How Integrating Customer Experience into Supply Chain Operations Yields a Competitive Edge

Customer experience defines your brand. The pandemic has forced logistics companies to take a closer look at providing a great experience without sacrificing on supply chain efficiencies. The appreciation that a customer experiences with logistics shapes the customer journey. However, despite this fact, logistics companies sometimes find it challenging to derive value out of customer interactions and fail to understand the differentiating factors that are important to improve customer experience.

Delivering consistent positive customer experience can become very difficult in the face of legacy technology, lack of visibility across the supply chain and irregular demand for goods. Here are four key areas that logistics companies often short-change in terms of the impact they have on customer experience and on their businesses as a whole.

Fast communications via multiple communication channels

In logistics, speed is of essence. Customers want fast replies or real-time resolution to their inquiries. Automating your customer service system to provide speedy, relevant and honest customer support can make a huge difference. Investing in the right knowledge management solutions can assist your support team in having the answers to complex technical questions at their fingertips. This reduces wait time and offers the right kind of immediate solution to customer inquiries, leading to a better customer experience.

Customers now use more than one communication channel to reach out for resolution. It is important not to restrict customer access to traditional channels, but rather companies should explore and support the preferred platforms that their customers use.

Work as a team to map various touchpoints

A logistics company faces a huge challenge with regard to the various touchpoints such as the sales department, claims department, customer service department and so on, involved in the entire process. This is why they are vulnerable to breakdowns when it comes to offering better customer experience. Imagine a customer needs support or has submitted a request for grievance redressal. Many a times, before a definite issue is resolved, the customer is made to contact various departments or touchpoints involved in the supply chain to get a satisfactory solution. This delay in resolution and being passed on from one representative to another irks the customer and can drive him/her away from being loyal to your brand.

Coming together as a team and setting up a single line of communication between all the various touchpoints to respond to customer issues will help prevent these breakdowns. With all the brainstorming and problem solving measures happening behind the scene, and a single point of contact for an immediate response can make customers believe and feel confident toward your brand. In such kind of situations, workspace and collaboration software come to rescue.

Structure data in the right manner to guide the way

Logistics and supply chain providers have vast amounts of data on their customers. However, data is generally siloed across departments. All this data needs to be brought together and structured in such a way that it can be accessed by everyone involved, anywhere and anytime. Using a disciplined approach, data can be analyzed to know more about the customers, identify patterns, make changes, test changes, and review the results to make better decisions on what works and what does not towards improving customer experience. Emerging technologies such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are gaining attention and slowly transforming the the logistics industry.

Invest in regular learning and training

The logistics world is not untouched by technological advancements and the need to improve their operational efficiencies for business growth. With constantly changing business environment as well as changing market and customer needs, support representatives and other executives of the logistics chain need to be always aware of the latest trends implemented in the industry. Getting to know and being aware of new tools and technologies with relevant information on the market changes on a regular basis is important. Toward this, efforts should be made to organize periodic learning and training programs.

In conclusion, logistics providers can no longer ignore the need to adopt practices that positively impact customer experience. Such practices will not only benefit the entire supply chain, but also open new avenues and opportunities for growth.

Read More:Streamline Supply Chain Management Tasks with the Right Warehouse Management System

Summary

A warehouse management system makes it easy to run an entire warehouse that is huge in size and complex in operations. However, unlike other software systems whose ROI can be measured directly with dashboards, evaluating a warehouse management system requires factoring in both tangible and intangible benefits to understand the actual ROI of the WMS and how it can be further optimized.

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