Logistics expertise 03.01.2024

Customer service in logistics: How to turn your communication into a competitive advantage

Five tips for outstanding customer service

Customer service in logistics: five tips

Fast and transparent communication is crucial in logistics. Without communication guidelines, feedback processes or shipment tracking in customer service, you risk not only customer dissatisfaction but also lasting damage to your reputation. 

As transport services in the logistics sector are similar, good customer service often makes all the difference. In this blog article, we present five tips to help you improve your customer experience.

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The importance of successful customer service

Companies can gain a lot from successful customer communication. However, they risk losing even more if they do not respond to their customers’ needs. Mistakes can be costly, while excellent customer service creates competitive advantages and builds lasting relationships with customers. 

That’s what a study by the management magazine Harvard Business Review found. The aim of the study was to quantify the impact of good and bad customer experiences in order to determine their value for a company. The outcome? Satisfied customers are more willing to spend more money and recommend the company to others. Dissatisfied customers, on the other hand, are more costly because they are more willing to return products and require more intensive support.

These results are transferable to the logistics sector. Here, too, customer satisfaction is crucial to business success. Rapid deliveries, precise information and problem-solving expertise strengthen customer relationships and, above all, encourage repeat business. 

Five tips to improve customer service

Nowadays, customers have high expectations when it comes to the level of service they receive from providers. To help you take your customer service to the next level, we have compiled five useful tips for you.


1. Transparent communication and accessibility

It is frustrating when problems arise and finding a contact person takes a long time. It is therefore important that communication channels are presented transparently. Who is the point of contact? Which channels can be used to reach them and when? The customer needs to be able to find this information in standard logistics communication (e.g. in the offer confirmation or invoice) or on the website. 

One particularly important aspect is that accessibility is guaranteed. Nobody wants to spend hours on hold, only getting through to an answering machine or constantly wondering whether the e-mail they sent two days ago has even been received. Customers will be grateful for a fast response time. Even small things such as automatic confirmation e-mails or a call-back service can make a big difference in this respect. 

And last but not least: in a best-case scenario, many questions or problems can be solved through proactive communication. Difficulties originating from your own company must be communicated to the customer independently, without the customer having to ask. 


2. Train your employees

Customer service employees are responsible for ensuring a positive logistics customer experience – they are the key to success. They therefore need to be carefully trained for their tasks so that they are able to handle customer enquiries and solve problems. This includes product and industry knowledge on the one hand and communication and interpersonal skills on the other.

In order to speak the customers’ language and understand background processes, it is important that new employees gain knowledge of transport and logistics processes. In addition to internal and external training, TIMOCOM’s transport lexicon also helps. Service staff also need to know their customers very well. One method for this is the persona approach. Personas are fictitious representations of target groups based on real data and observations. They help to develop an understanding of customer needs and expectations. 

Communication training is also important. Service staff are especially likely to interact with customers in stressful situations, for example if a delivery is delayed or damaged. For that reason, they must be familiar with conflict resolution methods and have good communication skills. 


3. Using technology saves time

Want to harness the benefits of digitalisation in logistics for your freight customer service? One way to do this is with live shipment tracking. Customers today expect real-time information on their orders, as is already standard in their day-to-day lives. Customers can answer questions such as “Where is my shipment?” or “When will my shipment arrive?” themselves using modern technology. This saves a considerable amount of time on both sides.

A chatbot can help to answer general questions. This can be installed on your homepage. If the chatbot is unable to help the customer, it will suggest various communication channels to direct them to the right contact person. This reduces the workload on service staff and increases customer satisfaction by answering questions quickly. 


4. Multichannel support

Availability is the most important factor in customer service. E-mail and telephone are usually the standard channels in customer communication. In addition, customers nowadays expect a certain degree of flexibility from their service providers so that they can also be there for them via other channels. 

For example, if the company is active on social media. News and comments on social media networks must be monitored. Public questions in particular should not be left without a comment, as other potential customers may be reading too. 

In addition to the chatbot solution already mentioned, there is also the option of offering a live chat service. This allows customers to submit quick questions and receive a quick response. Availability is therefore particularly important for this service, as customers expect real-time communication in a live chat. Messenger services such as WhatsApp also offer business solutions for this.

Another option is a self-service portal. This provides customers with FAQs, instructions and product information, for example. Customers can use it to try to resolve their questions themselves as a first step. 

A ticket system is also suitable for large companies with numerous enquiries. Customers can use it to submit their questions, problems and other concerns. The advantage of this is that all the most important information is already requested from the customer via the corresponding options in the system. Thanks to the processes in the background, the customer’s enquiry is immediately forwarded to the right contact person. It is also possible to allocate resources via the ticket system, as open tickets and the employees working on them are visible.


5. Complaint management

It is important to act in a solution-orientated manner, particularly in difficult situations. A fast response time is always an advantage. This is especially important in the event of customer complaints. Even if a solution is not yet available, the customer should be informed that someone is taking care of their request. 

A clear process helps employees to act proactively in the event of a complaint. The escalation process clarifies which party is responsible for making decisions and from which point in time. It must be clear to the customer that their problem has a high priority. Otherwise, they may express their dissatisfaction publicly on rating portals. 

At the same time, complaints are also a good impetus for improving processes or products. For example, customer feedback can be used to identify recurring problems. It therefore makes sense to regularly analyse the questions and complaints received. 

Attract and retain customers

Efficient customer service is crucial to attracting new customers, but more importantly to retaining existing customers. Every positive experience increases customer loyalty to the company. Plus: Satisfied customers are the best advertisement. To achieve this, it is important to provide professional customer service. Firstly with the right skills and secondly with the right technology.


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Benedikt Stasch

Marketing Campaign Manager

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