A positive guest experience can lead to repeat purchases, word-of-mouth advertising for free through social media, brand value, access to new customers, and much more. Unfortunately, statistics are not on the side of shippers. Positive experiences are great, but they do not make viral posts. Adverse events and negative experiences pour into social media and in the minds of would-be shoppers. Society loves a lousy story, especially when someone else is to blame. Now, it is true that the carrier could be at fault, but customers do not care about the carrier. Customers are going to blame shippers. The balance between customer experience and freight is tightknit, and shippers that do not focus on the customer experience will risk their futures. As a result, shippers need to understand why manual management of the customer experience is a terrible idea, how a transportation management system (TMS) can build customer experiences, and a few tips for ensuring a TMS enables better freight management and happier customers.
Why Manual Management of Customer Experience and Freight Leads to Upset
Manual management of the customer experience is for one-on-one interactions within brick-and-mortar stores. Let’s get that out of the way. Today’s supply chain professionals are few, and the talent shortage is only expected to get worse. Supply chain leaders have enough on their plates, but even in the omnichannel supply chain, i.e., “inclusive of brick-and-mortar stores,” shippers must be mindful of how their interactions contribute to the customer experience and freight deliveries that exceed expectations. Consider this, according to Nicole Blanckenberg of Business2Community,
“If you’re in the e-commerce game, no matter how successful you are, you’re going to have to deal with cart abandonment. As much as an average of 75% of online shoppers will abandon their purchases before checking out, with some case studies reporting that only 2.86% of online store visits will convert into purchases.”
Most often, abandoned carts are the result of unforeseen charges, extensive delivery windows, or only a random ad that rolls across the screen. The risk for abandonment is omnipresent and omnipotent, so shippers need a faster, better way to beat the competition.
A TMS Steamrolls All Management Activities
The use of a TMS combines all logistics and management activities into a single platform for freight shipping management. While standard TMS platforms of the early 2000s were dedicated solely to freight management, a modern TMS goes much further. It leverages real-time data, reporting, and artificial intelligence to give shippers a hand in managing freight. Since they spend less time working around the TMS, allowing it to function on its own, they can move more product and focus on their actual work. This has a natural implication for better customer experiences and freight cost reductions, lowering the risk of delays, and meeting any demand.
How to Apply a TMS to Boost Customer Service
While implementing a TMS can boost efficiency and empower better customer experiences, it still requires a few things of shippers. Shippers that wish to apply an advanced TMS to build better experiences should follow these simple steps:
- Integrate the TMS with existing systems.
- Give customers the power of choice, using APIs to automate data transfers.
- Keep the whole supply chain informed with dashboards and automatic reporting.
- Lean on the TMS for all requests and customer service needs.
- Keep overhead IT costs under control with a SaaS-based TMS.
- Consider the value-added services included with the subscription that works to improve productivity and cost control further.
- Delegate responsibilities, allowing AI-guided algorithms to better plan resource management.
- Let customers query the TMS via an API from the online customer portal for returns management, shipping costs, and more, reducing the need to “speak to a real person” wherever possible.
A Guide to Maximize the Use of a TMS
Implement a Newer, Effective TMS Now
Shippers must move more freight faster to stay competitive. The e-commerce behemoths and big-box retailers are looking for ways to push the small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) into retreat, and the best way to stand apart lies in offering a better customer experience and freight spend control with a TMS. Shippers must follow the steps to using a TMS to increase efficiency, letting shippers focus on tasks that will expand and build on customer experiences and improve service levels simultaneously. Get started using a TMS by requesting a demo of the Cerasis Rater TMS today.