But times have changed. The way we connect with brands has changed over time, as has the consumer experience. Digital was already having an impact on how we live, shop, work and play before Covid-19 and the pandemic has further upended things. Many of the consumer behavioural changes that we are witnessing now are likely to last a long time, if not forever. Some have been in motion for quite some time. Many of them have now been expedited. All of this has an impact on the consumer experience.

Twenty years ago, the response to the question "what is exceptional customer experience?" would have been a simple explanation about maximising touchpoints, planning out customer journeys and creating and producing consumer-desired items. However, how we connect with businesses and what we require from them has changed dramatically in recent years. A brand that gets experience right understands and fulfils its customers' expectations.

How has fulfilment changed for the customer?

There is a noticeable shift in the shipping and logistics business as organisations aim to give the same level of service across channels with customer-centric agendas. Business-to-Business (B2B) is giving way to Business-to-Customer (B2C) (B2C). This move to B2C is being accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new customer has high expectations for service, which includes real-time shipment visibility, delivery appointments and inside delivery alternatives. In B2C, a great customer experience necessitates a different style of contact than in B2B with a transportation manager.

Trident Worldwide’s (a flexible warehousing and logistics platform) CEO, Tim Fawkes states that; “Customers expectations have changed significantly in recent years. Appreciation and awareness in the challenges facing logistics and its importance is one of the few positives to come out of the pandemic. Logistics businesses have kept the wheels of the economy turning and there have been some significant high-profile challenges to come out of the pandemic and Brexit”.

Over the years customers have been demanding faster and faster lead times and greater visibility of delivery prior to arrival. Customers are expecting more systemisation of booking processes, turning to the internet for immediate solutions rather than having to phone agents to arrange transport. Customers tend to have less time for dealing with problems, they want hassle free arrangements that are seamless with information at their fingertips”.

In the next five years, we expect to see the following:

  • Continued use of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems that provide a comprehensive perspective of customers.
  • Digital interactions across all channels.
  • Embedded analytics for real-time monitoring of client experience and proactive communication.

These elements will drastically alter how shipping and logistics businesses interact with consumers in order to provide world-class service.

What has influenced the change of customer experience?

Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is the process of integrating digital technology into all aspects of a company's operations, resulting in major changes in how the company runs and the value it provides to its consumers. Simply put, it's about altering the way a company interacts with its customers and ensuring that they receive a consistent experience whenever and wherever they require it.

Companies are now being forced to adjust their business models and adapt to the new market reality as a result of digital transformation. What's striking about this is that the transformation isn't being driven by corporations. The customer, rather than the company, is driving this transition. Customers nowadays want relevant material related to what they're doing at any time, anywhere, and in the format and device of their choice. To keep up with this new kind of "always-connected" consumer, your company must embrace technology in order to provide an unrivalled level of service.

How should businesses position themselves for the digitally conscious customer?

Customers frequently rank companies based on their digital customer experience first because of the opportunities that arise from leveraging current technology. Companies must rethink how they communicate with their clients if they want to go digital first. So, what does going digital first mean for various teams?

  • For B2B sales teams, digital first means - social selling instead of cold calling. Your clients are already on social media and you need to be there as well. Rather than waiting for the customer to approach you, you should go out to them, establish a relationship and assist them with education. This can be accomplished by sharing relevant knowledge and your expertise as part of a solution to their issue.
  • For marketing teams, digital first means - cutting back on offline marketing efforts like direct mail, billboards and television commercials. Customers anticipate (and want) highly focused communications, which can only be delivered through a data-driven marketing approach. You must now use search engine marketing, account-based marketing and email marketing tactics through digital platforms.
  • For customer care teams, waiting for the phone to ring or a fax to arrive is no longer an option. It's not only about being responsive when it comes to digital. It's about being proactive in how you assist your clients, who seek aid through a variety of media. The customer service eco-system now includes social media, review sites, forums and communities. Your company must also think digitally first in order to serve the new, modern-day buyer.

What can you do to improve your businesses customer experience in the logistics industry?

1. Identifying Touchpoints

The more touch points clients have, the more difficult it becomes to provide a pleasant user experience. This dynamic poses a challenge for the logistics business, as shippers are exposed to a plethora of touchpoints, including sales, customer support, claims, weights and research and accounts receivable. Each of these interactions has the potential to turn customers into loyal customers or turn them away. Understanding how customers interact with each of these distinct teams and what can be done to make it more valuable for them is a problem for logistics executives. Increase the efficiency of your company by automating customisation.

Here are some instances of how you can improve customer experience by using tailored messaging:

  • Purchase a chatbot: Chatbots can be modified to match your specific needs and can be used for a range of methods. Customers can utilise a chatbot on a company’s website to acquire tracking information on their shipments.
  • Use Smart CTAs: The CTA’s update automatically based on where the viewer is in the buyer's journey. If a prospect is looking at it, it can say something like, "Request a Quote." It may state, “Log into the Customer Portal,” if a customer is viewing it.
  • Use automated targeted emails: If you provide a variety of products or services, you can set up an automatic workflow that delivers targeted emails to clients who are interested in cross-selling or upselling.

2. Update your website

Having an easy-to-use website that clearly communicates the information your customers are seeking for is critical to improve the customer experience at your logistics company. When it comes to keeping your website up to date, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Site load time: A slow site load time might detract from the user experience. Slow load times are not only inconvenient for your users, but they may also hurt your Google ranking and lead your site to appear lower in search results.
  • Usability: Make sure your website's pages are as clean and well-organised as possible and keep them up to date with relevant content. This will make it as simple as possible for your users to get the information they require.
  • Mobile-friendly: You can check exactly what percentage of your website traffic comes from mobile in Google Analytics. It's vital for user experience and SEO to make sure your website is mobile-friendly.

3. Customer retention:

A company's measures to keep its existing customers are referred to as customer retention. Customer retention depends on a pleasant customer experience. In a competitive sector like transportation and logistics, building a loyal customer base is critical. Taking steps to keep your current consumers can help you stand out from the competition.

How can you retain your customers?

  • Get their feedback: Use surveys to find out what your customers liked and didn't like about their experience with your company. Listen, take notes, and make adjustments as needed.
  • Invest in customer service: The most successful businesses have a dedicated customer service workforce that is courteous, competent and responsive.
  • Reward loyal customers: Celebrate when a customer reaches an anniversary or milestone with your organisation. Little things like a handwritten letter, a social media highlight, or a modest gift might help you keep your best customers. In conclusion, transport and logistics firms must solve two important challenges as they continue to figure out how to become more customer-centric:
  1. Recognising what constitutes a positive client experience.
  2. Re-orienting the entire business around the consumer in order to provide a uniform and excellent experience across all channels.

Trident’s solution

Trident is the all in one, end-to-end logistics, warehousing and marketplace solution. Powered by A.I. Driven by data. Delivered with passion. Our technology allows you to control your stock and logistics in one place so you can concentrate on what matters – your business.

Get fast, fuss free quotes for our global delivery service. Flexible warehouse space, when you need it, where you need it. Let our A.I. driven platform do the hard work while you focus on growing your business.

Resources

https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/interactive/customer-experience-index https://www.superoffice.com/blog/digital-transformation/ https://assets.kpmg/content/dam/kpmg/xx/pdf/2019/12/the-connected-experience-in-transport-and-logistics.pdf https://www.globaltranz.com/customer-experience-in-logistics/ https://www.transportationmarketing.com/blog/transportation-companies-can-improve-customer-experience https://www.wns.com/insights/blogs/blogdetail/822/the-changing-face-of-customer-experience-in-transportation