Customer Experience in the Supply Chain

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Written by: Emilie Gerbers, Manager, Business Development & Marketing

customer experienceWith a variety of product options available through a variety of buying channels, the modern retail consumer now has more purchase options than ever before. With all of these choices, comes changes to the way goods are sold to consumers, by retailers. One of these changes has to do with the hashtag, #CX. Have you seen this on social media? What does it mean? CX stands for Customer eXperience. Similar to, but different from customer service, customer experience is unique to your brand. It carries both a tone and an image specific to your company. It’s a feeling as opposed to a result and it is becoming an important part of both the retail sales process and the way service providers attract new customers. In addition to becoming an important part of the consumer facing aspect of retail, it is also an important way for service providers to build a relationship with both existing and potential customers.

As a 3PL, we have two types of customer experiences we are focused on. Our customers’ experience and their customers’ experience. Acting as an extension of our customer’s team and as an integral part of their supply chain, it is imperative that we not only focus on their needs, but also the needs of their customer. One way we do this is by upholding brand image and expectations. The ‘Omnichannel Effect‘ is ever present in the retail industry, with an increasing number of consumers taking advantage of the convenience ecommerce provides. With multiple procurement channels available, it is just as important for brands to ensure their customer experience is the same across all channels, as it is to make sure that there is brand consistency in every item the consumer purchases. As the ‘last touch’ before a product arrives on a consumer’s doorstep it is the job of the 3PL to ensure all packages are blemish free and create a visually appealing, ‘unboxing’ experience for the consumer. This notion of ‘unboxing’ was born out of a combination of the omnichannel phenomenon and the rise of social media. This concept should be top of mind for all individuals involved in the development, packaging, selling and promotion of the product.

At MD Logistics, our internal company culture creates a positive experience for both our customers and the end consumer. It’s beyond customer service, it’s more than doing the minimum to take care of the customers, but rather approaching each situation with a proactive attitude with the customers best interest in mind. Since 1996, our mission has remained constant, take care of the customer. By creating a culture of transparency, we’ve been able to partner with companies that are like minded and are looking for a long term supply chain partner. Creating this culture of transparency is driven from the top, down. Hosting various employee appreciation events; family summer nights at the ballpark, company wide cookouts, and holiday parties creates unity among our various internal teams and locations. Keeping an open line of communication between the quality, operations, IT and executive management teams creates alignment and allows all members of the team to remain informed of potential business opportunities and outstanding customer requirements. This creates an opportunity for inclusion and making sure all employees feel like they are important members of the team. This communication style also sets expectations and creates a culture of accountability, which leads to higher performance outcomes.

Our unique approach to account management is focused on empowering our team to be decision makers, allowing for a quick reaction time, should issues arise. In addition, our executive management team makes themselves readily available to both existing and potential customers, in the event that topics need to be discussed further. As an extension of our customer’s teams, we understand the importance of upholding their brand requirements. As a result, we often host our customers for onsite workshops, providing our team with brand and product specific training to ensure customer experience expectations are met for the end consumer.

In addition to a unique company culture and approach to account management, forming a meaningful relationship with your customer is of upmost importance to creating a lasting relationship and a positive experience.

  • Make it a priority to form personal relationships with your customers
  • Treat their customer like your own
  • Support your customers at corporate events
  • Make it a point to thank your customers for trusting you with their business

With some additional focus on transparency, alignment, relationship building and gratitude, you are certain to create a positive customer experience.