The 3 D’s for Greater Customer Satisfaction in Transportation
Posted by Debra Carbone
Demolish Silos, Democratize Information, Deliver Customer Value
Your transportation organization should be a well-oiled machine working in unison from the front to the back end. But when your customer relationship management (CRM) software isn’t talking to your back end ERP/financial system, transportation management system or any other operational system running your business, you have a serious breakdown in communication that hurts profitability, efficiency and customer satisfaction. That’s where the 3 D’s, Demolish, Democratize and Deliver, come into play. They can improve communications between systems for greater customer satisfaction.
Imagine this situation. You go to a restaurant and give your name to the hostess who provides you with a pager. Your pager goes off when a table is ready and you are promptly seated. Then your server comes over and takes your order. So far, so good - the front-of-house staff is working together cohesively. But what if the POS system goes down and your order doesn’t get to the kitchen or back-of-house staff? Or what if the kitchen is out of an essential item on the menu and doesn’t inform the servers? As a customer you are likely to have a very poor experience.
The same thing happens in your transportation business when information is secluded in departmental silos. Communication breaks down resulting in:
Information gaps between departments
- Inconsistent data
- Missed sales opportunities
- Inability to effectively address customer queries
- Reduced customer visibility
Inefficiencies due to duplication of processes
- Lower productivity
- Greater costs
- Reduced profitability
- Decreased competitive advantage
That’s why it’s important you break down departmental silos and democratize your information.
Front end employees use applications to support customer facing activities such as sales, marketing and customer service; back end employees use applications that support dispatching, human resource, transactional, reporting and compliance activities. When you integrate these applications together information flows across departments through cross-functional processes providing greater communication, visibility and flexibility. This change allows your transportation business to plan and execute deliveries better, improve freight consolidation, optimize routes, increase fleet performance and reduce supply chain expenditures.
Deliver Customer Value
So how do you unify the front and back office systems to ensure greater customer insight and a more efficient internal structure? You must look at your company structure differently. Focus on moving and sharing data to get work done in a way that delivers value to the customer. Ensure your front end staff has visibility to all client service, support and financial information and your back end team has updated access to quotes and sales pipelines. The result will allow higher business performance and greater customer satisfaction by breaking down barriers between the two sides of your business.
Where does your company sit in terms of front and back end system integration? If your business hasn’t integrated, what challenges are you facing? If you have consolidated systems, what benefits have you realized? Please share your experiences in our comments section.