The shipping and delivery industry has seen a boom in recent times, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Global national lockdowns gave way to the rise of online shopping—for both large and small businesses.
The demand spurt can be linked to businesses that are offering discounted and next-day delivery services to stay ahead of the competition. Cloud communications can help the shipping industry sail through the waters by ensuring that they are performing in line with customer expectations.
The shipping industry is prone to many issues—delays, lost packages, spillage. Whether things go right or wrong during transit, keeping the customer informed is paramount to running a successful shipping business.
This article will explore how cloud communications can help the shipping industry stay afloat in a world where consumers want instant information and gratification.
Establish your customers communication preferences and keep them updated
All of us anxiously await the arrival of our packages. From the moment an order is placed, customers expect updates and regular communication from businesses. If this is not adhered to, there can be trust issues between customers and businesses.
Cloud communications help you keep track of your customer’s parcel from order to warehouse, through to delivery. You can also save their preferred method of contact and use it to update them on their order status.
You can seamlessly connect your solution with a CRM system, so it is easy to keep track of all orders. You can also send automated emails or SMS messages to update customers on the delivery of their packages.
By keeping customers updated, they are less likely to call you asking for information—saving your staff time and your business money.
Use IVR systems to direct customers to the right department
Shipping companies often have different departments for customers who are sending packages and different departments for those who’re receiving a package. In such instances, an IVR system can be a great tool to point customers in the right direction.
By using a smart IVR with your cloud communication system, you can route clients to the relevant department via voice or keypad inputs. Thereafter, they will then be put straight through to an agent best suited to answer their query.
You could also ask customers to input order numbers or delivery references, via keypad tones or voice, so your system can pull up their account information as soon as an agent answers the call.
IVR systems can save businesses time and money by enhancing agent productivity and response times, and eliminating the need for extra staff or redundant processes, ultimately augmenting the experience a business delivers.
An organisation that is more responsive and considerate towards its clients is bound to be more popular and can expect an increase in business dealings.
Collaborate across teams and warehouses to ensure parcels arrive on time
Cloud communication solutions allow free and easy communication both internally and externally—whether it’s within teams or departments, or with vendors and customers.
I0f staff in one warehouse encounters an issue, they can quickly inform the other branches of any impending delays.
This type of collaboration means that, in the event of a significant delay, your marketing team can quickly update the relevant information on your website and edit delivery times accordingly.
When all the internal stakeholders are informed about the latest developments, the information flows seamlessly and smoothly to your external stakeholders as well. Most customers won’t mind waiting, especially under the restrictions imposed by COVID, as long as they’re aware of their product’s journey.
However, they won’t be happy if they’re kept in the dark and made to guess the whereabouts of their packages.
Keep in touch with drivers on the go
The nature of shipping companies means that often drivers and other staff will be on the move. However, this doesn’t mean that drivers are unreachable during transit. As long as they have a stable Internet connection, cloud communications can keep them connected to your business, allowing managers to track them remotely.
Should a customer call for an update on a delayed delivery, support agents can easily contact delivery agents for updates. This information can then be relayed to customers.
Ensuring that deliveries are completed effectively and communication on the go are key elements of keeping a shipping company running. Drivers with Internet-enabled devices can also be tracked, and their location information can be shared with customers to add more accountability and openness between businesses and their clients.
With plenty of communication channels—from calls to emails and instant messaging—office staff and drivers can communicate in real-time and ensure that customers receive the best possible service.
Communicate openly when things go wrong
We have all heard of examples where shipping companies lose parcels. With a giant network of countries, this can happen from time to time. However, clients might feel frustrated if the company has no customer service number to follow up with.
Thus, having a customer service team is important to build your customers’ trust in your shipping company. With cloud communication systems, it is easy to host your own contact centre from anywhere in the world.
Hosted contact centres allow you to communicate with customers should something go wrong. Agents can be hired from all over the world and work remotely for your company, using any Internet-enabled device.
Contact centres aren’t just useful for when things go wrong either, you can answer queries and upsell products and services when customers call, meaning there’s a chance of increased profits too.
You can manage your hosted contact centre from your device too. Your smartphones offer you the ability to log in to your online portal, giving you access to detailed analytics on call waiting times, call costs, recordings and so much more. This means you can monitor the performance of your call centre on the go!
Use instant messaging to give customers real-time updates
Another advantage of cloud communication is the ability to use instant messaging as part of your customer service strategy.
Instant messages can come through to your agents in real-time, and they can reply to customers with quick updates on their deliveries. This negates the need for long call queues, keeping the lines free for more complex questions, and saving both the customer’s and agent’s time.
By using your cloud communication system in this way, you are showing customers that you are open to quick and simple communications, and even ready to act should something go wrong.
Instant messaging is a swift and easy win for shipping companies, allowing them to communicate with a much higher number of customers in much less time.
Keep detailed records of customer information within your phone system
With many shipping companies operating around the world, it can be difficult to stand out from the competition. One way you can do so is by offering a highly personalised service. And fret not, it isn’t as time-consuming or costly as you might think!
Use the online portal of your cloud communication solution to save detailed notes on each customer account. This means that you can create targeted marketing campaigns based on the customer’s previous orders, or recommend products and services to enhance their experience and save them money.
The notes section can provide a lot more information—from a customer’s contact preferences to their previous orders, and even conversation details. This information is accessible on any hosted phone system, and can be accessed by all connected staff.
By using the notes section to your advantage, you can offer each customer a personalised service. This gesture allows them to build a solid and lasting relationship with your business.
Use cloud communications for the shipping industry
In terms of customer communication, experience, and collaboration, cloud communications can really take your shipping company to the next level. Your solution augments your internal communication, ensuring that everything stays in place and you’re able to deliver orders on time.
However, your solution also allows you to keep buyers informed of where their packages are. And in case of any unexpected delay, you can quickly update them and make up for the inconvenience via offers, discounts, or coupons.
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