Customer Service expectations have never been higher

We live in a time where nothing is ever quick enough. We want faster computers, faster service, and quicker responses from everyone for everything. We expect when we click the “proceed with payment” button on our computer that the doorbell should immediately be ringing with the products we ordered.

In the not too distant past, supply chain management and logistics were focused solely on getting products into customers’ hands. But today’s supply chains have become much more extended, intertwined, and complex.

Customers now expect a high-quality product to land on their doorstep, timely communication about when that will happen, and faster delivery times. This makes the customer experience a major driver of business growth.

A few eCommerce companies have set the bar so high that others in the space are struggling to compete. But meeting customer expectations is a must in a competitive industry. Some of the most common expectations among consumers include:

  • Dependability — Customers want a dependable customer experience. In other words, how your company responds to a customer and fulfils their order should be the same each time. 
  • Knowledge — Customers expect the companies they buy from to have a high level of knowledge about the products they sell so that they can provide efficient and effective support when it is needed. 
  • Empathy — The customer isn’t necessarily always right. But a successful business will always be courteous and attentive to a consumer who has a concern. They will take the time to understand the issue and explain what is happening.

Why Customer Service in the supply chain is key

Unless you handle every part of order fulfilment in-house, working with a logistics provider that values customer service is vital. Quality customer services throughout the supply chain can produce on-time delivery, transportation savings, happy customers, and peace of mind. On the other hand, poor customer service and communication in logistics can result in increased costs and damaged customer relationships.

According to a recent reports, 98% of logistics companies claim that customer service is an essential part of their overall business strategy. At the same time, 55% say that keeping up with customer service around the clock is one of their biggest challenges.

How Customer Service can improve supply chain management

There’s nothing simple about managing any part of the supply chain. But you can leverage customer service to enhance your company’s supply chain management in several ways.

1. Train Customer Services Reps

You can’t expect employees to read your mind when it comes to customer service expectations. Customer service reps (CSRs) should be trained to find a customer’s particular pain points and then offer the best possible solutions.

2. Create a Consistent Experience

No matter what business partners you use or how many locations you have worldwide, there should be a consistent experience for customers. You can achieve this by creating a set of standards for your brand that must be followed internally and externally.

3. Integrate Customer Service With Order Systems

Customer service reps should be able to access order and delivery systems to help customers with fulfilment issues. Many customers are likely to call with issues related to delivery times, so this can help CSRs resolve them and increase customer satisfaction.

4. Make It Easy to Contact You

To deliver the best customer experience possible, it’s vital that you provide multiple ways to contact your business. Not every customer wants to pick up the phone, and some are more comfortable with chat or email. Clients should be able to choose the way the contact you and reach someone who has the authority to solve their issues, not just give canned responses.

Tips to improve your customer experience

Caring about your customer’s experience isn’t enough in today’s competitive market. You have to back up your commitment to customer service with the right processes and solutions that deliver results. Here are some of the ways your supply chain business can improve the customer experience.

1. Integrate Your Logistics System

It’s challenging to remain competitive and provide a positive experience if your business’s systems are still separate. A better solution is to integrate your logistics system by implementing something like a warehouse management system (WMS). This type of system will handle everything, such as customer contacts, order fulfilment, inventory, shipping, finance, and more.

2. Be More Adaptable

Companies can better meet the challenges of today’s supply chain by being more adaptable. This means a logistics company might have relationships with several suppliers and shippers. Doing this helps ensure promises to customers are kept no what the external conditions may be.

3. Provide Complete Transparency

By changing your tracking system to something like barcodes or RFID tags, you provide complete transparency throughout the supply chain. Customers can see what items are in stock and track their orders through the fulfilment process, from packing to shipping to delivery.

4. Leverage Automation Solutions

Automation technology makes providing a better customer experience seamless because it reduces errors, speeds up the order fulfilment process, and makes everything more transparent.

5. Get Buy-In from All Employees

A commitment to customer service should be organisation-wide. It won’t work if only top-level management makes a pledge. Companies should provide continuous training and incentives to staff to help them internalise why the customer experience is a priority.

Your business can automate things like picking and packing. When combined with RFID tags and mobile solutions, you will be able to quickly optimise your processes.

Supply chain management is directly related to customer service. If your business is committed to an amazing customer experience and has the solutions in place to provide it, it can beat the competition, lower costs, and achieve better overall results. 

Keeping customers happy is the key to success

A bad review today is so much worse than it was even just five or ten years ago. Thanks to social media, we are all connected. This means that a bad review doesn’t just sit on a website like Yelp anymore: It can be broadcast to hundreds or thousands of potential customers instantly, with the click of a button—and this can have a major impact on your ability to acquire and retain customers.

By focusing on improving the right technology and processes, you can ensure that both your direct and retail customers stay happy and spending money—with you.

About us:

Speak to one of our team to understand how Clarus’ WMS system can cost effectively support best practice warehouse management processes, better customer service and highly efficient working for a range of warehouse operations with pay per month options and no IT infrastructure needed.

Our platform can scale from a one user, small depot system to a 100’s of user distribution centre operation. The ClarusWMS platform will cost effectively scale with your business based on demand.

ClarusWMS is a UK based supplier of warehouse management solutions with a wealth of industry experience in third party logistics, wholesale / retail distribution, online fulfilment and manufacturing warehousing.