People at the centre! Customer experience in logistics

LOGO der Mensch im Zentrum, Bild Gerd Altmann Pixabay.com

The customer and his needs at the centre of everything we do – is this really a reality in logistics?

2020 is the year of the customer experience (CX). And in addition to ROI, ROX (Return on Experience) is increasingly becoming the focus of management. It is said that we are living in the age of the Experience Economy.

Please also read https://www.marconomy.de/2020-wird-das-jahr-der-experience-economy-a-901263/ and https://www.marconomy.de/mit-kennzahlen-das-kundenerlebnis-verbessern-a-899275/.

Why is that? Why is an “experience” suddenly so important in a business process?

The customer experience is gaining importance in an era of the platform economy

This is partly due to the platform economy and the fact that in all areas of industry and commerce, personal relationships are diminishing and often the manufacturer and consumer no longer have any connection at all. When you order your sports equipment or cosmetics on Amazon, the perception of the manufacturer’s brand continues to decline and the importance of the platform increases.

Analogously, this is also happening in logistics. More and more transports are mediated via platforms and who transports the goods in the end is less and less important for manufacturers and retailers.

Study, online survey and live webinar series on customer experience by VNL Switzerland and LOGO consult

LOGO consult is launching a study on customer experience in logistics in April 2020 together with the Swiss Logistics Network (VNL) association. The online surveys will be accompanied by a three-part Live-Webinar-Reihe, in which Professor Herbert Ruile from VNL, Dorothee Gabor from LOGO consult and expert speakers from logistics discuss customer experience in logistics.

With the live webinars and the online survey, we want to learn more about how logisticians perceive this topic and how strongly customer experience is already anchored in their management strategies.

In the logistics business, the customer relationship is a very special one

Who are actually the customers of a logistics company?
The manufacturers from whom goods are collected and brought to distribution centres?
Food or furniture store chains that are delivered?
The end customers who ordered their shoes from Zalando and have them delivered by a parcel service?
Who are the customers of air and sea freight forwarders and warehouse logistics companies?

Because the customer relationship is rather diffuse, the customer experience in logistics is often neglected

But how Steven van Beleghem on the German CRM Forum 2020 in Munich said in his presentation “The Customer The Day After Tomorrow”, the customer experience must not be neglected in any segment. Because if the platforms take over, they can also control which service is used. With Ali Baba just as with freight exchanges. The mechanisms behind provider selection are absolutely non-transparent. And they will certainly serve the good of the platform and not necessarily the good of the consumers or even the providers.

That’s why in every area of business, customer loyalty is becoming a critical factor.

Show your customers who you are as a company and who you are as people

Establish a relationship through personal relationships, regionality or specialised knowledge of the customer’s industry, which is more important than a few euros less on a delivery. Surprise your customers with unexpected services and promotions. Stand out from the crowd, also by how you deal with your customers.

Currently, many CX specialists are thinking about what customer experience will look like after Corona. Read here what Steven van Beleghem has collected for statements from 14 experts: “The opinion of 14 experts on Customer Experience in the Post-Corona era”

The topic of customer experience is often mentioned in the same breath as website design and marketing automation.

But that is not all. Marketing automation is not yet particularly widespread among medium-sized logistics companies and will not lead to new business as easily as in retail. The so-called “conversion”, i.e. the conversion of a prospect or lead into a customer, can rarely be achieved with an online shop or a modern website.

However, many logistics companies have already set up their own transport enquiry portals to bring customers into direct contact. If these portals are then also linked to the CRM, prices stored for existing customers are used and sales are immediately alerted for new prospects, companies are on the right track.

Companies that combine O-data (operational data) with X-data (experience data) and derive strategies from it will be particularly successful.

The integration of the CRM tool into the IT landscape is therefore very important. Companies that operate CRM as an isolated solution today are blind in one eye.

It is ideal if the CRM as a “data lake” receives data from many different data sources and makes it available to sales and marketing in a structured way.

  • You can achieve a good customer experience because marketing can access consignment and contact data as well as potentials.
  • Right now, in the Corona crisis, you can see exactly how a particular customer is doing and seek contact via the consignment development.
  • You can proactively send the client information on their favoured countries of departure and destination when regulations on border crossings and exit restrictions change.

Seek the personal conversation – and in times of Corona the virtual customer visit

Show your clients that you care how they are doing now in the crisis. What challenges they are facing. How their perspectives are changing. With the data in a well-maintained CRM, however, you can achieve so much. You can address your customers with pinpoint accuracy; especially in these uncertain times, the personal conversation gains a particularly high value. We also notice this in our conversations with our customers every day.

Everyone is insecure.

Good people-to-people relationships provide security and ensure trust.

Social distancing means we won’t have client visits and events for months to come. That’s why you should use new media for more than just team meetings. In our blog post, we show you how: Make virtual customer visits and document them in one go. LOGO offers the LOGO video chat integrated in the CRM. Whether from the home office or gradually back from the office. Ensure a good customer experience and stay in the conversation.

Would you like to learn more about logistics CRM and CX in logistics? Then arrange a virtual visit with me here.