The Tenets of a Dependable Freighting Company
Not all freighting companies are equally obliging. While some are able to maintain good relationships with clients and consistently go above and beyond the call of duty, others leave a lot to be desired. If your company has a steady stream of regular clients, it’s easy to become complacent and take their patronage for granted. However, if you aren’t constantly striving to meet client expectations, don’t be surprised if you’re suddenly faced with a downturn in business. Freighting companies looking for effective ways to keep clients satisfied and drum up repeat business should hold themselves to the following standards.
Properly Accommodating Cargo
Any freighting company that wishes to attract repeat business would be wise to re-examine the way it handles cargo. Merchandise that is improperly packed, stored or transported is liable to incur a fair amount of damage throughout the course of its journey. Needless to say, first-time clients are unlikely to take kindly to damaged or outright ruined shipments. Not only does damaged cargo indicate a lack of professionalism, it illustrates utter indifference to your clients’ needs. Unsurprisingly, if your first shipment for a new client arrives at its destination sporting noticeable damage, the odds of them using you again are likely to be low.
You can nip potential cargo issues in the bud by taking the time to educate yourself on the various types of items your company is tasked with transporting. For example, certain items may be sensitive to extreme temperatures and require special climate considerations. Similarly, some types of cargo may be very fragile and therefore incredibly sensitive to shaking, jostling and impacts. This where convenient cargo-monitoring tools can really come in handy. A good temperature monitor, shock recorder or impact sensor can provide clients with an accurate accounting of any hardships their cargo endured while in transit.
Providing Stellar Customer Service
Even in the digital age, courteous and responsive customer service can go a long way. Whether touching base with a longtime client or meeting with a prospective patron, make a point of being polite, professional and sensitive to their individual needs. Additionally, take care to answer any queries they put forth as clearly and honestly as possible. Good customer service also entails taking responsibility for your company’s mistakes. For instance, if a shipment arrives late or damaged as a result of operator error, reacting with indifference, deflection or feigned ignorance is not going to cast you in a positive light with clients. Alternatively, apologizing for any mistakes on your end and promptly making things right can help salvage relationships with clients who have been inconvenienced.
Offering Free Quotes
Providing both new and returning clients with complimentary quotes is a great way to attract new business and keep existing patrons coming back. Charging for quotes may indicate that you’re determined to get as much money as possible out of every potential customer. It also suggests a lack of confidence in your company’s pricing and services. Quotes generally don’t eat up a lot of time, so even if a prospective client ultimately decides to take their business elsewhere, you won’t have wasted much resources or manpower.
Making Timely Deliveries
In some cases, late deliveries aren’t the fault of any single party. Dangerous road conditions, inclement weather or operator illness/injury are all common causes of missed deadlines. While it’s true that late deliveries sometimes can’t be helped, freight companies should generally seek to meet their deadlines. To ensure that undue strain isn’t put on your operators, make a point of being realistic when it comes to deadlines and avoid making promises to clients that you can’t keep. Many factors are used to determine manageable delivery dates, and you’d do well to consider each one before providing clients with projected arrival deadlines.
As is the case with every industry under the sun, freighting has its winners and losers. Although luck can certainly play a role in a freighting company’s success, it’s by no means the determinant factor in a company’s long-term solvency. Companies that work hard to keep patrons happy and provide the best possible customer service are often the ones that retain the most clients and generate positive word of mouth. Freighting services that wish to forge lasting professional relationships, win clients’ trust and set the stage for lasting success should work to embody the qualities discussed above.