Customer experience (CX) can be defined as any interaction that your organization has with your customer, and it’s becoming top of mind within the C-suite at most businesses. In fact, Walker Information states that customer experience will overtake price and product as key brand differentiators by 2020 and according to Capgemini, 80% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.
As competition rises due to new entrants to the market, new technologies and changes in how customers buy, transportation companies are starting to rethink their go-to-market strategy, including a better understanding of what matters most to today’s buyer. Focusing less on price and product and more on the customer experience will differentiate companies from their competitors and help them stay ahead.
Here are eight simple steps transportation companies can take to improve their customer experience.
1. Personalize Your Messaging
Customer expectations are evolving. Even in the B2B world, every customer and prospect has specific needs. So why do so many companies treat everyone the same? Giving customers the information they want to see will differentiate your company as one that cares about the needs of your prospects and customers. The more you attempt to understand their unique situation, the more trustworthy you are to the buyer, and the more engaged they become.
An easy way to personalize your message without writing one-on-one content is to leverage marketing automation software such as HubSpot. This tool will allow you to automate personalized messaging through email workflows based on how a customer or prospect interacts with you. Perhaps they viewed a certain page on your website or clicked on a call-to-action. Maybe they submitted a form.
2. Keep Your Website up to Date
The communication customers have with your business plays a significant role in contributing to the overall customer experience. Part of that communication is your website, and in most cases, it is your customer's first impression of your organization. Having a website that is easy to use and clearly communicates the information your customer is looking for is essential to creating a positive customer experience. For example, imagine visiting a website that takes forever to load and is a disaster to navigate through. This type of engagement creates a negative experience. A few things to pay attention to when it comes to keeping your website up to date include:
- Site load time: A slow load time on your site can result in a negative user experience. Slow load times can not only be frustrating for your users, but it can decrease your ranking on Google and cause your site to be listed lower on a search results page.
- Ease of use: Make sure the pages on your website are as clean and organized as possible, and keep them updated with current information. This will let your users access the information they need as easily as possible and improve their customer experience.
- Mobile optimized: A report conducted by BrightEdge stated that 57% of all internet traffic comes from smartphones and tablets. That being said, making sure your website is optimized for mobile devices is critical. What’s more, Google’s algorithm will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank the pages from that site.
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3. Provide Valuable Content
In order to capture the attention of your prospects and customers and keep them engaged, you must make an effort to provide them with updated and relevant content. Not only can this improve their customer experience, but it will also help your organization build credibility and authority as well. Some ways to provide valuable content for your customers and prospects include:
- Provide targeted content: The first step in creating targeted content is to identify who your customers are. This can be done by creating buyer personas which are detailed descriptions of your target customers. Creating these personas will allow you to tailor your content based on their unique situations and needs.
- Provide incentives: Providing offers or incentives for your customers is a good way to showcase your expertise and establish you as a leader in the field and motivate customers to take action. Some of these offers can include ebooks, discounts or whitepapers.
- Be mindful of SEO best practices: When creating content, don’t just think about the customer. Think about how this content will perform on your website and follow search engine optimization (SEO) best practices to allow your content to rank well in search engine results.
4. Have a Strong Value Proposition
A value proposition is a statement that memorably captures the unique value that your company or product/service offers to the market. A strong value proposition describes your offering, and why your company or your solution is the best fit compared to other options. Having your value proposition established and clearly stated not only makes it easier to connect with target audiences, but it also helps customers place value in what you offer. In other words, it’s important to be able to communicate your value effectively. When done correctly, it helps to attract and retain customers and create a more positive customer experience. Some tips to creating a strong value proposition include:
- Your value proposition is not meant for anyone and everyone: The first thing to do is establish a target audience. Once a target audience is established, research their specific pain points and problems and explain how your company provides a solution to these problems.
- Study your competition and work to set yourself apart from them: Think about what you can offer them versus your competitor.
- Clearly explain the value of your products or services: What is the benefit or result your customer will be getting when using your products or services?
- Make it clear, compelling and concise: A value proposition is not meant to be overly wordy or lengthy. In this case, less is more.
5. Create a Strong Team and Company Culture
Your employees can play a huge factor in a positive or negative customer experience for your customers. A negative customer experience that resulted from a rude or unengaged employee can be very detrimental to a business and can cause the customer to stop doing business with the company altogether. Whether you are in the office or traveling on business, every employee should reflect the company in a positive and respectful manner. Some tips for creating a strong team and company culture include:
- Focus on employee engagement: If your employees have a positive outlook on the company, it’s highly likely that the positive outlook will radiate through their actions and engagements with customers.
- Recruit and retain top talent: Recruiting top talent is more difficult than it seems, especially for the transportation industry where finding workers is one of the biggest challenges. According to this article in FreightWaves, issues with retention can be resolved with a smarter hiring process.
- Become an employer of choice: The more you work to position your company as an employer of choice, the more your company will stand out in this competitive hiring market.
6. Adapt to Changes in the Industry
It’s no secret that technology in the transportation and logistics industry is evolving. Some of the advancements in technology within the industry include Telematics and GPS fleet tracking systems, ELD’s (electronic logging device) and mobile technology. Not only can these technology advancements improve the customer experience by minimizing errors and providing more transparency into deliveries, but it can also save time and money for your company as well. Along with adapting and investing in these changes within the industry, it’s also important to continue to focus on your digital assets such as your website and social media channels. Waiting to invest in your digital assets can cause your company to lose important opportunities to build brand value, attract talent, create and nurture long-term client relationships and gather important information on your website visitors.
7. Focus on Customer Retention
Customer retention refers to the actions that a company takes in order to retain their existing customers. A positive customer experience is key to improving customer retention. In a competitive industry such as the transportation and logistics industry, creating loyal customers is very important. Taking actions to retain your existing customers will set you apart from your competitors. Get their feedback. Find out what your customers liked and disliked about their experience with your company by using surveys. Listen and learn and adapt as appropriate.
8. Organizational Commitment
Providing a good customer experience is the responsibility of everyone in the organization, top to bottom. Having everyone in the organization on the same page with key company goals and objectives and the processes in place to achieve them will contribute to company success and customer happiness.