Logistics and customer service go hand-in-hand. After all, what is logistics but the art of delivering happiness to the billions of people who need to buy things? While most of the consumer focus on logistics is on the last mile from store to door, anyone who’s worked with the logistics industry knows that’s only the tip of the iceberg. But you cannot look at the entire supply chain without thinking about customer satisfaction, nor can you serve customers effectively without understanding each link in the chain.
In this article, I’d like to explore the importance of customer satisfaction and the role logistics plays in it. Whether or not you work in the logistics and supply chain industries, chances are you still rely on them to build your brand and business. We’ll then also take a look at a few strategies to improve customer satisfaction to keep the wheels that deliver happiness turning.
Why Customer Satisfaction Matters
The economy thrives on supply and demand. As a business leader, you’re the supplier who does their best to fulfill their customers’ demands. If you satisfy your customers, they’re more likely to keep doing business with you. Do this well and they’ll start singing your praises to all their friends, giving your brand word-of-mouth marketing and a reputation for being great at what you do.
However, if you consistently upset your customers with broken promises, faulty goods, poor communication, and a lack of concern for fixing problems, the opposite is true: expect your clientele to eventually dry up, especially if there are competitors who perform even 5% better than you.
Whether you’re an online business or a brick-and-mortar one, keeping your customers happy is crucial to keeping your doors open and lights on.
How to Improve Customer Satisfaction
Even if you’re doing a great job keeping your customers happy, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to customer service. Here are a few of our favorite strategies:
Set Clear, Realistic, and Transparent Expectations
It’s bad not to have any clear expectations for the relationship between your business and customers. It’s even worse to have expectations, but then not follow through with them, breaking customer trust and losing face with them and everyone they know. Some of these include knowing how fast to expect response times on emails or callbacks, cut-off times for order fulfillment, payment processes, and other service-level agreements.
With that in mind, be sure to set clear, reasonable expectations. This is especially important if you offer delivery and other services and what customers can expect if there are any delays, wrong orders, or goods damaged during transit.
Communicate and Address Issues Effectively and Promptly
Problems are a natural part of life, and business is no exception. Paired with clear expectations, be sure to address any issues that arise as quickly and effectively as you can. You can do this by having support staff who are patient and eager to help customers, a generous refund or replacement policy, and accessibility for customers to reach your business if they need to.
No one likes to be on hold or forced to talk to a machine. Instead, strive to solve problems fast, and by doing so, you might turn an angry customer into a pleasantly surprised (and happy) one.
Offer Personalized Service
Though the world doesn’t spin for any one person, nothing leaves a lasting impression like personalized service that makes the customer feel like royalty. Though you don’t need to pull out all the stops, simple things like listening and implementing useful feedback, solving problems, answering questions, and rewarding loyalty can make a huge difference in converting a one-time shopper into a returning customer.
If you’re an ecommerce store, you can also send follow-up emails after purchase to check in about a recent purchase. For instance, if you sell phones, a follow-up asking how they like it, if they need help, or are looking for new accessories not only provides helpful resources but more chances to build a relationship with your customers.
Encourage a Customer Service Culture
Regardless of what role anyone on your team plays, everyone in your business is a part of customer service. From creating the product to packing it up and shipping it, from answering phones to handling payroll, everything your business does is to provide something for other people. With customers (and their money) being the lifeblood of your business, it makes sense to educate all your staff on customer service skills while recognizing and rewarding great service when it happens.
This also has some internal benefits too. Because employees are just as human as customers, customer service skills translate to better communication overall, encouraging your team to listen more effectively, speak more clearly, and incentivize mutual problem-solving without any bruised egos.
Get Feedback From Customers and Employees
Similarly, if you’re a business owner or leader in your organization, gathering feedback from both your customers and employees is a smart habit to get into. While not every piece of feedback is worth its weight in gold, the patterns you’ll notice as you collect opinions from those who interact with your business within and without can help shape culture, services, and address long-standing issues that might’ve otherwise gone unnoticed.
This is especially true if your business hasn’t changed much about its processes in years and “we’ve always done it this way” has become the excuse for resisting change. Instead, gather feedback through anonymous surveys or finding ways to track and address issues to not only solve problems, but to demonstrate you care enough to fix them.
Make Your Customers Happier with UCanTrade
Whether it’s listening to your customers to providing excellent, personalized service, keeping the people you serve happy is one of the best long-term strategies for your business. For us, we’re dedicated to providing top-quality logistics solutions to our partners because by keeping you happy, you can then keep your own customers happy with faster delivery times, lower shipping costs, and flexible warehousing options that enable you to focus on growing your business.
If you’d like to learn more, reach out to the helpful customer service experts at UCanTrade and we’d be happy to show you ways to improve your own customer experience.