Inbound customer calls can overwhelm a haulier’s traffic office. Time spent responding to ad hoc customer queries about collections and deliveries can quickly become a drain on your time and resources.
It’s getting harder to manage customer expectations. Customer’s want to be constantly informed about their jobs. Can technology make this easier for you and help to improve the customer experience you deliver?
We look at how aspects of a transport management system can help you provide a service that’s convenient to your customers, whilst at the same time reduces the admin burden on your haulage operation and keeps you both informed.
Making it easy for your customer to place bookings
A Customer Portal that plugs into your transport management system is a convenient way for customers to place bookings with you. Not only can they place bookings at any time, but you can receive them direct into your TMS without you having to manually input the details, allowing you to quickly start to price and plan their jobs.
A software provider like Mandata can enable information from your customer’s system to be transferred into your own transport management system reducing duplication and manual input even further, whilst also preserving the accuracy of the data. There’s even an EDI event viewer in Mandata so you can check there are no data errors in your customer data and the file has arrived complete.
Providing visibility of delivery progress during job execution
When will my delivery arrive?
If only you had a pound for every time you had to answer that question! If customer requests are overwhelming your traffic office, there are steps you can take to give customers the information they need automatically, without adding to your workload.
Keeping customers informed as jobs are being progressed
You can keep customers informed as collections and deliveries are made with the help of a transport management system. You’ll need to have a few things in place for this to happen.
You can update the status of jobs manually, but you have to remember to do it. If you rely on paperwork coming back into the office you’ll also have a lot of paperwork to match up and scan. It all takes time. It does mean customers can see updates in the customer portal – however it relies on you manually updating the details first.
How do you update your systems automatically?
An easier way to update job progress is to digitise the process with the help of a driver’s app used for electronic proof of delivery. Automatic updates can be made in your TMS, as well as the Customer portal as the driver updates the app, giving you peace of mind to know your customers can access this information at any time, online.
Automatic job progress updates can come from a couple of sources; your drivers if they use an app to update job progress or vehicle tracking and geofencing updates which are made as vehicles cross geofences.
How do customers see these updates?
Text and email notifications
A TMS with geofencing functionality can send alerts to your team, and to your customers via Email or SMS automatically. You can set up individual alerts if you like by customer, job type or job status so you can tailor the messages to suit different circumstances.
A portal is an easy way to share information with your customers too. As long as your TMS is integrated, allowing automatic updates to be made between driver’s app (used to progress work and capture digital signatures) and your TMS, customers will be able to see automatic updates relating to each job, such as job progress and electronic proof of delivery (ePODs).
Another solution would be for your drivers to use Navigation. Live turn-by-turn navigation that’s optimised for truck routing shows drivers which routes they should take as you’ve planned them. An estimated time of arrival (ETA) fed back into the customer portal and displayed on an arrivals board keeps them informed in real-time. Colour-coded options enable customers to see at-a-glance whether their jobs are on-time or at risk of running late.
What could be simpler?
If you need to improve the way you keep customers informed, a well integrated transport management system like Mandata can really can add value to your customers, whilst saving you time and effort.
Like to know more?
Contact us and ask to know more about our TMS, Customer Portal, Manifest app and ETA solutions – to help you keep your customers informed.