Everyone knows the famous story of Amazon’s empty chair that there is always a chair to be left blank in every meeting, which, according to the Amazon CEO, is occupied by the most crucial person – the customer. Customer obsession is key to success of this e-commerce powerhouse. The philosophy of customer obsession is also what is key for Loship, Vietnam-based food delivery and hyperlocal e-commerce platform. From the early days of laying the foundation, CEO & Co-founder of Loship, Trung Hoang Nguyen has always strived for that core philosophy and never compromised on that one belief: Customer is king.
According to Trung Hoang Nguyen, to be the country’s most customer-centric company is what Loship is heading towards, and this shines through in everything they do.
Customer-focused over competitor-focused
The food delivery market in Vietnam is getting fiercer than ever, as a slew of established players and newcomers are trying to carve a slice of this pie. However, Loship CEO Trung Hoang Nguyen stated he is driven by a relentless customer focus, rather than diving into the cash-burning competition to seek market share.
Undoubtedly, being competitor-focused can work for some businesses, but not in the long run. Obsessing over competitors will, one way or another, prohibit companies from innovating, putting them into ‘follower mode.’
The customer-focused approach, on the other hand, runs the opposite course. By being entirely focused on customers and geared to maximize customer benefits, businesses can be more pioneering to come up with value-added solutions.
“Customers will always want something better, and it’s our job to delight them, to give them even more than they can ask for. By delivering even the smallest amount above their expectations, we can turn them into loyal, lifelong customers,” says Trung.
The CEO is the one who takes responsibility for customer service
Every company can say out loud that customers are their priority, but not many really “walk the walk” when it comes to delivering customer-obsessed service.
Here at Loship, Trung is the one who takes full responsibility for the customer service. He wants to take the customer service game to the next level and is willing to go the extra mile for each customer.
“I enjoy reading customer feedback every day, even the complaints and criticism. Listening to both ends of the spectrum of comments is the best way to fully understand their needs. Imagine, if you know in this life, you have a mission to serve someone to make them satisfied, and you know that you’re not perfect, then every day you wake up, you will always be motivated to get out of bed and keep fighting for the better,” stated Trung.
Trung sets a culture of “Yes” to every customer request. At Loship, customers are always right, and every demand from customers has to be addressed in under 30 minutes. He regularly discusses and shares his customer’s perspective with employees, and as a consequence, this practice helps the entire organization become more customer-centric.
“To provide excellent customer service, first, we need to strengthen our internal processes such as the driver-partner quality, delivery time, food quality, the app interface, etc. so that customers will always have the reason to choose us over other competitors. By doing so, we will automatically achieve a full customer-centric transformation and a culture of customer obsession that we have always yearned,” said the customer service lead of Loship, Kao Ngoc Kieu.
The following story presents a compelling case for the customer obsession at Loship. It’s the story of a woman who couldn’t come to the airport to see her parents off before they flew back from Ho Chi Minh City to their hometown Da Nang. She had ordered a cherry box on Loship as a farewell gift and expected to have it delivered before the flight. Unfortunately, the route to the airport was exceptionally crowded that day, and the driver was held up. When he finally made it to the airport, he was 10 minutes late, and the parents had already boarded the plane.
The issue happened due to some external factors that Loship had no control over. However, much to the customer’s surprise, Loship’s support team responded immediately and told her that they would gladly deliver another cherry box directly to her hometown, even suggesting additional items that would fit perfectly with the elderly. Less than 2 hours later, another fruit box was delivered straight to the parents’ hands at Da Nang’s airport – free of charge! The foundation of outstanding customer service is caring about the customer, and it’s little things like these that truly make a difference.
Dissatisfied customers = Opportunity
Customer complaints happen every day, which can be stressful and hard to accept; you should still be thankful for them. Because without it, you wouldn’t honestly know how to provide an excellent service that keeps them returning.
Early this year, Loship had encountered an extremely demanding customer who always complained about tiny little things and seemed to be never satisfied. He had complained about the driver’s behavior, delivery time, food quality such as a stain on the glass, or too much sugar in drinks. The fact that he had taken the time to complain about the service means he still cared – otherwise, he would just not use our service. And if the customer is taking time to care about our service, we also need to take time to see things from his perspective.
Upon receiving the complaints, Loship quickly made apologies, no matter how unreasonable the claims sounded. Then they tried to resolve each complaint – either by product replacements or discount codes as compensation. Upholding customer obsession as a core value seemed to pay off. Much to the team’s surprise, in the 6th order, the customer gave some praise and even introduced Loship to his acquaintances. What could be a better outcome than a company able to turn the situation around, turning an unhappy customer into a happy one?
“No matter how much time you spend delivering good customer service, you just can’t please everyone, and you will inevitably encounter customers who are difficult to satisfy. The key is to learn to appreciate each feedback and resolve the problem in a manner that best satisfies them. Anytime you can go the extra mile and turn the situation around, you’ll gain their loyalty,” Trung shared.
Don’t be afraid to apologize
Here’s another story that speaks a lot of the customer-obsessed culture of Loship. Not long ago, a customer reported a case to Loship when a driver had come to pick up clothes for laundry service but had not yet returned them. For over three days, the clothes were still reported missing, and the driver remained out of reach. Upon knowing the issue, Trung Hoang Nguyen directly monitored the incident to address the customer’s anger and ensure the most pleasant outcome.
The response to the problem went far beyond what the customer expected. Apart from making a sincere apology and ensuring the clothes were returned intact, Loship waived the shipping charges, asked the customer how much the clothes cost, and compensated him 100% of the value, without requiring any price verification. The total compensation was up to 3 million VND, as disclosed by the customer. The whole issue was resolved within a week, from investigating the case to compensation, while at other companies, the entire process could take up to at least a month. The story shows corporate responsibility and that the company truly cares about its customers.
“When you have to apologize, of course, you will feel ashamed and annoyed. But as a service company, don’t be afraid to apologize for a service mistake. A sincere apology proves that you truly care and are responsible for your customers. That itself speaks louder than any multi-million dollar advertising message,” concluded the Loship CEO.
With the customer obsession embedded in their DNA, Loship is heading towards its mission of becoming the most customer-centric company in the country. The Vietnamese startup is continually raising the bar of the customer experience and shows no sign that the team may soon give up their passion.