2019 Sustainability Report

arrow blueCommitted to using financial, natural and human resources wisely without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs

Customer Service Excellence

Leading through service, reliability and creating a customer-centric culture.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goalsindustry, innovation and infrastructure

Why Customer Service Excellence Matters

Explanation of the material topic and its Boundary

Explain management approach components

Evaluate management approach

Customer Service Excellence 2019:

For over 140 years, customers have relied on Greif’s industrial packaging to ship their most important products. They depend on our business acumen and ability to quickly and reliably provide quality packaging. Our value and technical expertise have set us apart from our competitors for over a century. We focus on meeting our customers’ expectations, a key aspect of Greif’s vision of, in industrial packaging, be the best performing customer service company in the world. We are committed to finding the best ways to serve our customers.



Customer Service Excellence Award Winners

Honoring our facilities that demonstrated best-in-class customer service performance throughout 2019.

All Greif businesses manage customer service daily. Our practices and policies are managed through our Customer Service Excellence (CSE) Team, led by our Chief Administrative Officer. The team is comprised of 10 representatives from various business units and regions within Greif. The team meets monthly to discuss customer service initiatives, while tracking progress on Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) and Net Promoter Score (NPS)—our measures of customer satisfaction and likelihood of a customer recommending Greif to others. Our CSE Team partners with all global business units to share best practices, improve communications, drive processes, engage cross-functional leaders and develop a curriculum and training to bolster our colleagues’ skills and behaviors related to providing exceptional customer service.

Our CSE Team is supported by our Global Commercial Excellence team that we formed in 2016. The team was formed to provide better structure and alignment to sales, communications, market research and pricing functions. This structure also allows us to better organize around the key markets that Greif serves, ultimately improving our ability to address the unique needs of each customer we serve.

Across Greif, we view feedback collected from our NPS survey as an opportunity to address our customers’ concerns and provide corrective actions when necessary. Through this approach, we work with our customers to create improvement plans addressing their concerns. As a result of these engagements, we are focusing on improving our communication with our customers, proactively engaging them so they have the time to respond to communications appropriately – one of the seven skills we are teaching our colleagues through training. We are also evaluating the quality of our sales visits through analysis and coaching sessions by sales leaders. Our sales account managers are more prepared than ever to address our customers’ needs and ensure quality visits with our customers. Additionally, we directly engage customers via Product Lunch N’ Learns—informal events to provide training and information about our products, as well as build relationships with our customers.

In 2019, we began rolling out facilitated CSE training for all Greif professional colleagues, including colleagues that joined us as part of the Caraustar acquisition. Every six weeks, these colleagues focus on one of seven unique CSE skills, each of which is followed by an online knowledge check. As each colleague advances in the program, peers provide feedback to each other, reinforcing learning on a daily basis and helping to instill the customer service culture we are working to achieve. This training is offered in 19 languages and provides our customer service professionals with the skills and tools they need to provide the best service possible to both internal and external customers. By the end of 2020, 100 percent of our professional colleagues will have fully completed the training.

In 2020, we will continue to build Customer Service Excellence into our everyday behaviors via development programs and by using NPS and CSI results to inform how we provide service to our customers, including enhancing our understanding of the industries our customers serve. We will begin developing facilitated CSE training for our manufacturing colleagues, building on the success and learnings of the professional colleagues program.


Customer Satisfaction Index










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Huayou Cobalt Supplier of the Year

In November 2018, Greif’s Flexible Products & Services (FPS) business in China was named the “Excellent Supplier of the Year” by Huayou Cobalt for their commitment to understanding and delivering upon, the exact needs of their customer. Greif supplies three Huayou Cobalt plants with a variety of big bag products. This award is the latest achievement in a partnership that started in 2013 and we look forward to continuing in the future.