5 Ways To Make Customers Feel Valued!

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Customers feel valued article and permission to publish here provided by Dhruv Mehta.

Do you love your customers?

Indeed, you do. But how do you tell your customers that you value them?

As you must have read at hundreds of other places, customer experience has overtaken price and quality as the key differentiator for brand loyalty. So, if your answer to the above question was ‘great quality’ or ‘awesome service,’ sadly, it isn’t enough.

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Order Management Improvement Best Practices!

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Order Management article and permission to publish here provided by Dave Joseph at veridian.info.

An order management system (OMS) is the system of record for maintaining orders and handling inventory. In the omnichannel supply chain, order management improvement leads to confident inventory management across all channels.

Additionally, the use of data to understand what is happening, what will happen, what should happen, and how to make the best outcome happen through analytics will result in order management improvement.

Order management begins with visibility, and visibility promotes improvement within inventory management. Such improvements naturally lend themselves to higher customer service levels and benefits throughout the supply chain.

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Should You Buy or Lease Your Photocopier?

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Buy or Lease Your Photocopier article and permission to publish here provided by Daniel Calvin at number1officemachines.com.au.

Photocopiers are an integral part of any workspace. Nearly every office nowadays is equipped with a multifunctional copy machine, one that can carry out essential operations, from printing to scanning and photocopying.

Many businesses often, when it is time to upgrade or get a new photocopier, already know what array of features the machine should be equipped with, but the question of whether to buy or lease, can be one which isn’t quite so obvious. 

After following a guide to buying a photocopier, and weighing up the different factors involved in deciding what type of copier will best suite your business, it’s time to look at the pros and cons of whether to buy or lease a photocopy machine. 

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The Customer is Not Always Right! Protect Your Customer Service Employees

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Unchaining Change Leadership

Protect your customer service employees article and permission to publish here provided by Angela Martin at HKM Marketing.

The belief that the customer is always right may seem like a great way to attract and retain customers. However, it may end up doing more harm than good to your business as customers may not be right all the time. The idea also tends to give clients the upper hand no matter the circumstances and subjugate employees. It also compels businesses to do the customer’s bidding in fear of losing business at the expense of their employees and resources.

Since customer service can make or break your business, it is crucial to protect your customer service employees. You should also know where to draw the line when dealing with customers and their complaints.

Read on to find out more about why the customer may not always be right, and ways to protect your customer service employees from work-related challenges, including harassment and bullying from customers. 

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The Benefits of Providing Tracking Information to Customers!

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Tracking information article originally published by, and permission to publish here provided by, Jake Smith at https://www.gopeople.com.au

Online shopping has become an integral part of many consumers’ lives. The increased volume of parcels shows that this new way of acquiring goods and services is here to stay.

While a lot of packages are successfully delivered, sometimes, they can get misplaced, damaged, and in worst cases, lost. For these reasons, many customers will want to know the exact location and status of the items they ordered to ensure that it will safely arrive in their homes.

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CEO Insights on Value Realization from Customer Success!

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Unchaining Change Leadership

Customer success article was created by Kia Puhm, CEO at K!A CX.  Kia’s site is  thedesiredpath.com.

The Toronto Customer Success Executive Breakfast is a forum whereby local industry leaders get together over breakfast to discuss the still young and rapidly evolving field of Customer Success.

Co-hosted by Natasha Narayan and myself, and Sponsored by Gainsight, senior executives in this field are invited to share their knowledge and expertise amongst their peer group in an intimate and highly interactive setting.

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Understanding Outbound Call Centers !

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Unchaining Change Leadership

Outbound call centers article and permission to publish here provided by Mark Henry.

Before knowing about outbound call centers, let’s see what are the types of call centers.

There are 3 types, such as inbound, outbound, and virtual. Further, these three are categorized as Domestic and International depending on whether they serve within the country or outside.

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Consolidate Orders Online and Stop the Senseless Waste Now!

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During the pandemic more people have been shopping online than ever before. It stands to reason that with lockdowns in place and many physical stores being closed, that ECommerce ordering and shipping is a great alternative to face to face shopping. And customers typically except sellers to consolidate orders they place.

Along with online shopping the never ending push for fast delivery has continued unabated, whether it’s really necessary or not.

The result of this however is that more and more online orders are being fulfilled and delivered piecemeal. An order of 3 or more items more often than not results in the delivery of 3 separate packages. There is no focus to consolidate orders at all. It’s insane.

Unless there is an urgent need for a specific item companies should be consolidating their items in fewer packages and avoiding all of this waste.

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On Time Delivery – Get that right First!

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No matter what industry you are in and no matter what channels you are serving your Customers expect delivery of their goods on time.

You may have different pressures, to increase profits for instance, but you must take care of the basic expectation of on time delivery first.

If you don’t have on time delivery all your other pressures will not matter.   Your customers will go elsewhere and your business will fail.  Even if you have a unique product that no one else in the world has (for now) you must deliver on time to your customers.  If not there will always come a time when your customers will be able to go elsewhere.

Providing on time delivery may seem basic.  But it is the foundation on which the rest of your business must be built.

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Last Mile Delivery: Stop Shipping Air and Empty Boxes!

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When you order something Online there is great excitement in anticipation of opening your package when it arrives.  With any luck the company you have ordered from has provided a positive experience in the online ordering and payment process.  Now you are just waiting for the package to arrive.  You certainly don’t want them to stop shipping.

Most recently we ordered a couple of items online.  They were relatively small items and could easily fit in the palm of your hand.  Within a couple of days a large box arrived at the front door.   I wasn’t quite sure what it was because the box was rather big, big enough for a toaster or perhaps a couple of large board games.

I was surprised when we opened the big box, removed a bunch of crumpled paper and packaging material, and found the 2 small items we had ordered sitting on the bottom of this box.  The items could have fit inside a standard envelope.  Instead they were deliberately packaged in a box which could have held 200-300 of the items.  Why don’t they stop shipping air?

What a waste!

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6 Major Delivery Logistics Trends!

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Delivery logistics trends article originally published by, and permission to publish provided by, Raanan Cohen at https://www.bringg.com/  

2017 was an important year for delivery logistics. With ecommerce sales reaching $23 trillion in annual sales worldwide, customers are relying on better and faster deliveries for all sort of goods and services.

But this evolution in the supply chain, and for last mile fulfillment in particular, doesn’t end with retail. From restaurant chains to supermarkets to pharmacies to service providers, the world of logistics is experiencing unprecedented change.  What are the delivery logistics trends?

 

This radical shift in customer behavior and expectations regarding deliveries means that many organizations will have to remake their entire supply chain in order to become more agile, and remain competitive in a world where an optimized, lean and efficient logistical infrastructure is at the core of a successful customer-centric business.

These are some of the key industry delivery logistics trends in supply chain management which will take center stage in the upcoming year:

1.  Real-time Visibility

We’re moving towards a supply chain which is fully transparent and trackable in real-time. On the one hand, it’s helping companies become more efficient by knowing the precise status of each order, driver and customer. On the other hand, customers are always aware of the status of their purchase and have the ability to interact with their driver directly if need be.

 

But transparency can go far beyond efficiency, comfort and value. Customers are increasingly demanding and worried about the supply chain behind their purchases. As Andrew Marder points out, the definition of transparency is expanding, with customers increasingly aware of factors such as worker rights issues, environmental impact, and even political affiliations.

 

 

2. Big Data

From the millions of data points and variables in any supply chain should come the knowledge required to determine business strategies and to support decision-making processes. And the puzzle isn’t getting any simpler, with companies deploying different tech platforms and using multiple fleets and 3PLs throughout their supply chain.

In addition, there is the data collected at customer touch points, from feedback on the delivery to driver ratings. All this information needs to be processed and analyzed since the “brand experience” doesn’t only apply to brick and mortar establishments anymore – and companies are increasingly coming to realize that the delivery process is a powerful catalyst to improving or swaying brand perceptions.

In the context of the supply chain for most businesses, big data and predictive analytics are still an untapped resource that can potentially provide insights which help anticipate or respond to events or disruptions. Unpredictable consumer behaviour, traffic or weather patterns, and labour unrest are all external events that can disrupt a supply chain and lead to increased costs and customer service challenges.

Delivery Logistics trends

Big data can help organisations become better trading partners to their customers and suppliers. But before insights and analytics can be leveraged for a better supply chain, there’s a huge task at hand for the many organizations that need to first collate data points from all sources and align them to their business operations.

3. Sharing Economy

Sharing economy solutions will soon begin disrupting logistics services. We’re already seeing how Uber and other companies setup driver networks to deliver packages to consumers by using their personal vehicles. To cope with the shortage of drivers and with the need for flexible fleets that are available based on business demand, the sharing economy will begin spreading in 2018 into big brands that need to find alternatives that help them create a more flexible and adaptable logistics infrastructure.

This trend can take different shapes and forms. For example, earlier this summer WalMart piloted a scheme in which some of their store staff could earn extra cash by delivering packages to customers on their drive back home. Other companies are looking into different solutions that would enable them to share resources and fleets in order to become more efficient – for instance, a restaurant fleet with spare time after lunch rush hour could potentially help a retailer struggling to meet demand during the peak holiday season.

 

4. Conquering the Last Mile

Amazon has changed the way we buy things. If retailers don’t offer two-day or overnight shipping, shoppers will likely go elsewhere. This is putting an unprecedented level of pressure on the entire ecosystem, and what used to be a challenge for retailers is now something that many other industries need to take into consideration. As Business Insider said, it will be about Amazon versus the World following their acquisition of Whole Foods.

The last mile challenge isn’t only about logistics feasibility and speed, but also about the strain that the now de facto delivery alternatives put on profit margins. That’s why businesses will need to get creative when it comes to finding new ways to pull together their resources and fleets in order to build new supply chain models that help them conquer the last mile and win their share of customer wallets.

 
 
 

5. Orchestrating Delivery Channels

While the spotlight right now is on the Last Mile, there’s a lot of room for growth, improvement and modernization throughout the entire supply chain – from the first mile to the last and everywhere in between. One of the biggest challenges for companies is that the last mile matrix is getting increasingly complex with all the different delivery channels.

In order to succeed, retailers will have to orchestrate their logistics matrix strategically, optimizing the use of all the delivery channels depending on their customers’ location, required level service, price, etc. To do this, they will have to increase their investment in technology – using the platforms and tools to seamlessly align and manage the entire jigsaw efficiently.

 

While in the past, the only decision businesses had to make was whether to use an in-house fleet or an outsourced delivery partner, the reality for many companies today is that they have to manage multiple 3PLs, fleets, and even crowd-sourced drivers. The current landscape will continue forcing businesses to be open to new ‘hybrid’ logistics models using a combination of delivery companies, technologies, and distribution partners to serve an increasingly demanding and global customer base.

 

retailers will have to orchestrate their logistics matrix strategically, optimizing the use of all the delivery channels

 

6. Openness to the unknown

The world is changing fast, and it is key to be able to rapidly react delivery logistics trends, industry changes and to new technologies that we might not even have heard of yet. So those companies that stay with their finger on the pulse and with an open mind when it comes to rethinking the way they work, will be the ones that succeed in the long run.

There was incessant press coverage in 2016 about drone deliveries. During 2017 the attention shifted towards self-driving cars and trucks. With the recent explosion of Bitcoin value and blockchain technologies, there is a lot of speculation and ideas about how to leverage blockchain protocol to improve supply chains.

 

I look forward to another year where reality often surpasses what not long ago felt like fiction – constantly creating new milestones and standards that move the entire ecosystem forward with groundbreaking innovation in technology, commerce and logistics.

 

Originally published on Supply Chain Game Changer on January 25, 2018.

How to Get Great Amazon Reviews!

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Amazon reviews article and permission to publish here provided by Susan Melony.

When you have a product you sell on Amazon, the whole package is important, quite literally. 

Customers have thousands of options at their fingertips in any given product category, and that means they can be discerning. Customers can also leave their reviews of your product, and those reviews are an integral part of boosting your sales if they’re positive. 

From having beautifully designed packaging to sending follow-up emails after someone receives your product, you want a streamlined experience that compels your Amazon customers to jump on the site and leave you a great review. 

The following are some tips to get those coveted online reviews

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The New Car Bait and Switch! A True Story!

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The “Check Engine” light appeared on my vehicle recently. As the vehicle was over 11 years old and showing increasingly serious signs of breaking down, a trip to the mechanic confirmed that it would cost more to fix the vehicle then it was worth. So my wife and I decided we needed to get a new car.

We quickly researched vehicles and narrowed down the model and brand that we were interested in. After a visit to the local dealership, a test drive and some negotiating we bought a new car.

Within 24 hours of getting our new car our happiness turned to bitterness. The car they gave us was not the vehicle we had bought.

It seemed like we were the victims of a car dealership bait and switch!

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1001 Networks Offers Delivery Solutions! (Sponsored)

Article and permission to publish here provided by Damien Chapus, CEO and Founder of 1001 Networks.

In December 2019, 1001 Networks officially launched!

This site, which operates out of Antibes, France allows people to take control over their business’ shipping and delivery needs. The website offers a place for people to come together and share information.

Right on the homepage of the website, people can see real customer reviews of companies. These detail the experiences people had with their chosen provider, and allows others to learn who to use, or not to use. 

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What Vendor Centric and Customer Centric Would Look Like on a Date!

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Vendor centric and Customer centric article by Kia Puhm first appeared on http://www.kiacx.com

Last week I wrote about how my client was reverting back to a vendor-centric approach to drive increased adoption and usage of their products.

As we looked to develop the playbook to support their channel partners in the integration of the products, as well as enabling them to sell, train, deploy and support their customers in the usage of the solutions, we fell upon an unlikely analogy; a first date.

What would a vendor-centric versus a customer-centric approach look like on a first date between the vendor and the customer?

Vendor-centric approach

In a vendor-centric approach the vendor would focus on getting the customer to understand everything about them.

They would talk all about themselves sharing what they have to offer the relationship (how great they are and how the customer will benefit by being with them), everything the customer needs to know about them (i.e. the “product”), how they operate (so the customer can figure out how best to interact with them), and what the customer needs to do in order for the vendor to achieve what they want out of the alliance.

The vendor would, unintentionally, neglect to ask the customer what they wanted out of the relationship or understand what they like and dislike in order to know what makes them “tick” and want to go out again.

The vendor’s focus would be predominantly on obtaining its own objectives, but they would genuinely feel that they had the best interests of the customer at heart.

Customer-centric approach

Customer

In a customer-centric approach the vendor would focus on understanding the customer to see how their mutual interests could be aligned to develop a mutually beneficial relationship.

They would listen to the customer learning about what they want to achieve (so the vendor can figure out how to best support the customer obtaining their goals while achieving its own as well), how they operate (to figure out how best to interact with them and make it easy for the customer), and understand what they like and don’t like (i.e. what is the best way to motivate them) in order to generate excitement about the relationship.

The vendor would use that information, along with its expertise and what it has to offer, to purposefully outline ways to create a mutually beneficial relationship, building trust and confidence from the get go.

The vendor’s focus would be to align the interests of both parties, knowing that long-term relationships are created and expanded when both receive value from the.

Would you want to go on a date with the vendor-centric vendor or the customer-centric one?

A goofy analogy to be sure, but it certainly drives home the point of how goofy we as vendors act when it comes to driving adoption using a vendor-centric approach.

Bottom Line

Understanding the customer and aligning their business interests with a customer-centric, prescriptive approach to realizing value from the vendor’s products is the fastest and most efficient way to product adoption.

Ultimately this leads to value derivation for customers, which in turn leads to customer retention and expansion for the vendor; a match made in heaven and one that lasts and grows!

Originally published on Supply Chain Game Changer on September 21, 2017.