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Maintaining long term customer relationships in a cost driven industry through customer service levels

shutterstock_90147424In a recent article compiled through marketing surveys and statistics, columnist Steve Olenski outlined three tips to improving your overall customer service. (Customer Service 101,, March 14th 2016) Can these tips be applied to any industry? I believe so. They are basic fundamental principles of integrity, genuineness, honesty and appreciation that if applied and portrayed correctly can have major impacts on customer retention and business development.

A recent survey found that nearly $41 billion dollars in revenue is lost in the U.S alone each year by companies not putting “their customers first”. Another interesting study showed that 97 percent of North American business’s list customer service as the foremost critical factor in deciding which company/service provider to choose and stay loyal to, the same study also noted that expectations in North America are increasing drastically about what define “GREAT” customer service. (Customer Service 101,, March 14th 2016) I think we can all agree to that statement no matter what industry we are in.

With this in mind here are Steve Olenski’s three tips you can start doing today to win over your customers; whether meeting in person, speaking on the phone or engaging online. (Customer Service 101,, March 14th 2016)

1 – Show your customers you value their time.

In an age of instantaneous information time is money so don’t waste your customers, value it.
This may mean implementing online user friendly web based services, customers want to click a button and receiver the information they need, not wait on hold or in a queue to talk live to someone.

2 – Be Responsive.

The biggest let down with customer service experiences is poor response time. Respond to customers right away, even if its just acknowledgement letting them know you received and are working on what they have requested. Don’t let hours go by without reaching out.

Rapid Response times mean customers can get their questions answered, needs fulfilled or problems solved so they can move on with their to-do list. Helping them cross something off that list goes along way, and when a response comes on a weekend or evening you have the opportunity to “wow” the customer unexpectedly.

3 – Be Friendly, personable and most importantly Genuine and Authentic.

Simple but truly affective! Surveys show that even when not getting the answers they want customers provide positive feedback toward customer service when the person they speak to is pleasant, helpful and genuine in their care and concern. This authentic approach builds trust to maintain long term relationships.

While these techniques’ may seem small, they really do make a big impression when applied genuinely. Along with addressing clients by name, sending a personal thank you and remembering and relaying small details about them personally will win them over and keep them as loyal long term customers. (Customer Service 101,, March 14th 2016)

Why using a 3PL, is an advantage

third party logisticsAs companies look to the future, more and more of them are realizing the benefits to be gained by outsourcing their supply chain management. The integration of a third party logistics provider or 3PL allows companies to leverage a large network of resources to develop an all in one solution for assembly, packaging, warehousing, and distribution.

3PLs allow for each step in the supply chain can be executed in the most efficient, cost effective way. 3PLs can leverage relationships and volume discounts, resulting in lower overhead and the fastest possible service, all things unavailable with an in-house logistics team.

Today companies are always chasing to keep up with the 30 second attention span, rapidly-evolving, customer-centric environment in which they operate in. Even knowing what technology is needed can be challenging for supply chain leaders; with much of the industry blind to the future ROI. Moving forward with the expectations that what has worked for a business in the past, will keep working in the future, has paved the road to the future with the ashes of obsolete companies… don’t see many people rent a movie from Blockbuster.

The old regime is being replaced by a new level of demands on cost, service, and quality. A benefit of using a 3PL provider is the ability to scale space, labor, and transportation according to inventory needs. Businesses with seasonal periods can enjoy stress free transitions between industry ups and downs, having the ability to utilize more space and resources when needed.

To keep your company on the right track the integration of a 3PLs knowledge of industry best practices, will create fortified lines of communication keeping you up to date with the latest developments in technology. 3PL software is capable of advanced reporting, inventory management, and provides visibility to monitor the entire process. 3PL experts employ Just in Time practices to ensure the correct amount of inventory is shipped when and where you need it.

In my personal experience I have seen the 3PL ecosystem comprised of a mixture of both senior experience and youthful innovation, leveraging each other’s skill sets and knowledge. This all culminating in a progressive platform to help maximize profits, reduce wait times, and improve customer service. Allowing your business to grow for years to come, by providing the resources to streamline your supply chain, reduce inefficiency, and the technology that ensures your goods arrive when and where you need them.

Utilize a Logistics Management Specialist to Increase Your Profits

Your company’s primary business goal is to increase your profits. To this end, you take many steps every quarter to create a positive impact on your bottom line. Many profit increasing measures are fleeting, only benefiting you for a few weeks or months. Short-term actions are great for getting your business productivity moving in the right direction. However, you must focus on long-term strategies order to achieve sustained business growth for your company. To this end, building a relationship with a logistic management specialist is a step that you must take. Continue reading

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