Customer service in shipping and logistics is vital. It is, after all, a service industry. There are a thousand things that can go wrong in a shipment and at some point SOMETHING will. It is important that when this happens, the 3PL company is able to keep everyone happy and resolve the issue. There are three key factors that will impact the level customer service offered by a 3PL: communication, industry experience, and carrier relations.
Communication plays the biggest role in customer service in shipping and logistics. A 3PL can be doing everything right and solving all the problems. However, if they are keeping the shipper and carrier in the dark then there is going to be some issues.
The supply chain is complex and requires constant communication and updates between all parties involved. If one person decided to stop doing their job and not communicate, then things start to break down.
Partnering with a 3PL that has experience in your industry is important for many reasons, many of which boil down to customer service. Knowing the procedures of the industry and having the right processes in place will always result in a better service.
Many 3PL’s boast about how many carriers they are partnered with but having strong relations is what results in great customer service. A strong relation between a 3PL and the selected carrier means greater understandings and communication in place for when something goes wrong.
For the shipper, the responsibility for the shipment falls entirely on the 3PL. If the 3PL doesn’t have a strong relation with the carrier then they can’t promise a good customer service.
Key Steps for Customer Service in Shipping and Logistics
Customer service is important to have 24/7, around the clock. However, there are 3 points in the shipping processes that customer service is an absolute must since they impact so many other aspects of the shipping. Those three steps are: setting up the order, during the delivery, and evaluation.
1. Setting up the Order
Unless there is an established process in place, then setting up the order requires great customer service. It is on the 3PL to ask the right questions, communicate any potential issues, and ensure that the freight is in good hands.
2. During Delivery
The level of communication during the delivery should be determined by the shipper. If they want hourly updates then it’s on the 3PL to provide. If they only want to know if something goes wrong, then once again, it’s on the 3PL to provide. No matter what level the shipper wants, the 3PL should be in constant contact with the driver so that if anything goes wrong they can act immediately.
A 3PL company should aim to showcase their customer service during every evaluation or review. There should be some monthly, quarterly, or yearly meeting set up between the 3PL and shipper to go over their business and find improvements. During this meeting the 3PL should be able to showcase important KPI’s and offer solutions. Doing this will result in aligned goals and better customer service.
Customer service in shipping and logistics is very important. It basically determines how well the partnered 3PL will be working with both the shipper and its own carriers. As a shipper, you want to ensure that any 3PL you work with has great customer service. You can do this by looking at their testimonials, customer reviews, and more.
HTL Freight is committed to providing the best service on every shipment that we touch. We know that each order is important and that everyone deserves to be up to date on the order. To see if HTL Freight is a good match for your organization reach out and contact us. Additionally, you can get started today by requesting a quote.