Customer Retention – For the Logistics Business

Done deal! Just completed a deal. What’s next?Customer retention is an invaluable strategy for every business alike.Many bosses use many ways to do customer retention.- Offering them discounts.
- Giving them freebies.
- Providing free advice in times of needs.
- Meet up for tea.
- Give vouchers for either their own products or for others like Starbucks vouchers for example.What about freight forwarding? How does a freight forwarding company deal with customer retention?I notice that in the freight business, customers want a no-nonsense policy when dealing with their cargo. They want a few yet important things that you have to provide in order to win them over.1) Fast. What does it mean by fast? Simple; Be quick to respond, be quick to reply, be quick quick quick. They want quotations fast. They want the items shipped fast. Any delays, they want an explanation fast. If you can be faster than them, you win. Provide them information before they ask. Proactively tell them where is the goods currently located at. The key word here is to be PROACTIVE.2) Precise. You need to provide accurate and to-the-point quotations. Never be too far off from the actual amount in the invoice you will charge to them. This is a fact I learnt whilst working as a developer a few years back. I was required to provide my delivery times to make sure that I deliver my projects on time. Initially I set my deadline too quick, and was lectured. After that I cowardly set super long deadlines. Of course I completed the task before schedule, but then was lectured again on the waste of presumed man hours. ALWAYS BE AS ACCURATE AS POSSIBLE. If you want to give a pre-quote to your customer, always refer to past figures. If you don’t have any, make sure you get the exact figures before quoting! Do not punch yourself by quoting too much or too little, and when the real amount appears, your customer will not be satisfied at all.3) Explanation. Explain clearly what are the things that he/she is paying for. List down in detail each charge he/she is required to pay. Then provide a total figure at the bottom. This is a win-win, because some customers want to go through every figure. (Note: All those shipping terms, make sure you know them! They will ask about it!) Other customers only want to see the total. If the total figure is within their budget, they are good to go.4) 24/7/365 Customer Service. Customers like to do sudden knee-jerk actions. (Actually they don’t, but they tend to do shipping-related things at the last minute) Always be ready to clear their doubts, confirm the shipments, etc. Knowing how customers think is a very valuable resource! Key is to know thy customer. You need to be 1) Quick to ensure super customer service.5) Reliability. If you speak like a pro, they will know you are reliable. They will feel all cozy inside because your authoritative voice will clear their doubts and guide their cargo to safety (their destination). No harm being a ‘big brother’ to them! Always suggest alternative cost-saving ways to keep their shipping expenses to a minimum. Of course.. don’t ever do a loss-business. Don’t sacrifice your earnings to make the customer happy. Instead, try to provide them good tips to ensure that their shipment will arrive safely, on schedule, and inexpensively. I can tell you, the customers probably shipped more items of that specific kind than you. So they know what is the acceptable figure and what’s not. If you can offer a good rate to them, keep it up! Be there for them like you are there for your love-of-your-life!:)These 5 key points are enough to keep customers satisfied. Remember, the freight business is unique. The business model isn’t your regular company that could offer discounts at any time because in freight, your cost is much higher than regular businesses. Servicing lorries? Maintaining ships? They need money. Your bakery bread costs a few cents but sold for a few dollars right? See the percentage they earn! Doesn’t apply for freight!Be smart! Keep your customers happy! And Happy Shipping to Malaysia!