Building a unique logistics customer service experience takes more than lower costs and a great customer service team. You need to be unique.
It’s no secret that customers of logistics companies want their providers to eliminate inefficiencies, reduce costs, and implement more technology to gain visibility.
But all this can only go so far. Then it becomes the norm, the expected.
So how can logistics companies keep their customers delighted once all expectations have been met? The answer is building a unique, magical, and consistent logistics customer service experience.
Tap into customers’ emotions, be thoughtful and intentional. Make every person feel special at every point of interaction with the company.
Companies that are able to do this have lower customer acquisition costs, increase repeat buyers, and as a result increase profitability.
Be Remarkable from the Very First Touch
Building a unique experience comes from businesses being intentional, meaningful, and magical from the very first time prospects interact with the brand.
To accomplish this business owners, marketing, and sales teams must deeply understand their customer’s buyer journey.
The buyer’s journey is the process buyer’s go through to become aware of, evaluate, and purchase a new product or service.
Let’s think of the buyer’s journey for the owner of a growing auto parts chain.
• Awareness stage: The owner’s challenge is setting up a supply chain that delivers products to all his stores in a timely manner. So, he does research to educate himself on the process of setting up a cost-effective and responsive supply chain.
• Consideration stage: He evaluates multiple approaches he could use to achieve his goal. Should he use one large transportation firm to deliver to all stores? Or maybe use smaller companies and have them deliver regionally? Which firms are available?
• Decision stage: After all options are on the table, the owner is ready to decide on his strategy and which transportation firms to use.
So how can businesses be remarkable from the first to the last touch? By guiding and helping customers make a well informed decision, in other words, delivering peace of mind.
For this to happen, anyone that interacts with the customer across the buying process should understand where the customer is in their journey and their needs and expectations.
This does not just apply to the department customer service; logistics operations need to ensure each person is well-versed in the ideal customer’s buyer journey.
Remember, customer’s opinions of their experience are formed along every touchpoint. You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. This is why it is so critical to deliver incredible experiences to customers before, during, and after the purchase.
81% of companies with strong capabilities and competencies for delivering an excellent customer experience are outperforming their competition.
Source: Peppers & Rogers Group, Customer Experience Maturity Monitor
From service execution and website usability, to phone messages and social media, every time a prospect (or existing customer) interacts with your company it shapes their perception and decision of whether or not to do business with you.
Build a Magical Company
This might sound unrealistic for a logistics company, but that was also the case for a coffee company. For them, it took believing in creating a unique experience and deep connection with their customers and the rest is now history.
The company in question? Starbucks Coffee.
Starbucks, founded in 1971, was able to surpass the already dominant and established coffeehouse chain Dunkin' Donuts, which was founded more than 20 years prior.
At the core of Starbucks’ success was a shift from the idea of merely selling coffee to instead creating a place where people can experience a good cup of coffee.
Starbucks achieved this paradigm shift by upholding a strong company culture, retaining happy employees, and creating a friendly and welcoming environment.
As of the day of this writing, Starbucks Market Capitalization sits at $85.30 billion while Dunkin' Donuts is at $3.82 billion.
It doesn’t matter what industry your business is in. Ask yourself, how can my company be what customers expect? And once that’s met, how can we surpass those expectations by a factor of 10? The result will be a magical company.
Be Authentic, Meaningful, and Consistent
There is nothing more frustrating and disappointing than a well-founded disillusion. When this happens, what started as a well-intentioned vision can back fire, hurt the business and its reputation.
So how can you ensure you’re providing customer service logistics customers love? By being authentic, meaningful, and consistent.
Be authentic. Have a clear vision of the company and how you’d like it to be perceived by customers. Once the vision has been defined, define its mission and core values. Vision, mission, and core values will serve as the guiding principles on which the company does business, hires, and fires.
Be meaningful. Customers care about services being provided as agreed, being helped, listened to, and understood. So instead of just looking at the bottom line, be meaningful and care about your customers and your customers’ customers.
Avoid meaningless and egocentric approaches in marketing. Customers want to be educated and get value from interactions with the business. They are looking for meaningful and authentic relationships.
Be consistent. Customers expect the same experience every time they interact with the brand regardless of how and where that interaction takes place (website, phone call, social networks, an invoice, etc.).
At the core of consistency, two elements are key: personnel and standard operating procedures. These two elements are critical and one without the other will not yield the consistency customers expect and the magical experience you are trying to deliver.
While the video quality is not the best, the content will surely make up for it. Use it to help make of your business a place where customers find magical, authentic, and consistent experiences.
Don’t worry about your competitors, focus on your customers and everything else will follow. Remember, a great experience keeps them away from Google and your competitors.
Editor’s note: this article was originally published in Feb 2016, but has been updated for relevance and comprehensiveness.