What is your strategy for Customer Facing Applications?

by Pradeep Chaudhary on 2015-11-25 19:41:20


Pradeep ChaudharyWhen it comes to Customer Facing Applications (CFA), most Logistics Service Providers (LSP’s) tend to think of a portal or their corporate website providing track and trace information, an ability to create shipments, modify delivery address / time, print shipping labels etc.

 

Today’s customers are demanding and tech savvy. They tweet, chat, give reviews on social networks, demand more control of information and do more groundwork before taking a buy decision. Their expectations levels are different than those of customers five years ago.

 

The customer experience which was designed for them a few years back is therefore redundant.

 

As a LSP, what should be your strategy to provide a great CFA experience? Here are some tips which can help you uncover it.

 

  1. Attributes: List down what you want to achieve with the CFA.

  • Do you want to provide relevant and timely information to the customers within easy reach?
  • Do you want to provide a solution for every customer touchpoint?
  • Are you looking for faster two way communication?
  • Do you want to help customers accomplish outcomes as quickly as possible?
  • Are you doing this to stay ahead of competitors?
  • Is this a part of your overall customer retention strategy?

 

  1. Functionalities: Now figure out what functionalities you want to offer in the CFA.  What are the outcomes which your customers want. Look beyond plain matter-of-fact communication and information. This is the age of collaboration and instant gratification. As a LSP, here are a few value additions you can provide on your CFA:

    • Provide real time spot quotes
    • Toolkits for custom duties, landed cost comparisons etc.
    • Allowing shippers to share their projected loads over a monthly/quarterly time window.
    • Expert connect – connect shippers with an SME from your department for expertise or advice on any topic.
    • Marketing offers to target customers.
    • Educational posts / videos which can be of use to shippers.

 

  1. Mode of delivery and User Experience:  Determine how you want to deliver the CFA. Web Portals, cloud based enterprise applications and mobile apps are ways to connect.  The application’s user experience (UX) is also very important from the point of view of usability, usefulness, intuitiveness, accessibility, performance, personalization and navigation. Keep in mind that the information you provide to the customers should be actionable from anywhere.

 

Providing the most satisfying customer experience is a competitive differentiator.  Put your strategy in place now and begin the CFA journey.

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Pradeep Chaudhary works as a Domain Consultant for the Transportation Practice at Tata Consultancy Services.

He can be contacted at Pradeep.chaudhary@tcs.com