If your third-party logistics team fails to keep up with customer demand, you won’t provide the level of customer satisfaction they need to reach their goals. Delays in communication and problem resolution quickly lead to dissatisfaction, causing client issues and damaging your reputation. Here we look at the impact of slow response times on 3PL customer satisfaction, with tips to improve your communication and performance.
How Slow Response Times Impact Your 3PL Reputation
The quality of 3PL services is judged on delivery times and accuracy. This is the deciding factor because speed and accuracy impact your client’s end users. Poor response times destroy a 3PL’s reputation in the tight-knit logistics community where word of mouth is everything. If you can’t keep up with the demands of your client order volume, you can’t maintain a reputation as a reliable, first-class 3PL.
The Common Reasons Customers Switch 3PLs
Companies seek a new 3PL for the following reasons:
- Unfulfilled promises: Promising delivery windows and not attaining them costs your clients customers.
- Poor communication: Complete transparency with ongoing communication ensures your customers trust you and know what you are doing throughout the final steps of their supply chain.
- Unresponsiveness: Customers want your attention and expect you to respond to all questions and requests to ensure they can meet the needs of their end users.
- Lack of speed: If you are slow to respond and lack the speed and efficiency your clients need throughout the delivery stage, they will find a 3PL that shares their sense of urgency.
All these shortfalls directly impact your client’s end-user experience, reducing customer loyalty and leading to poor customer satisfaction.
Tips to Improve Your 3PL Responsiveness
Your 3PL can boost customer retention by improving these three areas:
1. Switch Focus to Become Customer-Centric
A focus on meeting your client’s needs will keep you in their good books. However, your clients must know that their experience is consistent across your enterprise. This calls for a cultural shift with training at all customer touchpoints so your clients are never disappointed. A customer-centric 3PL is consistent in the following areas:
- All employees share the same sense of urgency when dealing with customer issues
- Everyone understands the importance of ongoing communication and providing regular updates
- Follow-up is essential for every phone call, email, and text without delay
- Information is always available in real-time to track shipments, inventory, customer orders, etc.
- Mistakes are addressed and resolved immediately with enterprise-wide resolutions in place
- Employee onboarding includes and is focused on how to respond to customer concerns to maintain the highest possible level of service at all touchpoints
- Order visibility and service level transparency at your end of the supply chain
2. Provide Ongoing, Transparent Communication
Your job is to improve the efficiency of your customer’s supply chain. Focusing on these competencies requires ongoing communication and transparency at all stages, including:
- Access to order updates in real-time
- Last-mile communication through an easy-to-use customer portal/dashboard
- Real-time inventory for both your clients and their customer ordering systems
- Real-time order shipping for both your clients and their customers
- Updates on unforeseen issues so your clients can proactively inform their customers of possible delays or errors to protect their brand
- Immediate resolutions for any issues you cause for the end user
it is important to highlight the significance of granting access to real-time data via a customer portal. This feature enables customers to address their requests promptly, preventing potential issues from escalating. Your proactive communication ensures your clients are always aware of customer complaints, and your resolutions keep their customers happy.
3. Leverage Fulfillment and Warehousing Technology
Updated technology provides state-of-the-art warehousing tools that streamline the fulfillment process. It provides all the above benefits to your clients and their customers so both remain satisfied. Technology removes inefficiencies in the supply chain, ensuring customers always have what they want without delay.
Communication is streamlined with self-serve automation, helping reduce stress for your team and, more importantly, your clients. You become better at planning and contributing to their goals using real-time monitoring for inventory, order processing, and delivery.
You can keep your technology up to date using the following tips:
- Actively review industry tech updates to look for new opportunities
- Review your tech stack and system at least once a year to look for inefficiencies and shortfalls
- Understand your client’s systems to look for opportunities for integration
- Look for automation opportunities to reduce errors
- Use technology to identify bottlenecks in your fulfillment process
- Evaluate new solutions and test them to ensure they meet client needs
By improving your communication and responsiveness, you can reduce client churn and create opportunities to strengthen cost-saving efficiency. Customer-centric 3PLs rule the fulfillment landscape empowering their clients to succeed.
VeraCore is SaaS order and warehouse management software trusted by top fulfillment companies and 3PLs. Affordable, flexible, easy to use; VeraCore is everything you need to keep clients happy and run a lean operation.
With VeraCore, you can grow your business and handle any challenge with ease. Rules-based automation enables you to control all aspects of your warehouse operation and satisfy each of your clients’ unique requirements.
Hundreds of fulfillment service providers and 10,000+ fulfillment clients place VeraCore at the “core” of their business to get the job done right, for over 40 years.