Whether your customer is the end consumer or B2B buyer, supply chain and customer service performance expectations are converging. Providing an excellent customer experience (CX) requires super-expedited and sometimes free delivery. E-commerce customers increasingly choose to pay for same-day delivery, according to a DHL survey. Here at Inbound Logistics, we call that supply chain impatience and it is spreading to B2B.
Becoming a customer experience leader requires that you focus on a few strategies.
First, and most important, consider the customer service implications of your business process as far back from the demand point as possible–a demand-driven customer experience, if you will. Managing what customers consider failures becomes more costly the closer you get to the customer.
Second, view customer service as a competitive differentiator. Instill a company-wide mission of playing to win, and view great customer service as a goal to beat your competitors. This approach is especially important when dealing with new entrants in your market. Elevating the customer experience to competitive differentiator status adds importance beyond “just” pleasing the customer.
Third, recognize that even unsophisticated customers not plugged into IoT, end-to-end global visibility solutions, and real-time execution still expect you to fulfill their expectations. You have to offer all these solutions even if others don’t. And transportation, logistics, and supply chain plays an increasingly pivotal role in providing this high-level customer experience.
Fourth, invest in technology but don’t forget the human touch. The technology and people duopoly does cost more, but many companies are beginning to realize that focusing solely on what’s hot in IT puts them at the same level as competitors who are only dazzled by the latest techno solutions. Investing in people and providing great CX gives you the edge.
Companies measuring customer experience performance report that, even though they are focusing on delivering a great customer experience, performance metrics are stagnant or even down in some cases. Why? Expectations are outstripping logistics and supply chain realities. Whether you serve e-commerce, retail, BTB, industrial, or manufacturing, recognize that there is a person at the demand point–your customer–whose expectations for superior customer service will only grow more stringent.
Now is the time to meld CX leadership into your current leading supply chain performance.
Find the original version of this article on Inbound Logistics here.