With its outstanding logistics platform, DB Schenker serves up an offering that allows companies to provide outstanding service to their own customers.
The backbone of any successful business, good customer service translates into unique market advantages, access to new opportunities, and sustainability in even the most competitive business environments.
During the first week of October, companies across the nation will celebrate National Customer Service Week. Established by the International Customer Service Association (ICSA) in 1984 and proclaimed a national event by the U.S. Congress in 1992, National Customer Service Week is celebrated by thousands of companies across the U.S. and around the world.
These organizations represent leading financial, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, retailing, hospitality, communications, not-for-profit, and educational organizations, as well as government agencies, and others. Last year, these companies represented all 50 of the United States and over 60 countries.
“There are two main purposes of National Customer Service Week,” says John Kressaty, past president of the ICSA. “It lets you recognize the job that your customer service professionals do 52 weeks a year. The other purpose is to get the message across a wide range of business, government, and industry that customer service is very important—along with bottom-line profit—in running a business.”
It Goes Beyond Pick Up and Delivery
Critical to the transportation and logistics industry, customer service extends far beyond just picking up a customer’s delivery and delivering it to its destination. In fact, it ultimately comes down to what your business can offer them outside of that simple process—an imperative that reputable, reliable logistics providers like DB Schenker literally live and breathe every day.
“Online services to track their shipments can work wonders, but human interaction is just as effective,” Cerasis reports. “Keep your customers up to date on their shipments if you can, or explain to them from the outset what will happen with their deliveries. Keeping a customer satisfied will keep them a customer.”
Strong customer relationships enabled by reliable logistics and transportation providers also:
- Play a critical part in customer satisfaction
- Are integral to the success of your business
- Will keep them coming back as “repeat customers”
- Mean that those customers are more likely to suggest your business to other people and fill your client pipeline over time
- Create high levels of customer loyalty
- Make your brand look good
- Help you avoid “bad reviews” online or offline
“When someone complains about a company, it’s usually about the customer service they received as opposed to the product. If a product is faulty, customers can be appeased by good customer service – whether that’s an apology or a replacement – and this works in logistics too,” Cerasis notes. “If your company is apologetic if something goes wrong, bad reviews and complaints are less likely. Showing you care through good customer service will do your business and your brand image a world of good.”
Know Your Customers
To compete effectively in any market conditions, companies must put a high value on developing lifetime relationships with customers and, along the way, always strive to go above and beyond their clients’ expectations. To make sure your organization achieves these goals and more, DB Schenker will help you:
- Know your customers by working on the front lines, getting to know their names, likes, dislikes, and demands.
- Be consistent. Your customers have high expectations and want to know that those expectations will be met every time.
- Create a constant feedback loop with your customers.
- Assess your individual customers’ wants and needs (and deliver on them).
- Offer a human touch, even in this era of technology.
“For all the benefits technology wields in a world driven by connectivity and speed, it also abstracts the human interface: the firm handshake that instills confidence in a new partnership,” according to Inbound Logistics, “the calm voice that offers reassurance when a shipment is missing; the steely eye that shows determination and perseverance in reducing inefficiencies and costs.”
The ebb and flow of communication among supply chain partners also facilitates better strategic planning and innovation. “Service providers rely on customers to share information so they can anticipate shifts in demand and evolve their services to account for these changes,” the publication adds. “Shippers, too, value the objectivity their partners bring to the table when assessing broader business trends and challenges.”
Relationships and Interactions Count
For all of its focus on the movement of things, a supply chain relies in large part on relationships and interactions between people. “People buy from people,” Lisa Terry writes in Customer Service: It’s the Thought that Counts. “It’s enriching those relationships that lie at the heart of technology-enabled customer service tools.”
More logistics service providers are turning to newer customer engagement technologies to inform, educate, and interact with customers. At the same time, traditional business applications are adding capabilities that allow customers to interact with service providers right in the tool. For example, Terry writes that to make access to supply chain information even more convenient, some logistics providers are creating customer-facing mobile apps.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is another technology seeing increased use for an improved customer experience. “A CRM incorporating sales automation, marketing information systems, call center technology, and access to customer data from other internal systems provides a 360-degree view of each customer,” Terry points out. “This allows the customer support staff to better understand how to serve them.”
Losing Customers is Expensive
Research shows that it costs six to seven times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. And, the cost of customer acquisition versus customer retention could reach as high as 700%, according to Bain & Company. Businesses that boost customer retention rates by as little as five percent saw increases in their profits ranging from five percent to 95 percent.
With the 2018 Customer Service Week right around the corner, it’s time to assess your own company’s approach and leverage the power of DB Schenker’s customer service to your advantage. View it as a long-term investment and consider the expansive list of benefits that come from having a customer-focused, high-touch organization.