Customer Service in Logistics: A Guide for 2023

4/3/2023

Customer Service in Logistics: A Guide for 2023

2023 will be an excellent reminder of the value businesses can reap by having reliable logistics capabilities!

Whether the objective is to offset the challenges of the global marketplace or leverage new opportunities, companies strive to find more efficient and sustainable ways to get their products to consumers. 

No wonder, as one of the backbones of international trade, the logistics market worldwide is expected to soar to $14.9 trillion (13.7 trillion Euros) by 2027. That said, it continues to grapple with challenges driven by:

  • Supply chain disruptions
  • Higher interest rates
  • Tighter consumer spending
  • Environmental regulations
  • Volatile oil prices
  • Climate change

Which is when good customer service in logistics comes into play. 

Customer service in logistics is a cornerstone of the customer-centric approach that resilient logistics players adopt. It enables companies to manage the complexities of the current logistics environment. It also establishes a healthy relationship between a logistics company and its consumers.

Customer-experience

In this post, we’ll delve into the top 5 ways to nail customer service in logistics while dealing with supply chain disruptions.

What Is Customer Service in Logistics?

The customer service definition, far beyond answering customer queries, varies for different industries. Its ultimate purpose is to be a reliable partner to customers. It intends to make the most of every interaction, building long-term customer relationships.

Customer-service-definition

This holds true for customer service in logistics and supply chain management as well. But aside from that, the goal of customer service in logistics is also to make the supply chain operate with utmost efficiency and transparency.  

Logistics companies take care of receiving, order processing, warehousing, picking, packing, and shipping goods so business owners can have a good night's sleep. Besides planning, scheduling, executing, and monitoring supply chains, logistics companies also help you wade through the complex waters of reverse logistics.

Whether it’s a B2B company, a brick-and-mortar store, or an eCommerce business, customer service in logistics helps you optimise the supply chain. It makes the process transparent and reduces friction in the buyer's journey.

Take, for instance, real-time order tracking and notifications over SMS and email. It has rapidly turned out to be a "must-have" rather than a "nice-to-have" element of customer service in logistics. If the customers know the exact state of delivery, they will be available for the receipt, reducing the chances of failed deliveries. 

Live-update-example

Plus, keeping customers plugged in builds up their confidence in the customer service in a logistics company.  Such easy access to convenient customer support across every logistics service level becomes a critical factor in customer retention. 

Customer-service-example

Yet, delivery updates aren’t the only aspect that enables you to dish out a superior customer experience. Below are some ways companies can harness to improve their customer service in logistics management.

How Can Logistics Companies Improve Customer Service?

1. Focus On Streamlined Communication 

Logistics communication demands complex coordination between different stakeholders. Thus, connecting everyone from the front-line workers to corporate offices.  So much so that even a tiny lag can snowball into significant disruptions across the supply chain, lowering its efficiency. 

Hence, simplifying communication goes a long way toward impactful customer service in logistics. Here’s how:

  • Use multiple communication channels for real-time updates to reduce the need to reach out to customer service in logistics.  Email, web, push notifications, social media, and SMS, to name a few.
  • When the customer sends a support request, minimise customer touchpoints with your team. Your team should be able to collaborate internally without forwarding the email from one customer rep to another. It saves customers from long chains of emails and still gets their queries solved.
  • Reduce customer response time by automatic message routing to categorise and assign the message to the right person.
  • Unify teams’ cross-functional communication into a single platform to save time and information.

2. Optimise Internal Operations

Logistics businesses with robust internal processes are better positioned for superior customer service in logistics. 

With multiple moving gears to manage, such as inventory planning, fulfilment and distribution, warehouse management, fleet management, and so on, knowing how to optimise them can considerably impact the resulting customer experience.

To optimise your internal operations:

  • Leverage CRMs, shared inboxes, end-to-end workflow tools, or collaboration tools without hesitation. It empowers your teams to respond to customer inquiries faster, minus the tedious email forwards. 

Collaboration-tools

  • Understand customer demands to better predict the sales cycle and optimise operations accordingly.
  • Give due consideration to the single access point for the supply chain information. It maintains the efficiency of all the interdependent entities of the supply chain.   
  • Use analytics tools for inventory analysis, predictive analysis, demand forecasts, and transportation analysis.

3. Ensure Transparency in Supply Chain

Customers need a more visible and reliable supply chain to be comfortable working with your logistics company. 

One of the effective ways logistics players can foster real-time visibility in the supply chain is through IoT sensors and trackers. 

GPS-tracking-for-supply-chain-visibility

These sophisticated GPS-tracking devices increase cargo traceability by transferring real-time data. As a result, customers can always visualise their cargo with respect to the location, routes, weather, traffic conditions, and even the temperature inside the vehicle. 

4. Automate to Execute Agile Deliveries 

Trends such as growing online shopping demands, labour shortage, and technological advancement are thrusting automation to the top of the priority list of logistics decision- makers. 

Although not without challenges, the interest in automation is at an all-time high.  Logistics automation opportunities you must explore for excellent efficiency and customer experience  are:

  • Automated order delegation to drivers based on the delivery type, order volumes, and location.
  • Automated route planning for optimal routes depending on driver efficiency, fuel consumption, weather conditions, and traffic congestion. 
  • Automated fleet management to track fleet in real-time, select the right vehicle, arrange timely pickup of the goods, etc.

5. Outsource to a Reliable Third-Party Logistics Provider (3PL)

Outsourcing to an external logistics solutions provider represents opportunities for logistics firms to innovate around the new services and respond to shifting conditions. 

A Gartner survey, for example, reveals that nearly two-thirds of responding supply chain professionals agree that outsourcing to 3PL service providers impacted their competitiveness positively. 

3PL’s specialist expertise, shipping acumen, and in-depth knowledge of logistics operations ramp up supply chain performance in a big way. Their experience with automation solutions helps you get the maximum ROI out of it. Moreover, they offer the key advantage of flexibility in terms of storage space, transportation, and labour, and thereby easing the effects of seasonal fluctuations on the business.  

Thus, by helping companies solve their most pressing logistics challenges, 3PLs enable them to serve their customers in the best possible way and stay ahead of the competition.

Wrapping Up

Good customer experience lays the groundwork for businesses to show that they adapt to customer needs, no matter what. And top-notch customer service in logistics is the best place to start with. 

But while doing so, if the complexities of logistics operations and associated technology bog you down, you have PACK & SEND as your logistics partner. We strive to help our clients in their logistics challenges by going above and beyond the call of duty and providing the best customer service in logistics management. Contact us to know more about our logistics solutions.

Image Sources: Zendesk, Investopedia, Optimoroute, Txtsync.com, Hiverhq, Eelinktech

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