As a college-educated computer scientist, Bastian Späth understands how IT solutions are developed from the ground up. For more than 15 years, he has spent every workday collecting requirements, finding ideas, developing designs, setting up projects and getting them safely across the finish line.
Customer service with a new perspective
What actually makes for good customer service? There are some factors most of us would quickly list: receiving complete, comprehensible information immediately without having to ask for it. After all, as seasoned online shoppers, we experience this kind of helpful communication every time internet merchants update us on the shipping progress of our order. Some even give us ETAs within half an hour. Or they count the stops the delivery person has to make on the way to us. E-commerce specialists believe that better the customer service is, the higher the sales will be. It's a way of thinking that we customers appreciate.
However, the flow of information is often much thinner when shipments are too big for parcels and are transported by freight forwarders. In this case, few sellers proactively message us about upcoming deliveries. Let alone provide precise estimated times of arrival. There's a reason for that: freight forwarders have not had the technical resources to provide that level of service. Their processes and status system are similar, though. The major parcel delivery services place significantly more emphasis on customer service.
Support customers with information
In the day-to-day business of merchants and manufacturers, accurate information is far more attractive than excitement about an upcoming delivery. This is because the transport status determines planning and downstream processes. Especially when a shipment can no longer arrive at the scheduled time. Solutions will have to be sought and alternatives found – an impossible task without solid facts. In these moments, information enables timely risk management and process stability. A freight forwarder that puts its customers' interests first also speaks their language. This makes the freight forwarder a success factor that can back up service promises. If it looks at the customer order, it will instantly know whether the recipient can count on the goods arriving on time.
New business models built on better service
This is an incentive for logistics service providers. When they take their customers' perspective, they reach a new standard of quality. They provide more transparency than competitors and actually have to integrate more stakeholders into a shared IT system. In return, however, they provide services that deliver tangible value. They open up new outsourcing potential for customers in areas such as shipping management or procurement logistics. As fulfillment providers, they can take on additional tasks in the logistics chain and enable reliable planning. They can even monitor and manage the splitting of larger shipments. That guarantees that every single package arrives at the right destination – at the right time: within an agreed half-hour window, not at some random unannounced time.
Are you already looking at your orders from your customers' perspective?