The ROI of Automating Customer Inquiries

RPA Labs offers three core products – RPA Flow for document automation, RPA Engage for response automation, and RPA Pursuit for track & trace, container visibility, and ocean, air, and rail API connections. When presenting each of these products to logistics service providers, most companies immediately skip straight to the document automation as their top priority, and we understand the appeal. 

Documents are the bane of every logistics service provider’s existence. The tens of thousands of shipments completed every year generate upwards of millions of documents being processed by full-time employees or back office teams. This is commonly seen as any LSP’s lowest hanging fruit – but what if we told you there’s one that hangs even lower?

Why customer inquiries are actually logistics service provider’s lowest hanging fruit

How many customer inquiries do you receive every day? Do you have full time employees or a back office team dedicated to the sole purpose of answering those inquiries? For our customers, the most common types of inquiries are spot quotes and shipment status updates. 

Most ask the simple questions, “Can I get a quote from A to B?” or “Where is my shipment?” 

When a logistics service provider receives hundreds or thousands of these requests every week, there’s nothing simple about it. Reading the email, pulling up sometimes multiple systems, locating the correct data, and re-keying it all back to the customer is quite the cumbersome process that can send employees into groundhog day

When looking at what business process should be automated first, skip the documents for now and consider starting with response automation. Here’s why:

Automating customer inquiries is easy with RPA Engage

RPA Engage is pre-built and easy to connect to your email, website ChatBot, Slack, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, internal TMS/ERP comms, or any other platform where you connect with customers. When an email or chat message comes in, software bots analyze the content, trigger the corresponding workflow, and migrate data from your system to send a response back to the customer in seconds – all without human intervention. 

If an inquiry can’t be answered by the bot, we’re able to triage the message through slack, whatsapp, or any other internal communication platform so a customer service representative can fill in blanks. The bots can then relay that answer back to the customer. 

We’re already integrated with some of the most commonly used TMS & ERP systems in logistics, so RPA Engage can be implemented in thirty days or less.

Why response time matters

There’s a lot of competition in international logistics – more and more digital freight forwarders are popping up every day who are equipped with technology that creates an atmosphere for great customer experience. The longer it takes to catch up with these digital forwarders, the further the other guys are falling behind. 

Customers don’t want to wait for answers, and will often go with the company that responds first. We did a secret shopper survey of nearly 100 freight forwarders and found that the average response time was 50 hours, and that’s if they responded at all – only 30% of forwarders responded back. When you don’t respond to customers in a timely manner, you’re losing business. 

The ROI of automating responses

With RPA Engage, our goal is to answer 70% of your spot quotes or tracking inquiries.

We’re not replacing people, we’re freeing them up to improve your customer’s experience or handle the exceptions like hazardous or high value moves. 

We created an ROI calculator (scroll to the bottom of the page) so you can get a better idea of how much manually answering emails is costing your company. 

RPA Engage is revolutionizing how companies manage customer service in logistics and day-to-day operations – improving profit margins across the board as shippers and forwarders can process shipments and handle customer queries faster.

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