The pandemic disruption, supply chain delays, and emergence of digital forwarders have contributed to the rise in importance of customer experience (CX) in the logistics industry. A focus on people has always been centered in the 3PL industry, but in 2022, that now highlights the need for traditional freight forwarders to add digital CX platforms for their customers to stay competitive. Making the best digital CX platform decision for your company comes from carefully evaluating which one will help your team be the most successful – and we’ve outlined factors to consider when making that decision below.
1. Outcome Alignment
There are different outcomes a company may be targeting from their implementation of a digital CX platform. It is critical that you are choosing a digital software partner that aligns with those goals and has clear strategies to help you achieve them.
You do not want to be choosing a software partner for your new investment in CX without a clear plan on how you will be measuring its effectiveness and the benefits you want to see for your team. This can also help you keep your digital partner accountable and make it easier to set up reporting to measure ROI internally.
Clear expectations and goals from the addition of a 3PL CX platform can look different from company to company. Some of the common desired goals (resulting benefits) include the two following.
Many freight forwarding companies are adding automation to their processes to give time back to their members to focus on higher priority tasks, with CX as the place to make the most impact first. Everyone involved in the logistics industry understands that exceptions are an all too common challenge facing supply chains, especially in the wake of the pandemic uncertainty. This has created the standard in forwarding relationships that shippers are constantly asking “Where’s my shipment,” while freight forwarders manually update them with calls and emails. 3PL CX platforms with shipper access to real-time shipment visibility can take away that pain point and benefit all parties involved.
Sales Enablement and Churn Reduction
Acquiring new customers while building lasting partnerships with current shippers has always been an important function of a freight forwarding business, but recent factors like the industry disruption of digital forwarders have made the competition even stiffer. Digital forwarders had started to gain an upper leg with their prioritization of the digital experience their customers had with them throughout a shipment. In response, digital partners have created technology for traditional forwarders to take back that advantage with CX platforms that pair with their industry knowledge and established relationships to compete and win.
Desires of increased automation and customer access to analytics dashboards are also drivers for forwarders listening to their customers and strategizing to stay competitive. When you go into your evaluation process of a 3PL CX platform with a clear outline of desired outcomes, you can make sure your team isn’t wasting time and money on a solution that just doesn’t hit the mark.
2. Integration Compatibility
As simple as it may seem, it is important to bring information into your CX platform discussion concerning the TMS you use and any other digital tools in your stack – confirming a 3PL CX platform is the right fit for your company. Prioritizing an early discussion of how compatible a CX digital partner is with your current operations will save your team time during the evaluation process of solutions. These talks are a great chance to see if the pulling and population of data from your systems into the CX platform make sense for your setup and desired outcomes for your customers.
Logixboard currently integrates with CargoWise, Magaya, and Descartes 3PL systems to offer a user-friendly dashboard that their shippers love. Getting a chance to speak with other forwarding companies that a CX is already partnering with can give your team a clear view of if the match will not only fit with your management systems but also your desired outcomes.
3. Time to Value
If a platform for your customers is the next step in your 3PL strategy, you already know that the right solution could be a huge game changer in driving the desired goals for your company. That knowledge in itself should drive your team to seek companies with competitive turnaround times that result in a quicker time to value in your investment.
Time to value is also a decisive factor in the debate of Buy vs. Build for 3PLs looking to add a digital CX to their operations. Buying your solution means having an accelerated time to value due to a ready-for-action platform. From software design to iterative modifications, the process will be handled by your software partner. A software company’s short setup time for your Customer Experience solution can mean a quick, tangible return on the investment and gives value to your shippers immediately. This can provide quick results in sales enablement tactics for your team, reduced churn with current customers, and immediate increases in internal operational efficiency.
Logixboard provides direct integration support to forwarders who partner with us. As we understand the need for efficiency, we ensure that your new customer experience dashboard is up and running in three weeks.
4. Hands-On Support
A great CX platform is not going to provide the return you want for your company if you don’t know how to use it – and how to use it to its full potential. Getting the support you need from the digital CX partners you work with can make all the difference in results and the time to value. Choose partners who are driven to see your team succeed.
Instilling a focus in your team around change management is critical, but your digital partners should be supporting that focus with active customer support, quick technical support, and strategies for sales enablement related to the additional offerings of their software. Helpful partners can aid your own team in becoming experts of the technology, fix any technical bugs or speed bumps, and keep you up to date with all the updates they add to their software for your shippers.
Logixboard U: the company has recently added a monthly webinar series intended as a product and best practices training academy for partners to learn more about how to leverage Logixboard to delight their customers and win more business.
A partner that aligns with your goals, is compatible with your current technology, prioritizes time to value, and provides you the tools to implement their software to win against competition is the recipe for a successful 3PL CX partnership. Find out if Logixboard is the right fit for your 3PL operation today.