Last week Lynn and I attended the 2014 MHEDA Conference in Orlando, Florida.  For everyone who doesn’t know MHEDA stands for Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association.  Many of our material handling clients are members of the association and we always like to attend a couple of their events a year.

This years’ conference was in Orlando, Florida and featured speakers on everything about the material handling business except customer service.

Some key takeaways

  1. I am not very good at golf though I like to play. (I apologize to the people on my team; I had an awesome time though).
  2. There is way more that you can do simply by being more organized and Outlook is a tool that many people, including myself, under-utilize.
  3. Lynn doesn’t like rollercoasters whatsoever.
  4. Material Handling is a broad industry that adopts new technology.  I think this is the case since the faster and more accurate they move things the more their customers appreciate it.
  5. People in material handling love to laugh.  It was funny that so many of the speakers focused on comedy when delivering their messages but I genuinely believe it helped them to connect better with the people in the room, who many would say can be quite finicky.
  6. There was limited discussion of customer service.  Employee engagement was a feature and is important in customer service.  The speaker on this topic was fascinating (See Contented Cows Still Give Better Milk by Bill Catlette and Richard Hadden).
  7. Due to the speed sensitive nature of the material handling business I believe the idea of customer service is a bit different.  They are heavily focused on speed, because their clients expect it, they expect it as well and any down time can drastically affect their business.  I know I am happy when I receive a package quickly but it isn’t the only thing that makes a customer experience a good one.

Overall, the conference was fascinating.  Tons of very interesting people and good conversations, we hope that everyone who attended had a great time. Also a word to the wise, MHEDA people know how to have a good time if that helps sway your decision on whether to attend next year.

This week in service

A high-tech way to use receipts to inquire about the customer experience:

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Thanks for reading!


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