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 Since the inception of the internet and connected systems, company transition from outdated and traditional systems rose exponentially.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.