Challenges in Deploying Customer Experience Automation

Customer expectations have evolved drastically over the past few years, mainly due to continued pressure from e-commerce shipping and pandemic recovery efforts. Forbes echoed this position sharing, “For many businesses, chasing after the customers’ ever-changing behavior and expectations has led to a whole new focus of the business strategy, where services and customer experiences are now the battlegrounds for customer loyalty.”

With this evolving customer experience in logistics, more freight forwarders are incorporating automated customer engagement into their business strategies. Despite the maturing of automating technologies, implementing them can be a difficult task. This article will provide information on the common challenges of integrating customer experience automation  to educate forwarders considering this as part of their customer retention plan.

1. Inability to Integrate Automated Platforms Within Your Current Tech Stack

Businesses that rely on old tech and legacy systems face increased opposition during the integrating aspect of customer experience automation. Because effective RPA depends on a full workflow of automation, disconnected systems impact the executability of an automated motion. Upgrading to a tech stack that is API compatible equps freight forwarders to combat this obstacle and lets RPA do the virtual heavy lifting

2. Limited Customer Engagement With Outdated Chatbots

When automated customer engagement software first became available, many were intrigued by the capabilities they held. Yet, a chatbot’s active software can become obsolete in just a few years. A current chatbot can access the internal document management system to offer robust customer engagement opportunities in today’s technology. By utilizing an up-to-date chatbot, shippers and freight forwarders are less likely to see disgruntled customers due to a malfunctioning or unhelpful chatbot.

3. Lack of Real-Time Status Updates Due to Outdated Rating Info

Understanding the impact that outdated systems and processes can have on creating information and customer expectations is critical for ongoing success. Real Clear Policy reports, “The Transportation Department projected last year that ground freight totals will rise by 50% by 2050 to 28.7 billion tons.” With an increase like that, it’s more important than ever that freight forwarders and shippers be equipped to quote based on accurate rates. 

Just imagine not providing an accurate rate because the RPA is relying on old data. Today’s freight chatbots can automate quoting, but only with the correct data being made available. Partnering with an automated customer engagement software, such as RPA Labs, eliminates this issue and, in turn, builds better customer experiences (for example, better rates and faster service).

4. Misalignment Between Leadership and Sales

The gap between leadership and sales has been broadened amidst a supply chain talent shortage. Although automation can bridge that labor gap, it is only effective if everyone involved is on the same page. Utilizing certain automated features, such as customer reviews, creates opportunities to analyze any misaligned pieces in the workflow. As the number of automated processes increases, management should continue to provide software training to realign their teams and workflows. 

5. Poor Implementation With Limited Support

The onboarding process of new software is undoubtedly looked forward to with anticipation… although often negatively. Decision-makers can glide into the addition of customer experience automation by partnering with a reputable RPA provider. A provider, such as RPA Labs, brings years of expertise and familiarity to the table to help deploy the new software faster. With an expert on board, the ROI of robotic process automation can start generating at day one.

Overcome the Challenges of Automated Customer Engagement With RPA Labs

Despite the complexities of incorporating automated customer engagement into their workflow, these challenges come with solutions. In fact, the right RPA can solve the miscommunications or misalignments between leadership and sales by incorporating current, visible data on each customer. To learn more about how customer experience automation can be a part of your solution, schedule a demo with RPA Labs today.

How Supply Chain & Logistics Process Automation Are Improving Customer Experience

Logistics management within the supply chain network is one of the fastest-growing and most competitive industries in the global transportation market. Over the years, businesses have continually been looking for new opportunities to increase efficiency, boost profits, and enhance customer experiences. Most manufacturers, retailers, and logistics providers have experienced the benefits of logistics process automation firsthand and fully embrace the innovation it provides. Robotic process automation is more than just technological jargon. It is a rapidly growing trend in the supply chain industry that helps businesses manage day-to-day processes more efficiently to ensure customer needs are met.

Challenges Driving the Need for Better Customer Experiences

Several challenges exist within the logistics and supply chain network that can impact customer experiences. Dealing with poor communications, lost records and receipts, delayed or inaccurate tracking services, and missed delivery deadlines are common issues that often drive customers from one company to another in search of better services. Logistics process automation and chatbot technology can help address these issues quickly and easily.

Additionally, using automated responses is not limited to chatbots. Supply chain professionals can leverage automation to respond to incoming emails, incorporate email data into an existing TMS, and keep everyone on the same page. There’s further evidence that the industry is moving toward increased automation efforts across the board, including using machine learning. According to Customer Think, recent research shows that within the supply chain industry, the annual spend on automation and robotics has increased every year since 2016 and is expected to exceed $272 million by the end of 2021. This trend toward automation and machine learning continually drives more companies to look to logistics process automation services to meet customer demands.

Logistics Process Automation Promotes Efficiencies Through Enhanced Customer Integrations

Logistics process automation and innovative management utilize advanced technology and software programmed to do basic tasks faster and more efficiently than humans can. These automated bots and machines handle mundane and repetitive tasks while empowering team members to focus on more business-critical duties that require hands-on intervention. The benefits of this automation are incredibly impactful on supply chain management and logistics:

  • It allows for better communications within the supply chain, with 3PLs, and with customers.
  • It enables faster responses to driver concerns, delivery disruptions, and customer queries.
  • It offers improved levels of satisfaction among customers who do contact customer service.
  • It gives management and consumers alike on-demand 24/7 customer service access on the go.
  • It makes it easier to budget for even greater upgrades and improvements to the supply chain.

Robotic software systems, chatbots, and automated algorithms help speed up essential business processes and keep the business focused on the human side of things.

Additional Ways Automation Creates Better Experiences for Supply Chain and Logistics Consumers

A number of other benefits can be gained through a more automated and technologically based platform for supply chains and logistics. Understanding these benefits is critical to realizing the full use of logistics process automation services:

  • Better third-party partnerships and ongoing collaborations and partnerships.
  • Improved communications with shippers, carriers, and forwarders. 
  • Fewer delays and dead haul miles mean greater levels of productivity.
  • Less wasted time and resources through streamlined internal processes.
  • Greater freedom for drivers to make decisions and be semi self-sufficient. 
  • Improved scheduling, ordering, and status tracking from end to end.

These AI-based tools are specially designed to reduce the burden of repetitive, simple tasks on employees so they can take care of customers and ensure their needs remain a priority, their questions are answered, and their comments or concerns are heard.

Embrace the Innovated Improvements to Supply Chain Logistics Can Make for Customer Experiences

Many within the supply chain logistics and management industry have shifted from outdated manual processes to more innovative and automated processes. Shippers of all sizes and types have experienced the benefits of logistics process automation firsthand and now are beginning to realize the full potential these improvements offer. Robotic process automation is not just a passing fad or a fading trend in the supply chain industry. 

It is an innovative revolution that is changing how supply chain administrators manage critical processes to make the entire supply chain more efficient. In turn, the ultimate result is improved customer service and enhanced customer experiences from start to finish. Request a demo with RPA Labs today to see logistics process automation in action.

Customer Experience in Logistics: 5 More Tips for Freight Forwarders

Improving customer service and the customer experience in logistics are top priorities in today’s supply chain. Like all forms of communication, there are differences in how teams interact with customers to achieve those goals. Regardless, it is important for shippers and all other professionals in the supply chain to take vital steps to hear the concerns of business-to-business (B2B) customers. Moreover, automated responses delivered through chatbot functionality can be used to streamline communications addressing a wide range of needs, including interacting around sailing schedules or reviewing track and trace data. Here are five more service-driven best practices that can help improve the customer experience within the logistics industry.

1. Clearly Communicate Your Needs With B2B and D2C Customers

Time after time, a poor customer experience in logistics shipping may lead a customer to reverse orders or return products. An important step to ensure that B2B and D2C (direct to consumer) shipment expectations are aligned is to communicate clearly and concisely. Automation through chatbots will set the tone for the future of the company by creating a seamless way to interact and keep everyone on the same page.   

2. Be Consistent in Quoting, Booking, and Execution of Shipments

Throughout the carrier and shipper process, freight forwarders must remain consistent in quoting, booking, and the execution of shipments by managing the flow of goods and services to customers. A company’s supply chain is the most crucial element in determining whether a consumer’s experience is great or poor. Freight can be booked through different types of transportation modes, so the quotes should remain at a sustainable level when asked by a supplier about specific quantities and weight. Integrating a manageable automated system to ensure the quality of the product, supplier, carrier, price, and delivery method aligns to offer companies every opportunity to retain customers.   

3. Leverage Automation in Back-Office Workflows to Reduce Delays

Leveraging artificial intelligence proves to gain new possibilities within companies. Since the inception of the internet and connected systems, company transition from outdated and traditional systems rose exponentially. Still, some freight forwarders may use the old systems that cause delays in scheduling and booking, which hemorrhage money, time, and reliability. Such issues further increase the risk of poor freight forwarding customer service due to a lack of visibility, notes Forbes. With improved capabilities of visibility and artificial intelligence leading the way, teams dedicated to the customer experience in logistics minimize the risk of loss of a customer. They can further use technology to automate back-office workflows, such as using the transportation management systems and APIs to enhance productivity to speed quoting, booking and shipment execution. 

4. Use Chatbots to Interact Without Sacrificing Quality of the Customer Experience in Logistics

Enhanced automation through chatbots helps increase the quality of the overall freight forwarding customer experience. Chatbots create a personal conversation through data entered by a customer and interact through advanced APIs. Configuring a system that allows companies to turn on automated responses through end-to-end logistics not only provides ease-of-access and user-friendly systems but creates a responsive environment that nurtures outstanding customer experiences. Combining automation with other advanced technologies equals more money and higher customer retention rates. 

5. Streamline Document Management With Integrated Systems

Document management systems can be streamlined through digital means too. Companies that automate traditional office workflows eliminate the need for paper handling and manual transactions, and they offer virtual storage of important documents, accessible any time. The shipping world turned upside down during the global pandemic and struggled to keep pace with the disruption-driven demands of customers. This created the need for shippers, suppliers and carriers to fully integrate systems that communicated with one another in milliseconds. Now, users can digitally upload an order detail page, bill of lading or proof of delivery notice and send it across the world, therefore streamlining the entire process of transportation procurement. 

Improve the Experiences of Your Customers by Putting the Right Systems and Processes in Place

The purpose of a shipment boils down to one thing: the customer. The customer experience in logistics must remain a priority, from the click of a ‘buy’ button to the final delivery and every step in between. Shippers should further realize that customers exist in either a B2B or D2C space, so measuring their experiences effectively requires a heavy reliance on clean, accurate data, integrated systems, and complete visibility. That’s what it all means, creating more visibility with the right systems and processes in place to monitor and improve freight forwarding customer service and beyond. Learn how your company can leverage automation to drive value that translates into positive customer experiences in logistics while ditching the typical customer service means of interacting of the past. Request a demo of RPA Labs to get started.

Freight Forwarding Customer Service Best Practices: 5 Ways to Improve Customer Experience

Throughout any business, customer service is a vital operation from start to finish. To maintain a competitive edge in the shipping and logistics industry, businesses must follow a few best practices to improve freight forwarding customer service. But it can be tricky. How do you improve customer service processes and reduce the risk for human errors? Here are five ways to improve customer service and drive continuous business through your network with logistics chatbots and more.

1. Streamline Payment Management by Auto-Auditing Freight Invoices

When it comes to freight invoices and learning how to streamline those processes, businesses find that technology plays a large role in the logistics industry. Freight invoicing involves maintaining the checks and balances of the shipper. Teams can spend countless hours ensuring that expenses are paid properly and eliminating errors. For example, as reported by JOC.com,  a way to save time and money for customer service partners is by partnering with software providers to streamline the payment processes. Freight forwarders effectively turn freight invoices on auto-pilot by minimizing the efforts of the team, finding errors in extraordinarily quicker ways, and allowing teams to focus on other areas of the business that require human interaction. As such, they can better their freight forwarding customer service goals as well.

2. Integrated Disparate and Siloed Systems With APIs

Another way that customer service is improved in the freight forwarding business is to integrate the current systems with application programming interfaces (APIs). These allow a cloud-based system to operate on logistics automation through applications that exchange information with one another in real-time to keep employees informed. Siloed systems without APIs do not let information interchange and do not allow for automation like a fully integrated transportation management system (TMS) does. Even worse, disparate systems increase the risk of negative freight forwarding customer service. Together, an integration of formerly disparate and siloed systems opens new and improved processes without the need for manual input. 

3. Obtain Customer Feedback on All Transactions, Using Automation to Aggregate Data and Identify Opportunities for Improvement

Customer service advocates do well to continuously monitor interactions and ask for feedback through surveys and polls. Using robotic process automation (RPA), logistics management professionals can submit information about their experiences to freight forwarders. In turn, that amounts to more data for analytics to identify service failures and ways to avoid them in the future. Regardless of how the freight forwarding customer service team chooses to interact, online or with a more traditional method, the goal must stay the same. And that transcends interactions across all shipping modes, whether accounting for differences in sailing schedules or planning OTR moves. They must determine what happened and how they can improve future experiences. Customer feedback is vital to drawing new and repeat shippers and transportation businesses. 

4. Create a Compelling, Immersive and Interactive Experience

One of the best ways to continuously improve customer relations is to remain an active participant in the conversation. Messaging instantaneously is not always an option with human interactions. However, in a fully integrated system, chatbots offer a customized solution to your business that can make or break a sale, which undoubtedly equals more money. Chatbots are fully automated to simulate human conversations. Such interactions can be personal, give valuable information about shipment procedures, practices and needs, relying on integrated platforms along the way. Additionally, chatbots can ask questions about a specific topic, so who needs to speak to a person when a computer can do all the same things fully automated and responsive? Even more so, using the systems to create an immersive experience can be further applied to help customers stay informed with track-and-trace functionality to always know shipment estimated time of arrival (ETA) and more. Together, it builds a better freight forwarding customer service experience.

5. Use RPA to Transform Your Marketing Efforts to Attract and Retain More Customers

Robotic process automation is key to driving more business transactions. From beginning to end, chatbots improve customer service interactions and reduce human errors by eliminating the need for an email or other more laborious means of communication. They also provide updated tracking information to consumers and customers through cloud-based internet solutions. It all amounts to increasing how your team interacts with customers in initial marketing through closing a sale. 

Enhance Freight Forwarding Customer Service Experiences With the Right Technology

By leveraging automation and advanced technologies, freight forwarding customer service representatives can eliminate the usual window of three to five business days to resolve simple inquiries. Be part of the solution by using modern technology to automate more back-office workflows. And don’t forget to ook a demo with RPA Labs to see how your business can improve customer satisfaction rates, which can lead to more business, more money and higher retention rates.

5 Ways Chatbots are Improving Customer Service in Logistics

As long as customer expectations and demands continue to rise, customer service will be a top priority and driving force for corporations and companies in any industry. Maintaining high-quality standards for customer service in logistics and management is critical for continued growth and success in these challenging times. Chatbots make it easier and more efficient for transportation service providers in many industries to improve customer service. The following five ways are the most promising and influential opportunities for automation in 2021 customer service needs and beyond.

Capitalize on Sales Conversions and Bring Higher Rates by Providing Quick Response to Consumers with Automated Chatbots

People are busy, and the multitasking on-the-go way of life carries over into their shopping and spending habits as well. Maximizing sales conversion rates and improving customer spending relies heavily on providing fast and reliable responses to raised questions and concerns.  Robotic process automation with automated chatbots revolutionizes how companies manage customer service in logistics and day-to-day operations. It significantly improves profit margins across the board as shippers and forwarders can process shipments and handle customer queries faster.

Free Up Customer Service Personnel to Deal With Urgent Issues Requiring Personal Responses by Leaving Basic Queries to the Chat Machines

Customer service in logistics and services has seen significant improvements in recent years with chatbot services and automated response systems. Letting AI chat machines and prebuilt chatbots deal with basic customer queries allows the entire network to be more efficient with customer service, transportation, and logistics. Instead of one customer with an urgent high-level need waiting on hold for a half-hour while personnel deal with simple mundane questions, letting chatbots deal with those basic queries allows serious issues to be addressed promptly.

Capitalize on New Client Requests and Maximize Capacity With Integrated and Automated Response Systems and Chatbots

Robotic process automation tools, such as customer service and managerial bots, make it easier to bridge the connections between various management and accounting systems and make it easier for team members and customers to connect. Requests for quotes, shipping schedules, real-time tracking, on-demand customer service, reliable Q&A access, and more can be provided to customers within seconds. And the best part of automated response systems is that they can all occur without human intervention. That is the true benefit and potential of automating customer service in logistics.

Improving Customer Service in Logistics With Innovative and Preprogrammed Smart Chatbot Systems

When transportation service providers choose to automate requests for quotes, schedules, tracking, general queries, and more, it becomes easier to streamline communications and take advantage of automated response. According to TechTarget, numerous reports predict the automated chat and response market to reach $5 billion by as early as 2024. 

The increased adoption of automated communication technologies makes it easier for companies to enhance their capabilities and performance while boosting profits and improving customer service and logistical operations. Although robotic process automation and intelligent chatbots are popular, growth and scalability continue to improve. This trend will accelerate, thanks to hyper-automation.

Utilize Customized Chatbots by Tapping Into Various Platforms for E-commerce Sales and Digital Communications

The key to maximizing profits and maintaining a positive rapport with customers is to continually meet and engage with them at their most convenient touchpoints. Customers do not always want to look up a company website and search for the chat feature to get information or ask questions.  

Customized chat and email response bots can be created and used on social media pages such as Facebook and Twitter, along with the official company website. These preprogrammed and pretrained AI chatbots enable shippers and carriers to maximize communication opportunities and responsiveness. This will go a long way in improving customer service in logistics from start to finish.

Improving Customer Experience Today With Chatbots and Capitalize on Supply Chain Innovations

Machine-based AI-driven chatbots change how supply chain managers approach customer service in logistics and consumer interactions throughout the supply chain network. This automation is driving the industry forward to become more adaptable, scalable, flexible, and accessible. Taking advantage of prebuilt and trained chatbots can help shippers and carriers of all sizes gain a competitive advantage. Request a consultation and demo with RPA Labs to get started.

Customer Service Chatbots: The Future of Supply Chain & Logistics Customer Experience

Customer service chatbots, part of a growing trend known as robotic process automation, have revolutionized the world of online customer interaction and communications. Chatbots make it easier to answer common questions and deal with customer queries promptly. The most significant benefit these chatbots have for the supply chain and logistics customer experience is that they automate customer touchpoints from the first point of contact. Chatbots free up service agents to focus on higher-quality touchpoints while automating mundane, repetitive tasks, such as providing answers for common requests.

Chatbots can also boost overall profits. McKinsey estimated that AI could generate between $3.5 trillion and $5.8 trillion annually in additional value, thanks to increased usage in multiple U.S. niche markets and sectors. 

Experts predict greater adoption RPA in supply chain management, marketing and sales, accounting for 66% — or a staggering $2 trillion —  in potential value for transportation service providers. This innovative, machine-based technology can help drive customer satisfaction and further streamline operations for shippers, logistics service providers, and carriers. That is what pre-programmed customer service chatbots have to offer the industry today as more in the logistics, supply chain and freight industries move toward using automated tools and innovations. 

How Changes in Transportation Services and Consumer Market Demands Require a Renewed Focus on Automation and Machine Learning

The transportation industry’s future hinges on the ability of shippers and service providers, such as freight forwarders, to maximize the efficiency of communications and offer desirable amenities to customers today. On-demand communications, real-time updates, and personalized services are easier to deliver anytime, anywhere with customer service chatbots. The changes in the consumer market require a stronger focus on machine learning and automated communication systems. This is where prebuilt and intelligent software bots help change the way customers interact with transportation service providers. 

Customer Service Innovations: Prebuilt Chatbots Provide Automated Documentation, Communication, and Workflow

The rising popularity of customer service chatbots from a business standpoint makes sense when considering three key drivers:

Prebuilt chatbots are designed to be implemented immediately and used from day one. Pretrained bots are specially programmed to recognize key terms and phrases for the freight, supply chain, logistics, and transportation industries. These benefits of RPA in the supply chain help managers get their systems up and running faster and easier than trying to build in-house chatbots from scratch, which can be very time-consuming and costly. 

Benefits of Utilizing Customer Service Chatbots and How They Can Improve Supply Chain Logistics and Customer Experiences

Many unique benefits are waiting for shippers and carriers who embrace innovative changes like machine learning and automated customer service chatbots. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Faster resolutions of issues so the customer maintains confidence in the shipper’s abilities and capabilities. 
  • More straightforward process for updating customers on delivery status or delays with automated tracking and notifications.
  • More efficient back-office operations that empower team members to focus on critical tasks and processes.
  • Increased productivity, as the chatbots can deal with basic consumer needs and simple informational queries. 
  • Enables shippers and service providers, such as freight forwarders, to manage better resources, budgets, staffing, and internal processes. 
  • Better communication between managers, customer service team members, and customers with real-time accessibility.

Take Advantage of Automation and Streamlined Operations With Preprogrammed Chatbot Services and Embrace the Future of Supply Chain Logistics

Automated chatbots have changed the way consumers think about online interactions and communications. Intelligent, AI-based chatbots make it easier for customers to get their questions answered faster and more reliably. Customer service chatbots are here to stay and may very well soon become the norm within supply chain logistics and customer interactions.  Embracing these changes and automation today will pay huge dividends down the road! Schedule a demo with RPA Labs to see for yourself or find out more about RPA Engage‘s email response bot and AI-enabled logistics chat bots.