Now, this is very easy to understand if we think of web companies that have a business model based on delivery, such as Amazon and Ali Express, and that don’t manufacture what they sell. But, what about firms that have to manage warehouses filled with their own products? Or companies that also have to deliver their products to customers?
First of all, we must know what customers are demanding from logistics services. According to a ComScore and UPS study, “customers desire for flexible shipping led to 44% of shoppers’ abandoned carts due to unsatisfactory estimated delivery times — a sharp increase over 2012. It is clear that shipping is driving consumer decision making leading retailers having to explore new ways to leverage logistics for multi-channel success.” The survey also adds that consumers are demanding the possibility to select delivery dates and times, and even reroute packages based on personal preferences.
In this way, customization and process flexibility are essential challenges of modern logistics management, and because of that, these two attributes should be present in every logistic planning. Besides, companies should consider that on-time delivery and careful product handling are logistics bases, so modern customer satisfaction strategies should start from this point up.
Several companies and consultants are using the green element as a way to improve customer experience and to invite them to get involved in the process to help environmental sustainability.
For example, successful recycling programs have been implemented by companies such as Eastman Kodak and Hewlett-Packard, as a part of their logistics strategies. According to Inbound Logistics, “these initiatives reduce the amount of waste fed into the supply chain and the landfills while lowering operating costs. The companies have been able to recover their costs from areas such as raw material and packaging procurement, manufacturing, waste disposal and regulatory compliance.”
Thanks to Internet, off-store buying has never been so easy. So, make your logistics processes and management easier, not only for your customer but for your team too, and for you too.
“Think about your supply chain and how you can improve your customer’s experience to mirror what you expect in a purchase,” consultant Frank Castiglia says. “Do you have inventory available, and how quickly can you ship the goods or provide the services? Did you provide a commitment on your customer’s order, and do they get automatic updates on the delivery? Keep it fast and simple,” he adds.
“A supply chain can provide excellent performance that exceeds expectations – Mr. Castiglia stands. “Understanding what the customer expects is critical in aligning affordable performance and increasing satisfaction. Gap analysis can provide a very helpful tool in this alignment process. The larger and more critical the gap, the larger the focus should be on closing it.”
As buying goods via Internet retailers is an increasing global trend, so is the return of products by customers who didn’t get what they expected. This process of delivering the product from the client black to the seller is another form of logistics systems – called reverse logistics – which is also an essential ingredient of the customer satisfaction formula.
Inbound Logistics stands that “the system works best when retailers, vendors, and logistics companies work together to reduce the percentage of returned merchandise and improve the return system flow.” How to achieve this? “Logistics companies perform an audit for retailers before the freight is released from the warehouse. As part of the audit, a retail representative meets the shipment at delivery to make sure the inventory is accurate before it is unloaded. Conducting spot audits on both ends of the shipment can reduce discrepancies and greatly reduce claims.”
How is your logistics management contributing to customer satisfaction? Is it an essential element of the customer satisfaction strategy? How does it work in your market? We invite you to share your opinion.