10 Ways Customer Experience in the Supply Chain Will Gain Market Share

Customer Experience Supply Chain
The customer experience in the supply chain is a high priority for shippers and logistics service providers (LSPs) of all sizes. According to Material Handling & Logistics, “more than 83% confirm customer experience is a company-wide goal, with nearly 56% reporting customer experience measurement is key to operational decisions. In addition, 67% say gaining greater control of customer experience is crucial or very important to delivery.” Thus, shippers and LSPs need to know the top 10 ways customer experiences in the supply chain will grow in value with e-commerce through the remainder of 2020.

1. Customer Expectations for Returns Processes Are Changing

Customers have always wanted more from returns. That much is clear. In today’s environment, the demand for more returns is likely to expand as e-commerce volume swells amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, customers want an omnichannel returns policy—allowing for returns by lockers, shipping practices, or other means.

2. Concern Remains Over Possible Exposure to COVID-19

Worry about exposure to COVID-19 is also having a significant impact on the customer experience in the supply chain. Customers are still wary of when it will be safe to return to brick-and-mortar stores, so the pressure is on companies to expand e-commerce capabilities to offer that personal touch.

3. E-Commerce Is Continuing to Reshape the Foundation of Customer Experiences

E-commerce—while steeped in the omnichannel supply chain—is quickly becoming an even more critical factor as more companies evaluate expanded delivery options. Grocery delivery was relatively new at the beginning of the year. Now it’s key to maintaining a profitable grocery store. Even small-town and local grocery stores have hopped onto the train with partnerships through DoorDash to offer delivery. And as such, these smaller companies need a partner to manage their e-commerce supply chains as their demands increase.

4. Shippers and LSPs Will Need to Better Connect With Customers

Shippers and LSPs also need more ways to connect with customers. The age of IVR systems is coming to a close. Instead, customers want interactive chats, and that’s a key area where robotics process automation (RPA) can come into play—creating a chatbot that acts like an IVR and still manages to add a personal touch to the experience.

5. Customer Experience in the Supply Chain Will Require More Than In-Store or Home Deliveries

Customer experience in the supply chain is also moving to involve much more than the standard delivery. Customers want more contactless options. They want lockers. They want third-party location delivery. They want more. It’s time to deliver on that promise.

6. Customers Want Tailored Experiences That May Include Setup and Installation of Products

Customers also want the bells and whistles of tailored experiences for products that don’t typically rise to the level of white-glove services. Home appliances, software, and other smaller items should get that personal touch through guided setup and installation of products. Of course, this comes amid the need for contactless delivery and setup too.

7. Data-Driven Inventory Will Further Reduce Risk of Out-of-Stock Items and Problems During Order Fulfillment

Data-driven inventory controls are another way customer experience is influencing supply chain operations. Data-driven demand sensing reduces the risk of stocking problems and ensures customers keep coming back for more.

8. Customer Experiences Will Affect the Online Presence of Businesses

As social media and online forums continue to grow in popularity and usage, more and more customers are using these channels to communicate their shipping and delivery experiences. Businesses need to recognize these channels as another way to extend the conversation with customers and know that these interactions will affect the overall customer experience.

9. B2B Customers Demand Faster, Lower-Cost Shipping

Business-to-business (B2B) is also changing their expectations as major companies move to offer faster, free shipping for business orders. Remember that B2B customers are still customers, so give them the same level of attention as direct-to-consumer purchasers with optimized processes that incur lower costs.

10. Digitized Processes Will Streamline Supply Chain Management

Digitized processes further streamline supply chain management, but they have added value in managing customer experiences too. Digital experiences are part of what creates a stellar guest experience. Since the customer experience in the supply chain hinges on the perception that nothing really has changed amid the pandemic, digitizing more processes will help avoid disruption and alleviate customer worries.

Achieve a Better Customer Experience With the Right Systems and Technologies

Customer experiences are the focus of successful supply chains. Your organization needs to start thinking about this fact and take the time to know how customer experience in the supply chain will continue to grow in the coming years. Put simply—increase the value of your customers. Find out how a TMS can help automate your shipping processes and give you greater control over providing a superior customer experience.

Request a demo of the MercuryGate transportation management platform now

Phil Melton
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