won the Best VOD Program from the 2014 Insights Customer Service Awards.