As all logistics professionals know, problem solving is a big part of the job. My clients are mostly small or medium sized firms working with minimal staffs, so I frequently assist them in resolving service issues. I have shared my thoughts about customer service in previous posts. AI is adding a new way of interacting with supply chain partners and can be an efficient way to transmit info. However, for me, transmitting info is not the issue. Ultimately, clients of LSPs need someone to take responsibility and actually solve the problem without passing the buck.
We engage with a variety of providers including freight forwarders, carriers, integrators, and customs brokers. Most have automated systems for efficiency and cost control purposes. When looking for a status update or answer to a simple question these systems are fine. Self service can be frustrating, though, when the problem is not easily described, and is of no use for more complex issues. Information is easier to get than action.
The ability/authority to solve problems is what defines great customer service. Reaching a human being in customer service requires patience and many times that person is simply reading from a script. If I haven’t been able to solve the problem on-line then I need someone with the ability and authority to resolve the issue.
LSPs, don’t force your clients to dump problems on their account rep or e mail the CEO. A few key people in customer service roles with the authority to fix problems on the spot will earn you a lot of customer loyalty.