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'Where Is My Shipment'​ is NOT yet Another Ticket To Close

The battle for the customer’s mindshare is getting tighter. 

The cost of achieving delightful deliveries is increasing too. 

The best balancer will win! 

The rest will lose.

Where is my shipment

This isn’t something no one ever knew or some ground breaking invention that will transform your business yet it is easier said than done. 

What’s in front of us sends us out a clear message. 

The writing on the wall is that the one who delivers a great customer experience and still does not compromise on profitability will win. 

But, how does one balance between the two? 

Technology is a great enabler in helping solve this twin objective that looks like wonderfully going hand and hand but when customers are mesmerized by the Amazon effect, how does a regular vendor who doesn’t have the money and muscle to deliver a similar experience survive, let alone thrive? 

In this series of posts, we will share some key insights based on my learnings from interactions with 100s of retailers as part of our team’s interactions at trade shows, calls with prospects, calls with clients, support calls and some interactions with industry thought leaders as to what are the different things retailers and shippers do to keep costs under control while not compromising on customer experience. 

The first part of this series deals with how to deal with 3PLs and make it a win-win situation for all 3 parties: you as a retailer, your 3 PL partner and your customer. 

Your 3PL partner who carries and delivers your shipment to your customer is a key lever in this entire fulfillment engine. This prime cog in the wheel could make or mar a great customer experience. In order to achieve your prime objective of a great experience to your customer with your brand, you need to help your 3PL win.

More often than not, it is an endless rigmarole of a blame game when it comes to the classic question of ‘where is my shipment?’. Quite frankly, to your customer, it really doesn’t make a difference if you make the delivery yourself or through a 3PL partner. The only thing that matters is whether the delivery happens on time and in a state that the customer desired without any damages. I don’t need to emphasize enough on the role the delivery partner has in this process. Even though we realize the importance of customer experience and the accountability factor as a key stakeholder in business, the on-field or ground staff who typically get asked about the delivery status or someone at the call centre to whom this query is yet another ‘ticket to close’, but it is the making or breaking of a deal with your customer for a few more years to come. In case of a B2B client, the stakes are even higher.

In a typical scenario where there are no checks and balances in place to track shipments in real-time and proactive alert mechanisms to all stakeholders, this ‘where is my shipment’ avalanche triggers a sequence of events which is not just a drain on everyone’s productivity but also something that showcases the brand in bad light.

All said and done, businesses today are quite focussed and aligning all their resources to be more customer-centric as it is not an option anymore but a key tool to survive in a demanding business environment with stifling competition. However, not even being to tell a customer the state and the status of a shipment even when he asks for it paints a dull picture on the organization and is the opposite of being customer-centric.

The avalanche starts with a customer calling someone in the retailer’s organization to know where his shipment is. The retailer then calls the logistics team. The logistics team rep then makes a call to the transportation manager. The transportation manager calls the transportation partner. The partner calls the supervisor. The supervisor calls the driver(or rather tries to). If anyone breaks the chain of calls, then the cycle starts again not to mention that the anxiety of the customer starts to grow.

Not only this exercise leads to paranoia and anxiety among multiple stakeholders but is also the source of productivity drain for all these stakeholders which could potentially affect other transactions also and hence build into a falling house of cards for many more customers.

This also causes a strained relationship between the logistics partner and the company. The retailer could feel that the 3PL isn’t accountable enough and the 3PL could feel that the client is too impatient and pushy. Nobody is happy though this is avoidable. The worst part is that your customer anxiety index will hit the roof which is absolutely detrimental to the interest of your brand.

When we dig into the core of this problem, it boils down to being proactive about communicating vital information to all stakeholders. It is all about getting everyone on the same page by giving real-time visibility and taking a preemptive approach to it.

At FarEye, we specialize in helping companies delight their customers and achieve profitability through excellence in logistics process. Continuous improvement is the bedrock of any optimization initiative and our technology has helped several companies to turn customer distress into delight. This has helped them achieve improved On-time in full deliveries and drive superior customer satisfaction scores.

To learn how to provide real-time visibility to all stakeholders and achieve more on-time deliveries, click here and sign-up for an inside view into how we help 100s of companies transform their fulfilment process and shape delightful customer experiences.

You could also drop in an email to demo@getfareye.com for further assistance.

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