The first step toward creating a sustainable business over time is to build a loyal customer base through a great customer service and buying experience. This is related to all kind of industries, and the logistics and supply chain sector is no exception.
Last mile deliveries are the spearhead of the entire logistics process and have an important influence on the customer perspective of the company. This is something that applies even if it’s not your own transportation service.
A report from Industry Week shows that “16% of consumers would take their business elsewhere if they have even one negative delivery experience”.
The problem is the common misconception of managers who think they need to focus their efforts on creating a flawless customer experience and revolve their business around customer expectations. That is indeed very important, but before you can even think about customer loyalty, you must develop the core values in the organization to drive your employees to be the best they can be.
In other words, if your company manages to put employees at the center of an actionable customer-centric philosophy, the company values will be reflected in their customer-facing activities.
The last mile delivery experience
In most logistic processes that rely on delivery, the shipped package/delivered service represents the most direct touch point and connection with the customer. This may be true, especially in e-commerce, but is also widely present in every industry that uses last mile delivery to fulfil its value proposition.
According to Sebastian Ojeda, co-founder and CEO of Beetrack, “Home deliveries are the only physical touchpoints between an e-commerce company and its customer. This is a unique opportunity to make a difference.”
The driver/delivery person plays an ever-growing role that can affect the bottom line. They are the direct contact between the customer who receives an order and the organization, and become a central point in customer satisfaction.
Because of this, logistics managers are looking for 3PL providers or external carrier services as a way to better manage their time and resources, because these companies usually offer a proven customer service in last mile deliveries
A 3PL/external carrier could be a good fit for companies looking to optimize their efforts in the distribution of their products and guarantee an optimal customer service from the driver/delivery person. Learn why and what to measure here.
Why are engaged employees a “must” for your company?
If you are not planning to externalize your delivery service, or you already work with your own transportation fleet, it is important to understand why engaged employees are the ground on which to create a loyal customer base.
Your fleet drivers are customer-facing personnel, responsible for achieving customer success and ultimately increasing customer loyalty. There are three elements that explain why increasing employee engagement affects overall customer satisfaction:
Better customer service. A study from PNC Bank Corp states that “knowledgeable and attentive employees account for 80% of the reasons consumers feel satisfied.”
Today a brand’s perception and reputation depend on the quality of the service its people can achieve. Because of this, managers need to communicate and show the individual contribution of each employee related to the success of the business. By building a culture of recognition among employees, companies can create a greater level of loyalty and trust, instilling a sense of pride in the service they provide.
A study by Harvard Business School found that every 1% increase in staff loyalty resulted in a 0.5% increase in customer loyalty.
Better brand experience. Companies that understand the importance of employee engagement are aware of three main things:
1. Why they do what they do;
2. How this affects every decision;
3. What the company stands for.
From these points, managers can build the core concept of the brand experience that employees can apply in their everyday work.
Managers must connect the internal and external perspectives of the brand to create a single concept aligned with employees and customers.
Studies have shown that engaged employees with a clear knowledge of what the brand stands for become one of the most important promoters of the company. Employees in last mile deliveries are the only physical touchpoint. Their interactions are always a critical moment for developing lasting relationships.
Employees strengths are your strengths. Research by Gallup has found that employees who know and use their strengths are more engaged with the company, perform better and are less likely to leave the company.
Gallup Research results show it is far more effective to spend resources in improving employee strengths than to work to overcome their weaknesses. It is well known that engaged employees are more productive, profitable and enjoy a better quality of life.
The above study also shows that helping employees to find their strengths increases their productivity by 7.8%, and teams that focus on actively exploiting those strengths are 12.5% more productive. As customers become more demanding, and finding a different supplier is easier in a world full of information, managers should focus on developing their human capital just as much as their bottom line.
Building your business holistically
In an overly competitive industry like the logistics and supply-chain markets, it is harder to maintain and increase a loyal customer base in a globally connected world. Without an amazing staff to create an incredible customer experience, it is very hard for businesses to endure over time. As companies have focused their efforts on the customer journey, they have lost sight of how their employees affect critical areas of the organization.
Create a work culture that engages your delivery personnel from day one and then focus your efforts on developing loyalty among your customers. A remarkable customer experience is closely associated with a remarkable employee experience.
Read more here: https://www.beetrack.com/en/blog
About the author
Matias Honorato works in the growth marketing department at Beetrack, a consultancy providing support to logistics clients in a bid to improve their delivery management.
May 25, 2016