Logistics is in a unique place. Logistics operators can claim that their chief client is the shipper and that their job is to simply handle shipments and ensure quick, safe delivery. The shipper’s customer is not directly connected to logistics. Why should logistics use call center software when it already has in place some form of logistics software? Read on to find out why and how call center software is indispensable for logistics.
Typical logistics software
Logistics plays a key role in the supply chain and operators normally use custom logistics management software to handle operations. Typical features of logistics management solutions:
- Order management
- Inventory management
- Warehouse management
- Fleet management
There is quite a lot going on under the hood with each module offering plenty of features. However, as can be seen, it does lack communication and service support, which are of paramount importance these days. Call Center software steps in to fill this gap and “rounds” off the technological platform. It would be even better if you can get the solution provider to integrate both or at least the CRM that both access.
Call center features
You could opt for outbound call center software with an emphasis on predictive dialing and call distribution or an omnichannel contact center solution that offers infinitely more:
- Unified communication – tie together IVR, email, chat, SMS, fax, voicemail, social media, mobile phone connection, WebRTC and video call
- Predictive dialer, progressive dialer
- Skill based mapping and call routing
- Campaign management, surveys, SMS broadcast
- Ticketing system
How do these features help logistics?
Logistics, operators may maintain, is pretty routine stuff with cargo picked up and moved along. However, there is more to it. The shipper is your customer and their customers can, indirectly, also be your customer. It is simply not enough to handle shipment and delivery; you also need effective communication channel with customers and their customers. This is where you will find the contact center software indispensable for a happy customer experience. When something goes wrong then you will find that fast, effective and result oriented handling saves the day.
Seamless multi-branch communication
Logistics works in a decentralized way with different agents or branches. Make it easy for everyone to collaborate and integrate customer orders as well as down the line process through the call center software.
It is easy to set up conference call or even video call between employees as well as with a client to arrive at a decision. If your client is negotiating a shipment then everyone concerned can get together for a virtual video conference, present figures or documents and give an instant quote.
Your different branches do not need to operate in silos or use only phone to communicate. Now you can keep chat lines open or better still, let them interact through social media platforms. Even the truck driver or courier can join in and give latest updates. For instance, if a courier package is damaged and end customer refuses to accept delivery then the delivery person can grab a video, share it with his main office and also with the shipper. What would take days now takes only a few minutes and there is quick resolution for all concerned.
Let customers know status of cargo and communicate the way they want
Logistics management software does provide pinpoint GPS based tracking but the end customer and the shipper will need to activate tracking. Instead, let your call center software be configured to send out message to both about packages in transit and packages delivered. If there are queries, then the omnichannel facility lets users state the matter through Whatsapp, SMS, voice call or a video call on their mobile phone. This can be automatically routed to the designated department or handler in the logistics company through the skill based mapping feature. There is no wait time for callers.
Single dashboard view
Customer service may not appear quite as productive as securing orders and managing shipments but it is necessary. However, you can cut down on effort and time by using the single dashboard view feature of the call center software. It even alerts staff members about an incoming message. This means your employees can work on a lot of things without missing any customer request or complaint and then handle it through the same channel or switching to another channel. Life becomes easier and so does work with correspondingly high satisfaction levels for customers due to prompt action.
Many logistics companies are satisfied with the level of business and do not wish to take on more so they do not see why campaigns need to be conducted. The outbound call center software automates such campaigns. For instance, you can record a message, choose a list of targets and assign it to the IVR to send out the message at a fixed schedule. This can be a sales message to acquire new leads, or a survey to existing customers to know their grievances, opinions and recommendations. You will not know just how much benefits you will get from campaigns. Your existing customers stay loyal and you will get more business. You can then use the analytics part of the software to know where you stand, what customers expect and how you can improve.
The above is just a part of all that you can do with call center software in logistics. Try it. You have a lot to gain, very little to lose.
Akash Soni holds the position of Digital Marketing Executive at Ecosmob, a Customized VoIP and Web-IT Solution provider company. A writer at day and a reader at night, he is having keen digital marketing skills along with an experience in writing SEO-friendly, creative & informative contents for distinct industries.