Make sure your customer is happy is an excellent mantra for every aspect of a business – and when it comes to supply chain management, customer service needs to be top-of-mind. Ensuring customer satisfaction by getting products where they need to be when they need to be there – is essential for maintaining relationships, building partnerships, and fostering business growth.
So, what sort of “commandments” should you have in mind when it comes to customer service in your supply chain strategy?
Here are a few things to remember:
- KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER. It’s essential you have an open line of communication with your client to understand their unique needs and desires. The better you know your customer, the better the entire relationship will be. Ask the critical questions, so you’ll know their preferences – and can plan accordingly. Get a sense of their busiest times of the year so you can prepare for more orders. Work with them to understand their shipping likes and dislikes; even the smallest tweak to a delivery method that makes for less work in a warehouse or office can have a significant benefit. For example – discuss the right type of commercial packing for your customer’s specific product. That can make a huge difference when it comes to the ultimate goal – a successful, on-time, intact product arrival.
- LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMER’S CONCERNS. It’s vital that you check in with your customers to understand what is working – and what isn’t working. Be proactive when it comes to your relationship. Send out check-ins regularly to see how your service can be improved. If there’s an error or a “kink” in the supply chain, fix it as quickly as possible – then do a deep-dive into how the problem happened to smooth things out for the future. Another thing to remember, track the metrics when it comes to consumer concerns. Record and analyze these problems so you can spot problematic company-wide trends and fix them.
- EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY. If you’re lagging in the technology department, your customer service is likely to suffer. Today, customers demand a higher level of insight when it comes to their supply chain. They’re seeking out analytics, real-time tracking, last-mile updates, and much more. If the tech side of your supply chain is lacking, consider an upgrade. It will provide some significant peace-of-mind on your end and be an attractive proposition for any current or potential customers.
- PARTNER WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE – Finally (and, arguably, most importantly), it’s integral you partner with trusted companies when it comes to your supply chain management. When seeking out partners for those tricky steps along the chain – everything from packaging to pallets and shipping to logistics – it’s vital you seek out companies with these crucial elements:
- Superior technology, to deliver those essential analytics and insights you need
- Their own fast and responsive customer service
- Agility and flexibility to provide support across an array of situations
- Experience working with customers in a wide range of industries
- Reliability and trustworthiness
Again – to effectively serve a client, you need to make the right partnership choices. Do a careful analysis of your potential partners within the supply chain and keep those elements in mind before you make any selections. Don’t skimp on the research or the evaluation at the start of the process.
Looking for one of these trusted partners when it comes to commercial packaging, shipping, and logistics services? See what we can do for you here!