A freight intermediary (also known as an OTI or Ocean Transportation Intermediary) is someone who assists an exporter or an importer in securing competitive freight rates while providing the most efficient routing for their cargoes and alsoRead more
The Ins and Outs of Customer Service in the Trucking and Logistics Industry
It doesn’t matter who you are or where you go, whether it be to a restaurant for a meal, the department store to buy a new shirt, or even simply ordering a product online, customer service will somehow work its way into the equation.
Customer service is, at the end of the day, the cornerstone and foundation of any successful business. It creates a simple mantra, keep your customers happy, keep your business growing.
The customer service role plays a big role in the logistics and transportation industry, often it is a competitive differentiator. There’s the initial contact when a shipper is looking for a bid; there are follow ups when a customer is wondering where their shipment is, that makes up the bulk of it, right?
While it might seem as though the interaction with customers isn’t necessarily all that expensive, the need for good customer service is pervasive throughout the entire operation. Every link of the supply chain needs to represent the best possible face for your company. From initial contact, picking up freight, and its eventual delivery, every step of the way customers need to be met with a smiling face. Customers are the priority and a “can do” attitude is a necessity when providing top notch customer service.
Customer Service Creates Value
An important concept to keep in mind when considering the value of strong customer service is that shippers aren’t looking solely at price point. Sure, having the lowest rate might create an initial draw but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the service is up to snuff. Instead, shippers are looking for partners that creates the most value for their company.
For example, they need to know that their freight will get to its destination on time and not damaged. Good customer service and the ease of doing business have gone beyond just a simple nicety and have become a requirement for most shippers in today’s market environment. The value created by having a good reputation for customer service means that shippers are willing to spend more when doing business with a company that treats them like people and not just another mark on the ledger book.
Customer Service and the Technology Company
As the logistics market becomes increasingly digitized, what about the technology companies? Yes, even for these companies, customer service is important. A great Entrepreneur article highlights 3 reasons why customers leave technology companies:
- They don’t use the product. Clients may stop using the product if they don’t understand how it works, don’t need it, are missing a key functionality to use it, or have an alternative in-house option.
- They aren’t happy with the product or service. A product that is missing features, runs slowly, or is full of bugs will turn customers away, especially if it is more expensive than other options.
- They are out of business or out of budget.
Among the suggested tips to improve customer service are:
- Monitor customer onboarding - Most problems start at the beginning of onboarding, when a deployment project ends and usage hasn't yet started. Some customers get stuck at this point and fail to launch.
- Gather customers into a community - Customers learn most from each other and letting them connect with each other increases stickiness and creates further emotional ties with you as a vendor.
- Invest heavily in customer care - When problems happen, they need to be resolved quickly.
- Calculate and analyze churn continuously - To reduce churn, measure it. Identify if the problem is the customer, the product or the people.
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