Customer relationships are so integral to the operations of freight procurement today, especially during such a highly competitive time like the COVID-19 era. And as the new year begins, now is the time for shippers to take a step back and assess their customer relationship operations and where improvements can possibly be made. Here are three questions shippers should ask in order to properly gauge their customer success operations for the year ahead.
Are we losing accounts due to late deliveries (poor OTD)?
Late deliveries and poor OTD can easily fracture a customer relationship, so constantly assessing OTD outcomes is a must. This feeds into a parallel question, which is do we have the insights we need to properly identify why OTD targets are not being met and what can be done to fix it? If the answer is no, then companies need to seriously consider swapping their current processes for an infrastructure that provides them with the oversight and data they need.
Which customers cost too much to service?
Balancing customer relationship costs with general financial success metrics can be tough. Therefore, shippers need to look closely at how much it costs to service each client and figure out ways to better optimize their relationship without sacrificing a quality experience. Granted, there will always be fluctuations, but forensic analysis of each customer can give shippers a better understanding of the marketplace and identify potential oddities and sticking points they have perhaps overlooked previously.
Why do some customers cost more than others?
On a related note, it’s important to look not just at which customers cost too much, but also the reasons why. Freight procurement today is littered with hidden fees and other hurdles, so digging deep into which carriers present the best and worst rates for a given route, etc. will not just help boost your company’s profits, but also raise its efficiency and heighten customer satisfaction. This can also help shippers in their future prospecting efforts as well by helping them to build a nuanced understanding of the various factors that shape a given industry’s freight procurement – which in turn can lay the groundwork for better rapport.