What does customer service have to do with handling loads? A lot, it seems. After all, every one represents a customer, and your relationship with them dictates the longevity and strength of your haulage business.
The importance of good customer service cannot be stressed enough. With every satisfied customer comes more loads, delivery work, steady contracts, recommendations and referrals. Plus, for a lucky few, a strong business relationship-even friendship!
How do you keep the customers happy and the work coming? Here are a few things you probably need to know about them.
Your customer needs to know they can trust you…
The transaction is simple: they have cargo they need delivered, and you are there to get that job done. Right?
The truth is, while that is the description, it really isn’t as cut and dried as that. There are several other things involved in the transaction. How accurately you have represented yourself, how well you stick to your end of the contract, how well you take care of their cargo, and how you communicate with them.
On times and schedules. Deliveries are time sensitive, one way or the other, Sure the time allotted depend on the types of loads, but even if they aren’t quite perishable goods, you will need to keep to schedules agreed upon. If you can’t let them know- again in a timely manner.
To take care of their business. More often than not, the condition of a customer’s shipment upon delivery definitely has an impact on their business. One defective delivery– something broken upon arrival to their customers, for instance– can spell a lost customer for them, and a lost customer (maybe more) for you.
To charge them correctly and be honest in all communications. Honesty is always the best policy– and it’s true in every business. While rare s the intrinsically dishonest business person, dishonesty can be in the form of carelessness in charging, weighing, calculating route distances and the like. One overcharged invoice can damage your relationship, and even your reputation in the industry.
Customers need to know you value them.
Customers can sense how much you value your customers. Sure they may not witness how exactly you deliver their loads, but there are other factors they can baase their impressions on. Even before you finalize a contract, how you communicate with your customers can influence how they perceive you. This means how quickly you respond to their inquiries, how you phrase your responses, or even how you sound on the phone!
Even after the cargo has been delivered, customers can tell whether you value your relationship with them by what you do. Sending them a note or email to thank them for their business– preferably with a discount for their next contract- speaks volumes about your desire to maintain a relationship with them. Keep in contact- and you’ll kep them as customers.