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DHL's four elements of premium service

Released at: 14:44, 23/07/2019 BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

DHL's four elements of premium service

Photos: DHL

Senior leaders discuss how DHL stands apart from the competition.

by Thanh Thanh

DHL is one of the world’s best-known brands and a clear leader in its space in Vietnam. The company prides itself on delivering excellence to each of the more than 220 countries and territories in which it operates. When DHL emblazons its promotions with “Excellence. Simply delivered.”, our attention may be piqued but our curiosity not entirely sated. To understand a little more about what this means to the team that stands behind “The big yellow machine”, as DHL insiders affectionately refer to it, we spoke with several of its senior leaders about what “Excellence” means to each of them and their respective functions.

Mr. Shoeib Reza Choudhury

“There are really four elements that underpin our premium service offering to Vietnam,” said DHL-VNPT Express Vietnam’s Country Manager, Mr. Shoeib Reza Choudhury. “First, the customer is absolutely at the center of everything we do, every day. Our people represent the second element - we continuously train our people to become Certified International Specialists and develop them into ‘21st Century’ leaders. We ingrain in our people DHL’s core values of Passion, Can Do, Speed, and Right First Time. Third, our commitment to innovate and invest in Vietnam as we see it tomorrow, not just the Vietnam outside our windows today. And finally, our drive to be a sustainable socially responsible business.”

Picking up on this first point, Mr. Devendra Patil, the company’s Senior Director Commercial, said: “Everything we do here starts with what our customers want. Our customers include everything from Vietnam’s largest manufacturers to SMEs and entrepreneurs and individuals with parcels or documents. Ultimately, each of these customers has some key aims in common - they generally want to drop their packages off as late as possible and have them arrive at their destination as soon as possible. This sounds very simple, but behind the scenes there is a lot involved in making this a reality, and in all cases, DHL Express leads the way in Vietnam, with the latest flights out every day, and the shortest times in transit to over 220 countries and territories around the world.”

“Every interaction with the customer is important. Our call center stays open later than anyone else in the market and has won numerous awards here and internationally. On a daily basis, our couriers, our contact center specialists, and our sales team are interacting with our customers, offering them the personal touch that makes DHL unique. Through our ‘Straight to the Top’ program, our customers can reach the senior leadership of DHL in an instant. We are very passionate about the voice of customers at every level of the company and optimizing our service around customers’ needs.”

Indeed, this passion is central to the company’s training policy. “Once we have them on board, a program of training begins that is akin to a full internal MBA,” said Ms. Nguyen Ngoc Quynh Chau, Human Resources Director. “Our CIS and CIM (Certified International Specialist and Certified International Manager) programs have entirely reshaped DHL and have resulted in an incredible increase in the performance of our teams. To date, over 26,000 of our team members around Asia have been through this program.”

The focus on nurturing people has been widely recognized, with the company winning awards including the 2018 Vietnam HR Award - Best Working Environment, organized by the Labor & Social Affairs newspaper and Talentnet, and Great Places to Work 2019, by the Great Places to Work Institute, a global organization recognizing excellence in employee conditions.

This level of training reflects the way in which DHL Express views the importance of a forward-looking approach to the business. Not content to just invest in its people, the company has invested over $8 million in the past three years, with significant investments earmarked for the next three.

“We don’t view investment as being ‘money we spend on today’. We ask ourselves ‘what is Vietnam going to look like in 2030?’, and start making plans now for that future,” said Mr. Ciaran O’Neil, Senior Director Operations. “What areas of the country do we expect to see grow and how can we put the infrastructure in place to service them? What future businesses are going to blossom here, and what are their needs? What technology will allow us to do our jobs in a more productive and efficient manner? Our investment approach to the country is moored to this kind of thinking and sees us therefore operate a fleet that is ahead of its time, using aircraft unrivalled in the market and with better geographical coverage than any of our competitors here.”

Set to be trialed this year, one of these future-minded investments dovetails perfectly with the company’s commitment to sustainable development and social responsibility. This year, DHL Express is looking to trial electric bikes for its delivery drivers, being the first among the competition to do this. This also echoes its corporate vision to be a carbon-neutral business by 2050. The exploration of electric bikes follows a slew of similar steps from the company that hinges its sustainability around three key tenets - GoGreen, GoTeach, and GoHelp.

Its greening commitment to Vietnam last year saw reductions in paper consumption by around 720,000 sheets when it became the first logistics company to switch to e-invoicing. Under its GoTeach program, the company is contributing to improving educational opportunities and the employability of young people, especially those with disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. With GoHelp, the group’s Disaster Response teams, which consisting of around 500 specially-trained employees who volunteer their time and logistics expertise, offer the most needed logistics support in humanitarian relief during natural disasters.

“These four elements underpin all of our work,” Mr. Choudhury said. “We view it all as part of a virtuous cycle that sees motivated people provide the highest service quality, which leads to delighted and loyal customers, which ultimately drives our profitability, which allows us then to further invest in our team and perpetuate this cycle for our company, our customers, and our country.”

So, with all that in mind, we get an idea of how DHL in Vietnam approaches the challenges it faces daily. With a commitment to customer service excellence, continuous improvement in its approach to every interaction, a forward-looking view to its investments, and a commitment to develop the best team, the company has single-handedly shown the way forward for everyone in its industry.

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