A Digital Customer Self-Service Experience is Top of Mind for Forwarders
For freight forwarders, a digital customer experience is a hot topic in the forwarding market and press. So how important is a digital customer self-service experience to forwarders? Descartes and the Air Forwarders Association (AfA) recently conducted the 6th Annual Forwarder & Broker Benchmark Study. In 2021, we added “Digital customer self-service experience” capability to the survey. The benchmark results were astounding for “Digital customer self-service experience”.
- #1 greatest competitive threat – 40% of the respondents cited
- #1 greatest IT value for the next 2 years – 53% of the respondents cited
- #1 IT investment for the next 2 years – 56% of the respondents cited
Why has digitization of the customer experience become so important?
The pandemic and growth of ecommerce have been the accelerants of changing customer expectations and digitization of the customer experience is critical to meeting this growing requirement. Customers desire to have better control and visibility into the quoting, booking, and tracking of their shipments. Customers want immediacy—instant answers to “how much will this cost?’ and “where is my shipment?”. They no longer accept getting a quote in days or having to call get a shipment status. In much of their lives, digitization has already become entrenched allowing them to work on an ad hoc basis and they expect the same from their forwarders. The pandemic has pushed many customers to electronic communications only strategies to work successfully as highly distributed organizations.
For forwarders, the ability to have one place for their customers to engage and view all of their activity has become a point of differentiation. Not only does it make customer happier, it drives a number of benefits for the forwarder. The automated processes a digital customer experience brings can allow forwarders to be more productive and focus on higher-value engagement with their customers. Customers can be tracked across the rate, quote, book and track process to see how they are engaging and better understand when they fail to convert. Pricing discipline is better enforced, and capacity is better managed.
In the 6th Annual Forwarder and Broker Benchmark Study we examine trends like digital customer experience, ecommerce. and the impact of the pandemic on forwarders and brokers strategies, tactics and technology thinking and decisions. The study also covers the perspectives of top and bottom financial performers and large and small companies.
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In the 6th Annual Forwarder and Broker Benchmark Study we examine trends like digital customer experience, ecommerce. and the impact of the pandemic on forwarders and brokers strategies, tactics and technology thinking and decisions.
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Forwarders & Digitization
Read our series on how freight forwarders are succeeding through effective digitization