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.