Customer Service: The Underestimated Front Office Profit Center
The vast majority of clients will only interface with your business via the front office — but many carriers and freight forwarding companies undervalue this vital touch point and its impact on overall success.
In this post, we’ll discuss how front office outsourcing can turn customer service into a profit center for your business.
Customer service is a powerful differentiator
While your fleet out on the road handles the nuts and bolts of moving goods, your front office is tasked with nurturing the relationships that make or break the customer experience — and a strong, well-resourced front office can make a company stand out in a competitive landscape.
Long wait times, outdated location information, and a general lack of communication can sour the customer experience, pushing your clients to look for a new shipping partner.
The front office can also be a center for lead generation — clients who have positive relationships with their providers and get hands-on problem resolution when an issue comes up, tend to tell their networks about the company that is powering their success.
Better resource allocation – If your team is always putting out fires, they don’t have time to take on more critical profit-generating activities.
Alongside answering frequent tracking questions, it’s easy to get behind on other essential documentation tasks and lose sight of opportunities to improve service. If you’re finding that your customers are waiting on hold for a while before they get their questions answered, it may be a sign that your team is understaffed.
Customer support that can scale up or down to meet fluctuations in demand creates value for your clients and improves the efficiency of your office team. This also allows your team members to allocate more energy to honing their expertise rather than constantly managing rote tasks. Service support can also be extended beyond standard working hours, offering 24/7/365 coverage that allows your customers to reach out when it’s most convenient.
Your clients want to know that their shipments are arriving on time and how things are progressing, but they don’t want to be met with out-of-date information or uncertainty.
When your front office can leverage technology to track the current location of shipments, trace them to the route, and determine the estimated arrival time — it gives clients a lot of peace of mind, especially for international shipping.
Better final mile care – Even if all else goes smoothly, a mishap or miscommunication in the final mile can lead to a serious headache.
Last-mile visibility helps to alleviate some of the stress your clients experience. This requires a well-structured and tech-enabled support team that can accurately determine the ETA of shipments, both for your end users and consignees, and pay attention to each client you have.
When you repeatedly meet your customer's expectations, you can build trust in your business to follow through on promises.
Maintain longer customer relationships – When you can quickly answer calls, provide satisfactory answers, and look up information quickly, your customers will notice.
Getting in touch with a customer service representative can be a time-consuming process. Usually, the client is already experiencing some difficulty causing them to reach out in the first place. They don’t want to wait on hold only to be transferred several times and then struggle to communicate with their support team.
Offering multiple outreach options to clients helps them engage in a way that builds trust:
Omnichannel service options that include email, text, call, and live chat extend how a client can connect
24/7/365 availability helps to accommodate busy schedules and differences in time zones
Multilingual service options allow clients to explain their situation and get answers in the language they’re most comfortable using
These options create incredible value for clients and can help them maintain consistent support quality as they expand into new markets.
When you can meet and exceed your client's expectations, they'll stick with you for years to come. Your front office is where they will get in touch with your company most often, so it's imperative to invest in your team and provide them with the proper support.
With the right business process outsourcing partner, you can ensure you have all the up-to-date information needed to share accurate, timely information with your clients, and enough capacity to quickly answer any questions or concerns they may have.
Want to improve your customer service offerings without the overhead? Learn more about our Customer Care suite and how it can help your business.