By Tyler Lettich
Nicolas Dorget, Vice-President of Customer Solutions for UPS , discussed programs that drive customer satisfaction, the attention given to the overall customer experience in correlation with company growth, the incorporation of mobile apps and websites, and the benefits and setbacks of outsourcing mobile development
[Argyle Executive Forum] Can you start by telling us a little about yourself and your role as VP Customer Solutions for UPS?
[Nicolas Dorget] I began my career with UPS in 1990 as a Sales Intern and rotated through various managerial positions in Montreal as well as Toronto. In 2000, I pioneered the e-Commerce Account Manager role, rotated to Area Sales Manager and was then promoted to Director of Sales for Ontario. In 2008 I was the Vice-President of Canada Enterprise Accounts.
Prior to taking on my current role, I was the Vice-President of Marketing for Canada, overseeing Revenue Management, Business Planning, Market Strategy, Segmentation, Product Development, Public Relations, Events and Sponsorship and Customer Communications.
Currently, I am responsible for the overall management and implementation of Customer Solutions in Canada. Appointed to his position in 2013, my responsibilities include solutions engagement, program management, solutions development and implementation.
Some of your main responsibilities include solutions development and program management. Can you expand on some of the programs you have implemented that drive customer satisfaction?
One of the unique advantages of the Customer Solutions role is the opportunity to observe how different businesses tackle challenges and opportunities. While nearly all have the same goals of profitable growth, customer satisfaction, cost reduction, most businesses will recognize different ways of achieving their goals.
“Our learnings have been that one size does not fit all and there are many different ways to solve a problem or capitalize on an opportunity.”
We’ve found that mapping an organizations supply chain, as well as over-laying layers of process mapping and customer experience mapping yields some rich information which helps plot a course for success.
While we can’t get into customer specifics – understandably they are very protective of their ‘secret sauce’ which we helped formulate – a general example is the way bricks and mortar retailers use their physical presence as a meaningful differentiator versus purely e-commerce stores.
The key to developing impactful customer solutions is to understand how internal processes translate into the customer experience, then to put a unique twist to it that a competitor can’t easily replicate.
You began your career with UPS as a Sales Intern in 1990. In what ways have you witnessed the company grow over the past few decades? In what ways have UPS focused its attention on the overall customer experience?
We have a long history of innovation and we continue to invest in our people, facilities, services and technology all across Canada. In fact, we invest about $1 billion a year in technology – that’s more than $100,000 an hour, 24/7, 365 days a year.
Since 2008, UPS has invested over $75 million in facility and service expansions in every region of the country. Why? In our trucks and planes, UPS moves 2 per cent of global GDP.
At UPS, we have created a proprietary system of telematics that combines a wealth of information about the behavioural and mechanical variables that affect attributes such as fuel efficiency in the delivery process. The more we know about our vehicles and routes, the more we can optimize them.
“Visibility enables companies to use analytics to uncover root causes of supply chain inefficiencies so that they can learn more from the information and make adjustments to improve future operations.”
UPS continuously revaluates the services we offer around the world to better meet the needs of our customers. A study conducted in 2012 by comScore evaluates consumer shopping habits from pre-purchase to post-delivery; the key findings show customers demand channels, choices and convenience. We use this data to customize supply chain efficiencies for our customers so they can better meet the needs of their customers.
How have you incorporated the addition of mobile apps and mobile websites into the customer service experience in order to offer more support to customers?
Mobile technology has created a virtual logistics landscape where people and products move without limits – around warehouses, facilities, networks and the world – transforming customer relationships and business operations.
For customers, mobile solutions provide anytime-access to information through almost any mobile device. Some tools available provide immediate insight into the status of a shipment, streamlining operations and remotely managing the movement of their shipments.
Can you elaborate on the benefits and setbacks of outsourcing mobile development? What has UPS found to be most successful?
Benefit: Most mobile developers are small and nimble and can develop a mobile app very quickly and their cost infrastructure may be low which could help save money in development.
Setbacks: An outsourced developer would not be able to program to our backend systems. We tie a lot of our mobile functionality to our backend systems to keep customers connected and give them their information, no matter the channel. So if outsourced, a UPS app would basically stand on its own and not be tied into anything else.
If UPS does not have expertise on a particular platform, we will outsource to an extent. We will work with developers to build the look and feel and appropriate functionality but then ensure that the functionality works with our backend systems. Having said that, our UPS developers have become experts on the Android and Apple platforms and it is more efficient to do all this development in-house.
How does UPS work to support its agents that roam or work in the field? What tactics have you found particularly successful?
UPS provides consistent training to our sales team to understand the market, industry segments and sales techniques. Our sales team uses technology and social platforms, such as LinkedIn, to optimize their networks and to connect and understand who key decision makers are as well as search for prospects and opportunities. The training extends to ensuring our sales teams understand our competitors and their strengths and challenges.
Support is also given via segment specific data to not only understand the customer, but also understand their market, pain points, competitors and explicit needs to ensure that tailored solutions are provided to help them grow their business across the entire supply chain.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
“The supply chain links the customer experience through multiple touch points; therefore it should be a critical component in the beginning phases of business planning rather than an afterthought.”
Map out and understand the pain points and opportunities, and build your plan around the customer experience you want to provide.
Nicolas Dorget, Vice-President of Customer Solutions, is responsible for the overall management and implementation of Customer Solutions in Canada. Appointed to his position in 2013, Nicolas’ responsibilities include solutions development, implementation and program management.
Nicolas began his career with UPS in 1990 as a Sales Intern before being promoted to Sales Account Executive just one year later. He held various managerial positions in Montreal ranging from Customer Service Centre Supervisor to Business Planning Supervisor and International Account Executive. In 1994, he relocated from Montreal to Toronto where he acted as Marketing Product Supervisor and was then promoted to Revenue Management Manager. In 2000, Nicolas pioneered the e-Commerce Account Manager role, rotated to Area Sales Manager and was then promoted to Director of Sales for Ontario. In 2008 he was promoted to Vice-President of Canada Enterprise Accounts.
Prior to taking on his current role, Nicolas was the Vice-President of Marketing for Canada. Appointed to this position in 2011, Nicolas oversaw Revenue Management, Business Planning, Market Strategy, Segmentation and Product Development. He was also responsible for Public Relations, Events and Sponsorship and Customer Communications.
A native of Montreal, Nicolas received his Bachelor’s in Commerce from Concordia University.