Customers do not like poor service. A bad customer experience can ruin a business’s reputation and drive loyal customers away. In fact, it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience. So it’s important to be aware of how you’re treating clients, handling complaints and establishing lines of communication throughout your customer’s journey.
By 2020, customer experience will bypass product and price as the number one brand differentiator. Consumers not only want more, they expect more from the companies and services they purchase, which means it’s time to look under the hood and evaluate how you are approaching customer service.
According to a study conducted by Bain & Company, 80% of CEOs believe they deliver superior customer service, but only 8% of their customers agree. That’s quite a disconnect, and it’s proof that customer expectations have dramatically risen over the years. Far past what business leaders realize.
In the shipping and logistics industry, transparency and communication are essential to success. Whether you’re a freight agent or carrier, your customers depend on you to get their cargo where it needs to be.
If a retailer is out of snow shovels two days before the biggest snow storm of the season and is relying on your services to get their order from the warehouse to the store in time, it’s a safe bet that they want to know what is happening with the order every step of the way. Smart freight agents leverage logistics technology and freight brokerage platforms that give them the information and real-time updates needed to move and track shipments with confidence and ease.
Agents can easily accept an order, quote freight rates, dispatch pickups, forecast weather and transit times, connect the shipper with a reliable and trustworthy carrier and track shipments in real time. Carriers can quickly pick up cargo and transport it to its final destination in the quickest, safest and most effective way. If something were to go wrong, freight agents know what has happened and what led to that situation. If a shipper calls to check in on transit progress, freight agents can give them an answer in a matter of minutes. And, if there’s a hiccup in the backend with invoicing and billing, agents have all the client’s information available at their fingertips so they can resolve the issue quickly.
It is amazing what technology can do to improve the effectiveness of your business, but customer service goes far beyond that. People trust people, not brands, and this should be something you keep in the back of your mind as you establish yourself as a freight agent.
Communication and transparency are key; technology is just there to make it easier for you to achieve those goals. Customers don’t want to spend too much time on the phone trying to deal with an issue, and they certainly don’t want to be consumed dealing with nonsensical policies that make doing business difficult or impossible. As you build your freight agent business, think about how you can weave communication and transparency through every step of the customer journey – from the resources and information located on your website and marketing materials, to how you answer the phone when a client makes an inquiry or complaint. These are all important things to think about.
Customer loyalty can change in the blink of an eye. But with the right technology and communication protocols in place, you can rest easy knowing your clients will continue to depend on you to move their shipments because you’re someone they can trust.
If you want to know more about building your freight business, check out our blog post “7 Tips for Freight Agent Marketing.” If you really want to take your freight management business to the next level and are not already affiliated with GlobalTranz, take a few minutes to explore the benefits of our freight agent program or reach out to one of our specialists who can help you implement the right technology and programs to boost your business and customer success today.
 “Customers 2020: The Future of B-to-B Customer Experience Report,” Walker Research