There are about 100,000 freight forwarders that shippers can choose from. Making shippers choose your company over others can be a tough battle. Knowing what your customer wants can be a definitive guide to winning their business.
That may be true for every business but the freight forwarding industry is a special case. Even with the best strategies in place, external factors, including volatile prices, can make it challenging for forwarders to offer consistently attractive services. You probably are dealing with your internal problems but bringing new business all the time is an endless activity.
So what do shippers look for when they wish to employ the services of a freight forwarder? How can you tailor your offering to suit customers’ needs?
If these are your questions too, in the following space you’ll acquire just what you need to know about setting up customer-focused business processes.
Know your customers' needs well
Most shippers have a combination of two demands – safe, timely delivery, and the best price. Customers approaching you may or may not have complete knowledge of moving goods. Your job is to tend to their needs by involving them to the minimum. How can you do that? Facilitate document uploads and approvals via a portal, manage all customer communication centrally, automate shipment alerts, and schedule reports easily with freight management software. By providing real-time updates to your customers, they’re assured their shipment is in reliable hands. A great way to win loyal customers.
Converting potential customers with a differentiating experience
Remember, every customer touchpoint is critical and makes an impact on the business. If you give enough attention to the customer’s first interaction, it can open the door to multiple customers. Quickly responding to quotations is one such door-opening opportunity. Some larger freight forwarders take even days to reply to a customer’s quotation or do not reply at all. All required information on rates, schedules, charges, and documentation must be digitized and handy. It helps to respond quickly to quotations and increase your chances to win potential customers.
Align your marketing and sales functions
You can’t turn every lead into a prospect. But every sales professional can tell you that a cold lead will eventually convert if your approach is right and you try long enough. Forwarders that have detached sales and marketing teams cannot expect to generate leads and, in turn, grow their customer base. A CRM system integrated with a marketing and sales database allows all activities to be in sync and makes everyone in the team accountable. Use KPIs and MIS report to measure your sales and marketing campaign performance and stay on track.
Maintaining relations with current customers
To have a steady inflow of revenue is ideal. But every service requires maintenance. If you want to build long-term relations with your customers, you must be willing to go the extra mile. In a difficult situation for your long-standing customers, your support team should empathize with them while providing the required assistance. Granting discounted rates to your loyal clients can ensure regular business and constant revenue.
Leading your customer to success
Providing your current and potential customers with the best experience is an assured way to develop meaningful and lasting relations. By taking the customer-first approach using freight ERP, you can rise through the ranks and join the most preferred freight forwarders in the world.