Booming international trade and a resurgent global economy have proved to be a double-edged sword for the logistics industry. While the ease of doing business has helped global trade grow at an unprecedented level, it has also brought in a slew of new players into the logistics market. With margins declining at a drastic pace due to the sudden inflow of competition, customer experience and centricity have emerged as key differentiating factors to stay ahead in the logistics business.
Global trade has grown at an unprecedented level in the last century with the value of exported goods around the world increasing from 10% in 1870 to 25% in 2018. To capitalise on these opportunities, players both big and small, are plunging into the logistics industry. This sudden spurt in the number of players in the market has led to a significant reduction in the margins between the pricing of services offered by different players in the industry.
As a result, customer-centricity has set this fiercely competitive industry ablaze in recent times, with Net Promoter Approach (NPA) forming the basis of operations for an increasing number of players in the logistics business.
NPA or Net Promoter Approach uses a sophisticated management tool called the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to gauge customer satisfaction which, in turn, provides invaluable insights into a company’s overall operations and functioning. Invented in 2003, NPS already has a large user base with companies across different domains leveraging the tool to enhance customer experience. Growing competition has lent momentum to the use of NPS in the logistics sector too. “The logistics industry has historically been slow in implementing technology and automation. It’s only recently, that there’s been focus on customer service quality,” explains Asmita Malvankar, Global Head, Organization Excellence, ECU Worldwide.
Changing consumer behavioural dynamics have put logistics companies at an increased risk of losing valuable business. According to a recent survey, more than 65% of B2B executives believe customers are less loyal than they used to be. NPS is an effective tool helping organisations collect feedback from customers through service-specific questions and providing a measure of the customer’s loyalty towards their brand. This is pivotal for every company irrespective of the industry or domain as loyal customers tend to buy more products, require fewer investments, and bring in new business through referrals and word-of-mouth.
A report published in 2017, revealed that customers labelled as “promoters” by NPS were more than five times likely to forgive the company for a mistake, four times more likely to repurchase services, and over seven times more likely to try new product and service offerings. These facts highlight the importance of customer retention in the modern-day logistics landscape which is crucial for streamlining the end-to-end operations and preventing losing out on a valuable customer base. Elaborating further, Uday Shetty, COO, ECU Worldwide says, “Today everything is data-driven, and using the Net Promoter Approach gives us the opportunity to find out what our customers think about our service. Customer feedback gives us the chance to act fast and respond to changes and demands in our industry.” The likes of Apple, Intuit, and GE are already leveraging NPA to manage sections of their business and expand their positioning in the global market in their respective industries. It is only logical that the logistics business adopts the approach to comprehend whether the quality of their services is in line with the demands and expectations of their current customer base.
As an industry leader, ECU Worldwide is already leading the change towards the development of a customer-centric logistics industry. The company is one of the first NVOCC companies to implement NPA with the aim of taking customer experience in logistics to the next level. NPA fits perfectly into ECU Worldwide’s vision of empowering its customers, giving the company an effective tool to collect feedback and working on shortcomings in the procedure to ensure maximum customer satisfaction.
In order to ensure that the company meets customer expectations on every front, ECU Worldwide customers receive an NPA survey via email, after every individual interaction with the company. The survey varies from customer to customer and consists of questions based on the nature and type of interactions which can vary from a sales visit to an export booking. These surveys provide ECU Worldwide with actionable insights into customer behaviour and enable the administration to recognise flaws in their current system.
Once feedback on operational shortfalls is received, it is thoroughly reviewed by the organisational excellence team along with country management, sales personnel, and concerned departments. Post the review, the feedback is assigned to the concerned teams, who then work on improving the service offerings and ensuring a seamless customer experience in future.
ECU Worldwide continues to power its efforts towards developing a seamless experience for its customers. As a defining step forward, the company is all set to debut the ECU 360, an online logistics booking platform that will simplify service bookings and provide real time information to its customers.
Being one of the best in the business comes with accountability. And the company’s continued focus on enhancing the quality of service and customer satisfaction is a reinforcement of its leadership and commitment. ECU Worldwide’s vision lays down an elaborate blueprint for the customer-centric logistics industry of the future.
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