Image courtesy of Apple

The iPhone 6 Plus is an amazing cellphone.

If you’re an Apple fan, a couple of months ago you may have started to read about the phone. As a power Apple user, you started to get excited.

After tuning into the Apple launch event, you probably combed through reviews and, with the exception of that bending problem, you knew you needed it.

So you went to an Apple store. The lines are crazy and by the time you get to the front, a poor disgruntled employee is forced to tell you that, yes, the phone is sold out.

Let down and annoyed, you go out and buy an Android cellphone instead.

Congratulations. You just had a bad customer journey.

[yellowbox] Want to skip right to the PDF with 7 ways 3PLs can improve the shipper customer journey? Download it here.[/yellowbox]

The Customer Journey and Logistics

A customer journey tracks a customer’s experience throughout the entire sales process. Every customer engagement, from encountering advertising to customer support following a sale, plays a critical role in whether the customer will buy or keep looking. More importantly, it doesn’t end once a sale is made. To retain a customer, the entire sale and post-sale process needs to work flawlessly.

When a shipper approaches a forwarder, he is looking for added value – likely lower logistics costs and a chance to reduce shipping headaches and mistakes. And even with your oldest customer, the journey never ends.

Ask any shipper. They can probably give you a laundry list of issues they’ve encountered, including:

  • Extended quoting processes that require lengthy negotiations and dozens of phone calls
  • Long delays in quoting time
  • Lack of value that extends beyond competitive prices
  • Forwarders that disappear when your shipment is delayed

Which is why…

An optimal customer journey will increase freight sales

Freight forwarding is an incredibly competitive market, which leads to smaller profit margins. Unfortunately, the low margins pushes forwarders to try to stick out by cutting price and price alone.

Freight forwarder profit margin. Source: Roland Berger

Freight forwarder profit margin. Source: Roland Berger

By changing the customer journey, a forwarder can stick out from competition, winning new customers and retaining existing ones. Take advantage of the forwarders that aren’t improving their service to win new business, without compromising on price.