Many companies focus on the customer experience as a way to differentiate themselves. For trucking companies and brokers, competing on price alone has become increasingly common and difficult, meaning that differentiation through customer experience and service is mandatory to survive.
This is nothing new. In any industry, most businesses generate 80% of their revenue from 20% of their customers. This ‘pareto principle’, or the 80/20 rule, certainly applies in the transportation space. Often times, a few key accounts can make up a significant, if not the majority, of revenue for trucking companies and 3PLs. It’s obviously paramount then that these large accounts are properly supported to not only avoid churn, which can be catastrophic, but to actually grow and expand the business.
To support these top accounts, transportation companies are constantly striving, and often struggling, to provide a great customer experience. An experience where the customer feels welcomed and engaged with your brand, while all of their core needs are met (on-time service, damage-free deliveries, access to the right data at the right time, etc).
Historically, trucking companies and brokers
have provided this experience through customer service reps. And
historically, this was sufficient. However, enter the Amazon Effect, where
consumers expect instant information, real-time visibility, real-time delivery
data, full transparency, 100% consistency and total predictability.
As this Amazon Effect shifts into the B2B space,
shippers are expecting the same type of experience at work as they receive at
home. Meaning shippers are demanding far more than they ever have from their
carriers and brokers. Customer experience, then, requires a clear vision of
what that customer journey will be and how your business will support it
through its internal processes and resources. And when a good customer service
rep is no longer enough, investments in best-in-class technology becomes
Justin Bailie, chief strategy officer for Rose Rocket, told FreightWaves that shippers are insisting that carriers modernize the way they do business to improve this customer experience.
“We speak with some of
the largest carriers in the industry every day,” he said. “They are under a ton
of pressure from their biggest customers who are demanding an easier way to do
business with them. They need visibility that is on-demand. Better visibility
really means better communication. This is what is key to a great customer
While it is easy to say
that investment in technology is more crucial than ever before, carriers and
3PLs are still struggling to find the solution. Not only can choosing the right
technology be a challenge, the investments are often large and can impact the
C-Suite, the front-line employees, and your customers. The choices of where to
invest have also become increasingly fragmented and crowded.
Rose Rocket believes when making a new investment in technology, start with the piece that touches your customers on a daily basis. Rose Rocket offers an order management platform that works with traditional and cloud-based transportation management systems (TMS), giving the end user, your client, a robust customer portal for real-time communication.
While some TMS’s have
their own version of a customer portal to funnel information and data to the
customer, Rose Rocket believes many are not used properly, or at all.
“I’ve talked to a lot of
executives at trucking companies who say they have a customer portal, but
nobody uses it,” Bailie said. “The reason nobody uses it is because it has no
Rose Rocket is among the companies trying to
change that. The Rose Rocket Order Management System offers carriers and 3PLs a
unique value add to their customers; live time pricing, rating and spot quotes,
real-time track and trace, live customer chat within each order, updated ETAs
and appointment scheduling, and document management. This easy-to-use portal
drives customers to your site, in turn driving better engagement, communication
and ultimately, retention.
“This is a true competitive advantage for our
customers; it isn’t just smoke and mirrors” Bailie said. “You are going to help
your customers win with technology by breaking down communication silos between
your systems, your team, and your customers. When you add value beyond moving
freight, you can finally be able to use the word ‘partner’ in the proper way.”
New technology can open doors to offering a
great and modern customer experience, but ultimately the results of what that
experience looks like depends on a company’s vision, and their existing
Bailie believes that the
customer experience of the future is not only built with technology, but with
technology that is extensible.
Utilizing a cloud-based system that acts as an overlay to a TMS, the Rose Rocket order management system allows brokers and carriers to choose the applications that best fit their needs, regardless of the underlying TMS. Through its open-architecture APIs, trucking companies can choose all of the applications that best suit their business while easily integrating into all of the pre-existing technology within the company.
“Modern companies today are building their
businesses using platforms supported by micro-services … this could be dozens of applications that
work together to become the TMS,” Bailie said. “We believe a modern TMS is made
up of multiple specialized vertical applications, including order management. Gone
are the days of having one monolithic piece of software on a server. Using Rose
Rocket as your order management software allows us to be the customer-facing
hub of your modern TMS; or as we say, the truth of the order.”
Ultimately, a successful
customer experience strategy requires technology that enables every interaction
with your company to be easier and faster.
For carriers and 3PLs,
using technology that is customer-facing and flexible can embody that
philosophy, allowing them to extend that positive customer experience further
down the chain. Whether it is rating, pickup and delivery, tracking, or
billing, the easier the process is for the shipper, the better the customer
The goal for any
transportation service provider is to ensure their customers are successful,
and the need to improve the customer experience is more urgent than ever
“It is absolutely naïve
to think the internet will not further disrupt your business in the next 10
years, so ask yourself, ‘How can I prepare?’” Bailie said. “If I’m a trucking
company, how do I create this value for my customers? Not only to help shippers
not be disrupted but rather how to win. That’s what we want our customers to
think about, and what we want to help them do.”