3 ways a TMS should boost your Customer Satisfaction
Hey there, B2B shippers! In the ever-evolving world of shipping, meeting customer expectations has become more crucial than ever. Whether you’re delivering vital components to manufacturers or fulfilling orders for retailers, exceptional customer satisfaction is essential.
You’ve probably heard about the game-changing potential of a Transportation Management System (TMS). But here’s the thing – you may not have a TMS yet, and you’re still wondering how it works its magic.
Well, worry not because I’ve got you covered. For this article, I’ve enlisted the expertise of our product owner Wouter Keizer. He knows all about the challenges shippers like you are facing, and his #1 priority is creating a product that adds value to your supply chain. Improving customer satisfaction is one of the critical factors. Wouter is here to shed light on how a TMS can optimize and streamline your B2B operations and boost customer satisfaction.
We’ll address the perplexity surrounding the TMS’s role in customer satisfaction by spotlighting what we like to call the TMS Power Trio: choice, visibility, and branding. These three amigos work hand in hand to take your customers’ experience to the next level. By delving into each aspect, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive understanding of how a TMS empowers you to meet and exceed your customers’ expectations.
Let’s dive in and discover how a TMS can work magic to make your customers happier!
1. What We Mean By Fulfillment experience
But wait, what are we talking about when we say fulfillment experience? It’s all about the journey your customers go through from the moment they decide to buy something until they finally receive their precious goods. It includes searching Google and finding the product, the ease of ordering, available payment and shipping options, packaging, knowing where the package is at all times, and, of course, getting it delivered on time. The goal is to provide customers with a smooth and satisfactory experience from the moment they decide to make a purchase until they receive the ordered goods.
2. From Checkout to Delivery: the Role of a TMS
So, when does a TMS come into play during the order fulfillment journey? It starts right when your customer hits that “checkout” button online or reaches out to place an order by phone. The TMS will present your customer with the available transportation options (carrier selection, delivery options, shipping speed) – either directly or by extension through your sales agent.
Once the carrier accepts the shipment, the TMS takes care of the shipping documentation and provides status updates throughout the shipping process. It essentially automates and streamlines the communication between you, your carriers, and your customers.
3. Unlocking the TMS Power Trio: Choice, Visibility, and Branding
There are three ways in which a TMS can level up your fulfillment game; by providing choice, visibility, and branding opportunities.
One of the key advantages of implementing a TMS is the ability to offer customers a choice of carriers and delivery options.
It’s great if you can offer customers next-day delivery, but the fastest option isn’t always the best choice. Some customers may prefer to save on shipping costs by selecting a longer transit time. Customers may also choose to pay a little more for a carrier they have good experiences with over selecting the cheapest option that hasn’t proven as reliable. Or perhaps your customers have a delivery window to take into account and need a carrier that delivers during those hours.
You may be considering making pricing arrangements with more carriers to answer your customers’ needs. But more carriers also mean more contacts and systems to communicate with and more prices and service levels to compare. The last thing you want is to complicate the shipping process further.
A TMS allows you to integrate with multiple carriers, enabling you to provide a range of carriers and shipping services, such as next-day delivery, express shipping, or economy options.
You enhance customers’ overall satisfaction by allowing them to select the option that best suits their needs. It’s all about catering to their schedules, budgets, and expectations.
Effective communication and real-time visibility are essential for a positive fulfillment experience. Visibility in the context of a Transportation Management System (TMS) refers to the ability to have real-time access to critical information and insights related to the transportation process.
Components of visibility for the receiver are real-time tracking events, (electronic) shipment documentation and proof of delivery, and exception notifications.
Without a TMS, your logistics department may be dealing with a red-hot phone with all the questions they get from sales and customer service. “Where’s this order?” and “Why hasn’t that order arrived yet?” chief among them. If you work with carriers that don’t have an advanced tracking system (as many road transporters don’t), your logistics team will often draw a blank because the current system for tracking shipments doesn’t give insight into their real-time status.
A TMS provides shippers with robust tracking capabilities and status updates that can be shared with customers. We’ll share a link to an article that gets into the technical nitty-gritty soon. For now, all you need to know is that by proactively informing customers about any delays or issues, businesses can manage expectations and take timely action to resolve any problems.
Branding is a powerful tool for creating a memorable and positive customer experience. While branding may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about logistics and transportation, it profoundly impacts how your customers perceive your business and the overall fulfillment experience.
When it comes to branding, a TMS is your secret weapon for keeping things consistent throughout the entire fulfillment process. From order placement to delivery, you can customize communication templates, such as email notifications and tracking pages, with your company’s logo, colors, and messaging. That way, your customers always know it’s you, building trust and leaving a lasting impression. Branded communications can make each interaction with customers feel more personal and contribute to the overall fulfillment experience.
So, there you have it! A TMS can be a game-changer when it comes to improving customer satisfaction. By offering choice, enhancing visibility, and infusing a bit of personality into your shipping process, you’ll create a fulfillment experience that your customers will genuinely love. This improves customer satisfaction and sets the stage for increased loyalty, positive reviews, and repeat business.