Why CX is key to logistics professionals

Despite the competition, logistics companies who create a better CX can gain a significant advantage in the competitive marketplace.
7 September 2018

Don’t think CX has a role to play in logistics? Think again. Source: Shutterstock

Since the beginning of time, logistics has played a critical role in the world of commerce. With globalization, logistics took another giant leap, becoming the enabler of international business.

Today, with e-commerce gaining traction in even the most remote part of the world, logistics is set to leapfrog into a new era of growth and success.

In fact, according to research by Transparency Market Research (TMR), the global logistics market will be worth US$15.5 trillion with 92.1 billion tonnes of goods being handled by 2023.

And while the prospects for the logistics industry are great, logistics professionals are also aware of the intense competition in the industry.

If you talk to an industry professional, you’ll realize that margins are not only wafer thin, but the focus on improving relationships with customers is taking center stage because perfect substitutes are easy to find.

A freight forwarder selling you space on a shipping container, for example, is competing with dozens of other companies who’re all fighting for the same customer, waiting to strike a deal.

The truth is, now more than ever before, customer experience (CX) is becoming more and more important for logistics professionals and they need to make sure they take steps to win over customers, at every opportunity they get — that’s going to be a key differentiator in the coming future.

Let’s look at a traditional logistics operation to understand how CX can be improved:

Sales teams sell space on shipping containers over the phone based on the weight and volume of a consignment. Once the sale is made, details need to be passed on to the pricing team to provide an estimate. The pricing team then needs to provide an estimate to the sales team that must be sent over to the client.

The client must then review and make sense of the estimate and approve it. The sales them must then pass on the details to the operations executives who need to generate additional documents to ensure that the right weight and volume of consignments are loaded onto the ship — and differences, if any, are accounted for appropriately and charged accordingly.

Next, the items might need to be inspected to process the customs clearance documents at the origin and the destination ports, insured, invoiced, and so on.

Once on the ship, the freight forwarder needs to check with the shipping carrier about when the consignment is expected to reach the port and inform the client so they can make appropriate arrangements to clear customs at the destination port, cart the goods from the container to a truck, and deliver to the warehouse.

In this scenario, logistics professionals interacted with the customer four times. Each of those, if handled proactively, can help create a better CX.

For companies that are willing to take the plunge, investing in technology can significantly help improve the CX for customers — without too much effort. Whether it is robotic process automation or artificial intelligence, there’s always room for technology to transform the CX in the logistics business.