Freight Customer Experience: 5 Reasons Why 3PLs & Shippers Are Improving the Customer Experience

MercuryGate Blog - Freight Category

The customer experience is more important than ever. Each aspect of the supply chain is subject to the scrutiny of customer service levels. Poor customer service experiences will naturally result in decreased profitability, increase trouble for the brand, and problems maintaining competitive advantage. Furthermore, in the age of social media any negative experience — regardless of whether it is a business-to-business or business-to-consumer transaction — will make its way into the realm of public perception. As a result, the freight customer experience is now paramount, and third-party logistics providers (3PLs) and shippers alike are working to improve customer service through transportation optimization. Besides the obvious impact on brand value, let’s take a closer look at the top five reasons why so many organizations are proactively pursuing improvement strategies for freight customer experience.

1. 3PL Customers Continue to Suffer From Poor Freight Customer Experience Levels

A major problem with the recent downturn of the economy and trouble in global logistics derives from the perception that organizations have grown too large. Over recent years, the trend to outsource operations and scale back manufacturing and sourcing strategies created supply chains that were extremely lean. These principles allow organizations to bring costs down dramatically, but they also increase the risk of disruption should a sudden, unexpected event take place that leads to failures within sourcing strategies. Furthermore, 3PLs continue to struggle with maintaining a positive experience for both their customers and the customers of shippers. As reported by Supply Chain Times, “Less than a fifth (18%) of UK companies are happy with their 3PLs, according to the latest research from leading supply chain and logistics consultancy SCALA.”

2. Inefficiencies Result in Delays Detrimental to the Customer Experience

Inefficiencies within 3PL operations will naturally lead to possible delays in delivery. Delays in delivery result in upset customers. It truly is that simple. Failures within the supply chain also amount to failures to deliver on what customers pay for, and in the age of Amazon, the failure of the 3PL or carrier is a failure of the shipper. Customers do not see another responsible party. Therefore, shippers will naturally turn to 3PLs as the responsible party when a customer is upset about anything. It is a dramatic macrocosm that will hold 3PLs accountable.

3. Customers May Change Their Minds After Submitting an Order

There was a time when e-commerce orders incurred relatively few returns. Customers knew what they wanted, and that was the end of the interaction after delivery. However, Amazon changed the game by offering free returns for the majority of products and simplifying the process for making returns. As a result, any change of mind on the part of the customer will result in the need to intervene for the 3PL or the shipper. It all depends on who is responsible for the freight at the exact moment when a customer changes his or her mind. Fortunately, real-time capabilities to understand and see the full shipment lifecycle can help organizations work with customers to resolve matters, such as rerouting a product back to the warehouse prior to delivery or simplifying the returns management process.

4. Supply Chain Improvements Save Resources and Enable Better Use of New Technologies

Shippers and 3PLs are heavily invested in improving efficiencies and leveraging automation. These capabilities go together with improvements to customer experiences. These investments in new technologies and capabilities are not necessarily a reason why 3PLs and shippers are improving customer service levels, but they do have a contributing effect. As supply chain entities realize the benefits of collaboration and more access to information, customer service levels will naturally increase.

5. More Transparency Is a Goal of Both 3PLs, Shippers, and Customers Alike

Across the board, shippers and 3PLs are also working to increase transparency in their organizations. That goal exists among customers as well. Everyone wants sustainable shipping practices, and depending on location, sustainable, transparent shipping can result in regulatory enforcement through fines and financial setbacks. As a result, more companies look to achieve more transparency and maximize the use of all available resources.

Boost Freight Customer Experiences With Total Transport Leverage™

Freight customer experiences are critical to the success of your supply chain. Your customers expect the world in freight shipping. Give it to them with a collaborative network and infrastructure designed to create the best experiences possible.

Request a demo of how the right platform could make all the difference during times of disruption.

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