Independent freight forwarders invest significant resources in attracting customers through various marketing, social media, and brand strategies. Building trust with customers is a valuable achievement that deserves careful preservation. This is where a strong focus on customer retention proves invaluable. Enhancing customer retention involves a comprehensive evaluation of the entire customer experience, encompassing every aspect of how customers perceive and interact with your freight forwarding company. In other words, creating a seamless and satisfying experience at every touchpoint is key to retaining customers in the increasingly competitive transportation and logistics sector.
On the flip side, failing to meet customer expectations poses a risk of losing them even before an opportunity arises to address concerns. Therefore, logistics companies should consistently strive to exceed customer expectations, fostering a positive and enduring relationship that goes beyond the initial transaction. Prioritizing customer retention not only preserves hard-earned trust but also sets the foundation for long-term success and brand loyalty.
Why is customer retention important?
If you glance around your room, chances are you’ll spot a product from a major brand, a business that has positioned itself as an industry leader. Achieving such a status is unlikely through dependence solely on one-time customer purchases in passing. In fact, returning customers tend to spend 67% more as compared to first-time customers.
The significance of client retention lies in the recognition that successfully retaining customers indicates a remarkable meeting or exceeding of expectations. Customer retention serves as the bedrock for continually increasing earnings and provides a platform to enhance brand recognition and industry authority. These fundamental concepts are crucial for developing strategies that not only sustain but propel your company forward in the competitive logistics business landscape.
Strategies to improve customer retention for independent freight forwarders
Promptly respond to your customers queries
Responding promptly to customer queries is crucial for ensuring higher customer satisfaction. Most successful companies across all sectors have emphasized that speedy support resolutions are integral to a positive customer experience. Ideally, a swift response should align with faster issue resolutions. However, even if an immediate resolution isn’t possible, responding promptly to acknowledge the customer’s query is valuable.
For example many independent freight forwarders lost out clients because of their inability to provide a prompt answer to a quote request. Customers these days are used to instant solutions which is why it is imperative for logistics companies to send instant online solutions to a customers queries. As a member of the Conqueror Freight Network, one of the best freight forwarding networks of our times, forwarders get free access to an instant online quote generation tool called FreightViewer. With FreightViewer Conqueror members can send a door-to-door quotation to their customers within less than a minute.
Customers appreciate knowing that their concerns have been acknowledged. Providing a clear expectation of when a solution might be reached helps manage their expectations. This transparency and proactive communication contribute to a positive customer experience, demonstrating your commitment to addressing their needs promptly and efficiently.
2. Get feedback from your customers
Regularly seeking feedback from your customers is a proactive strategy that can contribute to the improvement of your business. Even though all the responses might not be positive, the negative feedback will give you valuable insights into key areas in need of improvement. Unhappy customers are less likely to contact you for their next project so it is crucial to understand and address their concerns. By actively seeking feedback, especially from dissatisfied customers, you have the opportunity to identify and rectify issues, ultimately enhancing your service and increasing the likelihood of customer retention.
3. Create tailor made solutions for your customers
Recognizing that no two customers have identical needs is important in providing tailored solutions that cater to individual preferences and requirements. A one-size-fits-all approach may not be effective especially in the logistics sector where customers are seeking transportation solutions for products that widely vary in scale, time constraints, documentation, packaging, and many other specific preferences.
According to Evergage, personalization plays a significant role in advancing customer relationships. A striking 99% of marketers believe that personalization has a positive impact, with 78% stating that it has a “strong” or “extremely strong” influence.
A pro tip for businesses is to keep their offerings relevant and personalized to each customer. By tailoring solutions to address the unique challenges and preferences of individual customers, freight forwarding companies can foster a stronger connection and increase the likelihood of continued business.
4. Build trust with your clients
Building trust with customers is a fundamental aspect of establishing a strong and enduring relationship. Just because a customer makes a purchase does not automatically mean they trust the company. Trust needs to be actively cultivated and reinforced over time through consistent positive interactions and experiences. Moreover, building trust is not an instantaneous process. It requires a consistent effort to demonstrate reliability, truthfulness, capability, and strength over an extended period. Trust-building strategies are not one-size-fits-all; they require a tailored approach to address the unique needs and expectations of individual customers.
An useful strategy for independent freight forwarders is to consistently deliver on their brand promise. By consistently following through on promises and delivering value, logistics create a foundation of trust that strengthens the customer-company relationship.
5. Leverage word-of-mouth support
Leveraging word-of-mouth support is a powerful strategy not only for acquiring new customers but also for customer retention. Positive word-of-mouth discussions about your services contribute significantly to building consumer confidence and trust.
Consider a scenario where a customer hears repeatedly from a friend who is a loyal customer that they are satisfied with your offerings. This not only has the potential to attract new business but can also set off a chain reaction of retained customers spreading positive word-of-mouth messages about your brand through various channels, including social media.
Actively encouraging word-of-mouth support is crucial. Sharing positive feedback from customers on your social media handles is also a good idea. The more visible and acknowledged your loyal customers feel, the more likely they are to use their online and in-person channels to share positive impressions about your company. This creates a powerful network effect, where satisfied customers become advocates, further contributing to customer retention and brand loyalty.
6. Offer specialized services
Providing a product or service that stands out as superior to competitors is a challenging yet rewarding achievement in the business landscape. When customers perceive your offering as exceptional and see it as a solution to a critical pain point, you’re well-positioned for customer retention.
As an independent freight forwarder it is always a good idea to develop a niche for your business that not only attracts customers initially but also keeps them coming back. For example logistics companies could provide specialized services such as air charter, warehousing, dangerous goods, perishable cargo and so on. The key is to identify and eliminate bottlenecks, smooth out workflow issues, or automate processes in a way that sets your brand apart from others in the market.
If your business can provide a unique solution that genuinely addresses their needs or challenges in a way that no other company can, you create a compelling reason for customers to commit to your brand. This value-driven approach is a cornerstone for customer retention, as it establishes a strong foundation for ongoing customer satisfaction and loyalty.