As the freight forwarding industry is beset by a plethora of problems that started since the pandemic, independent freight forwarders are facing serious challenges in increasing their revenues and retaining their customer base. While the pandemic and the equipment shortage have finally abated, the transportation and logistics sector is still having to deal with challenges like increased fuel prices, rising spot rates, space shortage, driver shortage, labour shortage, e-commerce explosion, and more.
In a time like this, it has become crucial for logistics companies to embrace digitization and start using online tools like CRM (Customer Relationship Management), TMS (Transport Management System), WMS (Warehouse Management System), and more. A high level of client satisfaction is the most desired outcome of a freight forwarding company which in turn enhances the reputation of the company and brings in many new customers. Today, we will be talking about the importance of CRM in transportation and logistics and how it can empower small and independent freight forwarders.
How CRM can help the freight forwarding companies
Logistics management and customer relationship management cannot effectively function without the other. To ensure the success of logistics operations, it is vital for independent freight forwarders to integrate digital strategies that can boost efficiency and thus keep the customers happy. Putting it simply, CRM is the use of technology for acquiring customers and retaining them. It helps forwarders with a vast range of activities such as making customer profiles on prospects, scheduling appointments with clients, updating client lists, and better managing customer communications.
Additionally, CRM allows you to store all the info including direct front-office client communication, important networking contacts, indirect back-office communication, etc. in a single location. Therefore, CRM helps to facilitate client servicing, allows you to create value-added services, and brings in new customers. Independent freight forwarders like you need to focus on creating lasting relationships with their best customers by offering good-quality services consistently. This ensures a competitive advantage and keeps your customers from looking elsewhere for their logistical needs.
Benefits of CRM systems for independent freight forwarders
Improved sales and marketing process
Implementing a CRM for client management will allow freight forwarding companies to effectively manage new requests so as to lead potential clients to buy your services. It will help you assess every step of the sales process and rectify your client’s journey at a precise time. Moreover, CRMs help to identify the right channels for attracting new clients and also help you connect with several customers via emails and provide them with offers and updates from your company.
Additionally, the analysis of sales data and customer requests allows logistics managers to understand the level of client satisfaction with a specific project. It provides you with the data on the customer experience on a prior project which in turn facilitates productive and personalized communication with existing customers.
Enhanced management of data
It’s high time for small logistics companies to do away with their dependence on spreadsheets for finding customer information. This is exactly where CRM comes in handy. It makes available a range of data across a board customer base to your fingertips. This data includes but is not limited to shipment status, order estimation, ongoing and previous transactions, shipping documents, accepted offers, payment info and more.
Forecasting to keep your team on track
CRM allows you to come to better decisions by making available actionable information. It will allow you to design a custom dashboard with real-time charts and reports from the provided insights for getting a bigger picture of your company. Freight forwarding companies can use CRM systems to obtain an accurate forecast that includes the lead source from the past years, average shipment time, etc. This info streamlines your work process and prevents your team from wasting their valuable time.
More collaboration among the team
The CRM provides every department of your company with information related to leads, prospects and loyal clients. Therefore, it enhances transparency within the team thus eliminating confusion and fostering better organization for efficient execution of tasks. It allows the logistics manager to constantly monitor workflow and check the quality of communication with the clients.
Enhanced customer service
Last but not the least, as the name of the software suggests, its primary function is to create an enhanced customer experience. To begin with, it will allow you to promptly respond to your customers’ queries and requests and furnish them with all the info within the shortest time. With automated request processing along with constant tracking of client interactions, CRMs allow you to get back to your customers within minutes. Additionally, it allows you to efficiently communicate unpredictable issues to your customers. International shipments are complex processes involving dozens of players. Keeping your customers informed about any hitches that might crop up during the shipping process can go a long way in creating a meaningful customer relationship. With a CRM you will be able to communicate these issues to your customers right on time.
CRMs these days come with a user-friendly interface and can be easily used by all members of your team after basic training. To sum it up, Customer Relationship Management systems can help freight forwarding companies to enhance customer experience through efficient management of sales pipeline, better formulation of marketing campaigns, identifying loopholes, and retaining valuable customers.