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With marketplace competition and expectations of customers growing, and regulatory norms changing in favor of customers, it’s time for every logistics or delivery service provider to add value to their service with a bid to become more spontaneous, accountable and reliable. Here is how you can elevate the customer experience (CX).
Getting CX right is no longer a luxury, but a critical business priority. - Forbes
1. Hire a Good Staff and Value Them
Physical offices, amenities, technologies, and vehicles – you invest a lot in them to make sure that you could deliver a better service to your customers, which is appreciable. However, the optimum utilization of these resources and quality of service depends on the conduct of your people.
You must hire, manage and retain a dedicated team to run your delivery business successfully. From the people in front-end including truck drivers and helpers to those in the back-end, supporting and managing – everyone is your brand ambassador. Make them feel proud of working with you. Train them and monitor their actions or conducts. Ultimately, it’s their collective efforts that get translated into CX. Look for people with the right skills and attitudes. Take refuge of a consultancy firm if required.
Customers are relatively simple!
Customers don’t expect a superman or superwoman performance from you; they simply want the service they expect to be delivered. The complexity arises when the CX is more optimized for the company and less for the customer. A shift of perspective is required so that the customer becomes the center of attention. (edited excerpt of Nicolas Maechler speaking to Bill Javetski, an executive editor with McKinsey Publishing)
2. Define What to Expect Early and Clearly
It’s important that you don’t play any gimmick in your customer acquisition strategy or process. Whether you get a lead through active means (paid marketing) or passive means (organic, repeat business or referral business), it’s important you say or commit to customers what you can deliver and nothing that you can’t. No matter what means of marketing you resort to - ATL (Above the Line) or BTL (Below the Line) – honesty shouldn’t be diluted by any means.
3. Ensure Safety of Goods
Customers renting your truck expect safety of their goods and that’s their right. Safety is a key determinant of CX. It depends on two factors: 1. Condition of your vehicle; and 2. Conduct of your drivers and helpers. If similar to the majority of moving service providers in the US from the renowned ones like Uber Freight and Penske to the local ones like Miles, you too deploy third-party vehicles, it’s your responsibility to include only well-maintained vehicles in your fleet. Examine their vehicle-insurance documents, work-permits, and driving licenses closely before you accept any request. The vehicles should undergo a routine checkup. Hire a dedicated repair and maintenance staff, if your business demands, rather than relying on drivers alone.
GPS-enabled tracking with Google Maps or any other application is a good way to ensure the safety of goods. With the cost of sensing RFID (Radio-frequency identification) tags and BLE (Bluetooth low energy) tags falling, it wouldn’t cost a fortune to establish an IoT (Internet of Things)-based logistics business, which can help you track not just the position of your vehicle but also their condition and state of delivered goods.
4. Empower Customers
Customer empowerment is an important pillar of CX. Empower your customers in many ways – right from booking to tracking to getting their goods delivered. Help your customer save time, find a vehicle with the right size or capacity, and have a better control of your delivery service. Give customers a secure experience.
Thankfully technologies can help you a lot. Create an app compatible with Android, iOS, or any other mobile platform. Make it simple and faster for users to book a truck, add a helper, make payment, and track the status of their delivery using the app.
5. Bring Accountability
What if any goods get lost during the transport, a customer’s payment gets debited from his or her account while booking online but the booking request is not lodged in your database, or the delivery gets delayed or something similar? Clearly, such instances make your customers unhappy. To reduce such unpleasant instances, you have to bring accountability to your system. For any consequence of the action, service and product your business undertakes or offers you or your people have to be answerable to the customers.
It involves meticulous planning, dedicated and honest approach and timely action. Luckily, digital technology can make your job easier. Miles App presents a good example of accountability. At the time of booking, a customer has to upload the images of the goods he or she wants to move, and once the items are unloaded at the destination address, the driver takes the picture of the image using the app. Both the images are stored on their server and can be referred to address any item lost dispute if it arises. The business also confirms a replacement value up to $20,000 to compensate the damage caused to the customer in case some items get lost. Taking such measures to help you build a trust in the market and that pays off well.
6. Delight Customers
The secret to making it happen is to move beyond customer satisfaction. Respect their time and privacy, give them priority, become social and engage with them, offer them a gift or discount on bookings, implement referral benefits, and exceed their expectations.
The ultimate dividend you get is a repeated business. Yes, customers feel more comfortable to work with a familiar brand rather than going with a new one. Interestingly, acquiring new customers is costlier than retaining existing ones and also the lifetime value (LTV) of a customer increases gradually.
7. Address Complaints Promptly
Make it easier for customers to connect with you, share their feedback, register their grievances and get resolutions on time. Leaving their concerns unattended for long, you not only risk losing them but also others. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers are more likely to go with a brand that is referred by their friends or family. Hence, make a time-bound grievance redressal mechanism to address their concerns and keep the process transparent.
Social media and consumer forums are also a great platform where discussions happen and customers vent out their feelings, which might come in the form of angers. Read between the lines and address them on time, as such discussions are likely to pull in more engagement and become viral, which you won’t like. Also don’t miss to show your courtesy to customers who appreciate your service.