Customer service in logistics – 8 steps to enhance it

Learning how to improve customer service is vital for this type of business . Remember that logistics is very much a level playing field. All players face similar challenges: bad weather, global regulations, trade wars, and recently even a pandemic and a war between Ukraine and Russia.

They also enjoy the same advantages, such as the speed of the vehicles or the increasing demand; on the other hand, fuel prices. What separates established logistics companies from their not-so-successful counterparts is a long-standing reputation for reliable customer support .

An estimated 98% of logistics companies say that customer service in logistics is a critical piece of their overall business strategy. And 55% said keeping up with 24/7 customer service is the biggest challenge.

That’s why quality customer service has become the biggest business differentiator in the logistics industry. It is essential, since customers demand it and your business cannot afford to ignore it.

Before you start, review what this article is going to be about.

  1. 1) What is customer service in logistics?
  2. 2) The importance of customer service in logistics
  3. 3) What will great customer service in logistics look like in 2022?
  4. 4) How to improve customer service in logistics?
    1. 4.1) Optimize communication with the client
    2. 4.2) Send your order updates
    3. 4.3) Optimize your internal operations
    4. 4.4) Simplifies communication processes
    5. 4.5) Leverage customer support data
    6. 4.6) Set up automatic replies
    7. 4.7) Use different service channels
    8. 4.8) Unify your points of attention

What is customer service in logistics?

What is customer service in logistics?
Merchants are likely to choose vendors that go the extra mile to meet customer needs.

Finding a tangible definition of customer service in logistics can be elusive . But so that it can be understood, customer service in logistics tries to offer good attention to all potential customers in this sector before, during and after acquiring the service that is offered.

This approach to logistics partnership gives you the ability to communicate efficiently and work towards your goal of completing deliveries. A logistics provider that aims to provide excellent customer service such as :

  • Provide transparency and timely status updates.
  • Communicate regularly and thoroughly.
  • Respond promptly to questions and requests.
  • Fulfill commitments. Be sincere and honest.
  • See your transportation goals as their own.
  • Offer proactive solutions when problems arise.
  • Internally rewards responsibility.
  • Provide opportunities for continuous improvement through technology and data analysis.
  • Treat yourself and others as an extension of your business.

As competition increases, great customer service serves as a great differentiator, accelerating your multiple growth.

The importance of customer service in logistics

While this creates lucrative opportunities for logistics companies around the world, it also comes with additional challenges. The rise of online shopping has also led to a greater focus on logistics , which poses a different set of challenges.

The logistics industry is also seeing an increase in players providing last minute delivery. As competition increases, great customer service serves as a powerful differentiator.

And merchants are likely to opt for vendors that go the extra mile to meet the needs of end customers. For businesses looking to expand globally, excellent customer service accelerates your multiple growth.

What will great customer service in logistics look like in 2022?

Let’s say you’re a logistics company specializing in furniture and home improvement items.

This is what a seamless customer service experience should look like: from the moment you pick an order from sellers, to the moment it’s delivered to the end customer,  both seller and buyer receive rapid updates.

They are informed of the location of your shipment. For this, you can use WhatsApp as an excellent service channel . Followed by the estimated time of arrival and, if there is an unexpected delay, they are not left guessing why, they are informed immediately .

Multinational companies aspire to provide such seamless services to increase the satisfaction of their customers. But  it takes a combination of processes and tools to make them happen.

In this article we will also delve into how companies can improve customer communication , internal processes and deliveries with the help of technology.

How to improve customer service in logistics?

With the help of omnichannel software , logistics companies can better communicate with customers, predict delivery conditions, and better manage packaging and inventory.

But there are also tactics that help you improve customer communication. Here are some ways logistics companies can take advantage of technology to improve their customer service .

Optimize customer communication

Communication is a cornerstone of excellent customer service. Here are some ways to simplify communication with your customers. First, by improving response and care processes.

In a study conducted by Toister Solutions , customers stated that they expect businesses to respond to a message within an hour. This can be a difficult task for teams that have a system with separate service channels .

These teams often manually respond to customer requests. This greatly delays communication with customers , which can lead to future anger or dissatisfaction. Which results in a loss of customers or a bad reputation of your business.

This is where an omnichannel platform would help to categorize and assign chats or conversations to team members, and track attention status.  All this in one place.

Send updates on your orders

E-commerce companies have mastered the art of keeping customers in the loop about their orders every step of the way. There’s no reason why logistics companies can’t adopt a similar tactic for every step of the supply chain.

This will help build trust with customers and reduce the need for them to contact customer service. Some  40% of retail customers in a survey stated that end consumers demand a specific selection of delivery slots, delivery options and real-time visibility.

Therefore, companies that offer last-minute delivery must also allow consumers to update their delivery preferences in real time. They must also let vendors know if they will be available to pick up a package .

To do this, logistics companies can use multiple channels such as email, web, WhatsApp push notifications and SMS to send real-time updates to your customers. You achieve all this from an omnichannel platform .

Optimize your internal operations

Companies with streamlined internal communication, collaboration, and operations are better equipped to handle customer requests .

Fleet and fuel management, material handling, warehousing, stock control, form a crucial link in delivering a superior overall customer experience .

For this reason, it is important that all areas are well communicated and aware of the customer service processes. Use an omnichannel platform to create users for them and make them aware of how all your customers are being treated.

Simplifies communication processes

Customer service agents often need information on things like storage capacity, arrival and departure times, and inventory management. For lack of a better option, teams juggle multiple external chat apps or long email threads to collaborate with other team members and departments.

Managing multiple communication apps is not only a hassle, it also leads to higher response times and poor customer experiences.

Fortunately,  an omnichannel platform provides a simple solution for logistics teams to collaborate from one place. In addition, they get a complete overview of actions taken on an email, whether or not it was resolved, and feedback from other team members.

This eliminates miscommunication and helps teams move faster . Ultimately, seamless internal collaboration facilitates better customer interactions.

Customers expect to be able to communicate via WhatsApp, Facebook, the web, or whatever channels they prefer.

Leverage customer service data

Late deliveries, half-filled containers, and empty trucks on return trips are the result of poor planning and forecasting. Claims or success stories can be a good track record for improvement. Therefore, always review your customer interactions to know where you are failing.

End customer expectations around delivery have skyrocketed in recent years. Known as the Amazon effect, retailers in a  survey  stated that 48% of their end consumers demand next-day delivery, while 23% of consumers want same-day delivery.

Most of this demand comes from the B2C e-commerce sector . Analyzing historical travel data helps companies solve the double conundrum of demand forecasting as well as efficient delivery planning.

Set up automatic replies

To get started, set up a chatbot with autoresponders across all your support channels to let customers know they’ve received the request and that an agent will get back to them as soon as possible .

You can also set up automated responses for common customer inquiries , such as transit times, pricing, location inquiries, and pickup scheduling. This saves your agents time and ensures customers receive quick responses.

Automated responses are useful in many situations. For example, you can set up automated responses to inform customers when cargo has left your warehouse , when it arrives at its destination, and if weather conditions turn unfavorable en route.

Use different service channels

Customers expect to be able to communicate via WhatsApp, Facebook, the web, or whatever channels they prefer. Being present where and when customers want to come to your business is critical to a successful customer service strategy.

Therefore, consider these main communication channels used by logistics companies

  • Phone: Your customers want to be able to hear your voice when they need you.
  • SMS Texting: Use a business SMS service to text customers with real-time order updates, confirmations, and more.
  • Social Media: Customers can use WhatsApp or Facebook to contact your business with sales inquiries or questions. If you’re not regularly monitoring these channels, you’re missing out on potential customers.

Unify your points of attention

When you jump from WhatsApp to your website chat to chat with your customers, information inevitably gets lost and your team wastes time switching between platforms. Neither one is good for the customer experience.

To eliminate this problem, companies use omnichannel software that integrates all your communication channels. This way, your entire team handles messages directly on the platform, so your inbox becomes a hub for getting work done.

Very well! You have already learned all about customer service in the logistics sector. As you could read, it is very important to learn how to improve customer service, not only to increase your sales or retain customers, but also to give added warmth to your business. What are you waiting for to apply what you have learned?

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