The present-day business world is incredibly complex and presents business owners with numerous challenges that make the job of inspiring strong customer satisfaction needlessly hard. Running an efficient supply chain comes off as one of the best examples.
Unlike the previous times when local markets and economies presented a much more stable and predictable backdrop for running operations, these days getting your products from point A to point B becomes impeded by countless factors, most of which are outside the owner’s control.
Be that as it may, efficient supply chains and the ability to deliver your products in time make some of the most basic elements for keeping your clients coming back for more. Let us take a look then how this dynamic works in greater depth and what you can do to make your supply chain an asset instead of a liability.
Role of the supply chain in generating customer satisfaction
To put it simply, all customers in the world expect great service and quality products – speaking in terms of supply chain management that would mean delivering the products in time and preferably in one piece. We also have to keep in mind that the supply chain has a tremendous influence on a product’s price and availability which, effectively, dictate its market position. So, you need to run efficient operations to stay competitive. But, these are only the most basic requirements your business needs to meet in order to get any kind of following.
Using the supply chain as a customer satisfaction tool
The companies that really want to score a strong market presence and inspire repeat purchases should look at the supply chain as a full-fledged customer service tool and, looking at things from this perspective, use its infrastructure to make the overall customer experience more enjoyable. Here are some of the most effective examples.
One of the easiest ways to do that comes in the form of a higher level of transparency. Consumers crave control over the delivery process. Allowing them to, at any point, get the info about the products they have ordered, take a look at their current location and ETA, as well as see who is handling the delivery will go a long way in building mutual confidence and presenting you as a trustworthy partner. This also removes some of the pressure off your shoulders since the clients get the insight into complexities of the delivery process.
As much as they like their deliveries in time people equally appreciate the companies that are able to offer some level of financial flexibility, and, if necessary extend the payment terms. Even though this practice shouldn’t become a long-term solution, demonstrating goodwill toward trusted clients can earn you an easy loyalty point. On the other hand, your company can easily compensate for these small losses by using the debtors financing services that will give you access to liquid funds and keep the cash flow of your company alive and well.
When handling the logistics you need to make sure to always provide your clients with a realistic timetable that won’t leave them disappointed if something unexpected occurs down the road. For what it’s worth you can even go a step further and purposefully push the most conservative estimates. Sure, this will put some of the more impatient clients off, but as soon as you start proving you can guarantee your ETAs with 100% certainty, people will come back under your wing.
How to introduce beneficial supply chain changes
The things we have mentioned above certainly seem logical and beneficial. The real issues appear when we start implementing these strategies in real life. As vital as they are, an efficient supply chain and the strategies we proposed above are not always compatible.
So, let us take a quick look at a couple of tips that will help you to make the process of refitting your supply chain for the purposes of higher customer engagement smoother and more efficient:
- Use relevant KPIs – All the changes, strategies, and innovations you are going to implement in the following period need to be measured and well-documented. This way, if you encounter some performance drops you will be able to quickly isolate the underperforming facets.
- Digitize and automate the infrastructure – Aside from providing considerable performance boosts, the digital infrastructure and workflow management also provides a greater level of transparency, great scalability as well as easier integration of new participants.
- Make supply chain more adaptable – Essentially, your supply chain should become capable of handling specific packaging and pricing demands. Speaking in broader terms, logistics assets should serve as an extension of your customer service and not vice versa.
- Leverage forecasting and AI–powered analytics – These two assets will help you to maintain agile and precise inventories that will take into consideration the logistic and market necessities as well as your clients’ unique patterns and preferences.
We hope these few considerations gave you a general idea about just how important maintaining the efficient supply chain can be for the overall customer satisfaction you are trying to build and hopefully presented feasible strategies for how you can align these two demands. No matter how important new clients are, the business world is built on repeat purchases, and you will never be able to build strong brand loyalty if you mismanage something as critical as the supply chain. Take everything we have talked about above into serious consideration and you will be on a good way to untangling this mess.