5 Essential Components of Customer Service in Freight and Logistics
As shipping becomes more complex due to supply chain woes, political turbulence, and market inflation, customer service is increasingly important within logistics business relationships. Key interactions between prospects or customers and a transportation or logistics brand can make or break that provider's reputation.
Missing tracking information, lost packages, weather delays, complex customs paperwork, rate increases, accessorial charges, and even nuances of cultural differences and international relations, are just a few of the anxieties that carriers, freight forwarders, and 3PLs have to calm for their clients who have large investments in transit on trucks, planes, and ships.
Moving forward, customer support and inside sales departments will only need to increase their availability and their service commitment to their shippers- and their consignees- in order to handle the complexities of their shippers' evolving needs.
Here, we’ll share five of the most important components of customer service that today's transportation and logistics companies must incorporate within their customer lifecycle to retain and grow their client portfolio.
1. Omnichannel options
Modern consumers come to the table with a number of preconceived notions of how customer service should work, many of which are derived from e-commerce — and wildly out of step with the capabilities and capacity of other industry norms.
Providing seamless service is imperative. When customer expectations are high in other areas, carrier-shipper customer experience should meet that bar. But what does that service look like?
Omnichannel support is in high demand across industries. Having different ways for customers to seek help ensures that people get the support they need on the platform they feel the most comfortable using.
Research shows that more than 50% of customers across all age groups typically use the phone to reach out to a service team, but the other 50% still need support. Meet your customers where they are by providing support through various channels, including phone, email, and live chat.
2. 24/7 service
The global supply chain runs at all hours of the day, regardless of where your call center is located. Many customers aren’t able or willing to wait until office hours in your time zone to seek resolution for their inquiries, so you need an all-hours, ready and available team.
You should have availability to handle your customers’ concerns when they need help. For example, DDC FPO supports it carrier and 3PL partners with 24/7/365 customer service teams that will quickly and effectively respond to inquiries while your in-house office staff is sound asleep at home. This kind of fast response resolution strengthens your brand and helps retain customers.
3. Multilingual capabilities
When you’re looking for timely and complete resolutions in the world of global shipping, you need to be able to offer scalable and high quality services in multiple languages.
Multilingual capabilities ensure the best customer experience possible, where no information is lost in translation. A customer service model that lets you overcome language barriers for better accuracy, more detailed and definite verbal exchanges will foster stronger, stickier relationships, and quicker resolutions for client retention.
With multilingual support, you can overcome challenges like miscommunication and ensure you hit your delivery targets on time, every time.
4. Support for business continuity
A lot can happen in the world before freight gets from point A to point B. Turmoil from trade disputes, cyberattacks, natural disasters, pandemics, or international conflict creates unforeseen external market forces that disrupt the flow of goods. Unexpected sanctions can change regular cargo exchange practices in an instant.
You want to ensure that your team can withstand the unexpected and know that they have a business continuity plan with redundancy built-in (not to mention the experience needed to prevent service outages.) Additionally, locked-in rates can help your organization remain stable through uncertain times.
5. Emphasis on relationship building
A positive customer service experience can drive customers to choose you over your competitors, so your customer journey needs to be mapped out as an opportunity to build relationships that generate repeat business — not just a way to solve customers’ issues as they arise.
In addition to friendly, relationship-focused customer service, the ideal strategic partner will provide sales and account nurturing services to help you expand and retain your client base.
When you evaluate your customer service organization, make sure you’re looking past current capabilities — consider how it is serving your brand and your customers' satisfaction.
A strategic partner for CX will help your company grow and excel. DDC FPO’s Customer Care solution helps many transportation and logistics companies achieve goals from start to finish with a dedicated team of experts that possess decades of experience in transportation and logistics.
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