Nearly every business claims their customers are satisfied with their products and services. This is such a repeated claim that, most of the time, though, we just tune out the message as what it typically is — an empty claim made by the vendor’s marketing team.As a business leader in the freight broker world, though, the technology you choose has a profound impact on your company’s ability to serve your customers. A robust transportation management system (TMS) is key to improving operational efficiency for freight brokers and 3PLs. Your TMS can help you save time, reduce costs, simplify supply chain processes, and provide superior customer service. The TMS is an extension of your team and should allow them to serve customers and carriers efficiently. The software shouldn’t get in the way of letting your team book and post loads quickly, and it should enable them to effortlessly perform repetitive tasks like check calls.Put simply, your TMS should be easy to use for your team – allowing them to provide your customers with an excellent user experience. This article discusses why you should consider customer satisfaction when choosing a Transport Management System with a particular focus on the role of user experience (UX). Keep reading to learn more.
TMS vendors routinely provide inferior support – inhibiting your team’s ability to serve your customers efficiently.
What Is UX?
User experience, from the perspective of a TMS, refers to all aspects of a user’s interaction with the system that help build the user’s perceptions of not just the system but also the business. So, user experience refers to interface layout, sound, visual design, text, brand, and person-to-person.Even though it involves minimal human-to-human interaction, UX can be equated to customer service for online platforms. According to the Nielsen Norman Group , a good UX should meet the customer’s needs without fuss or bother. Most TMS’s fall short when it comes to delivering a great user experience for freight brokers. They are notoriously difficult to use with antiquated interfaces. When users have problems or questions, TMS vendors routinely provide inferior support – inhibiting your team’s ability to serve your customers efficiently. When choosing a TMS, you should not only look at the features it provides. You must also consider its ease of use, how well the vendor will support your team, and how satisfied their current customers are with their overall experience of using the vendor’s software.
Why Is UX Important for Customer Satisfaction?
Choosing a TMS with great UX ultimately results in improved customer satisfaction because your team can do their jobs more effectively and efficiently. Here are the reasons why having a platform with top-notch UX is essential:
1. Intuitive Experience
The effectiveness of the user experience on a website or app is determined by the duration a customer must wait to start using it proficiently and how long it takes for them to accomplish routine tasks. Therefore, having a TMS with a UX that allows your team to do their job with minimal clicks is essential. Users who find a platform user-friendly will be more productive and better able to serve your customers. For example, check calls can be time consuming for your team because your staff needs to search for the load, determine its status, open Outlook, find your customer’s email, copy and paste the status into an email and send it. Most TMS’s require 5+ clicks and multiple applications to accomplish something your team is doing every day – whereas a TMS with an intuitive UX should allow them to perform routine load-based tasks like this from the loads page.
2. Reducing Costs
The outcome of this intuitive experience is ultimately a reduction in costs for your business. That’s because an initial focus on UX design solves usability problems and issues long before they occur – allowing your team members to do more in less time. Additionally, they don’t need to log expensive hours on support calls learning how to use the software or overcoming challenges that a bad UX causes. Consequently, your freight brokerage can save money on labor costs because your team is more efficient – and redirect that saved money to increasing customer retention and growing your business.
3. Increasing Customer Retention
Consider the steps that your customers need to go through when they interact with your company. How easy is it for them to check on the status of a load or to view a load’s history? Do they need to email or call your team for this information? Does your team spend a large amount of time servicing requests like this that could be automated? Shippers want easy access to information and a frictionless experience when working with you. Shippers don’t want to physically sign documents, call your sales rep to see where a load is, or go through the hassle of rejecting an invoice because you didn’t provide the right required documents.Your TMS should make information available to customers when they need it and via the channel they prefer. Your TMS should be able to automatically text or email load details to your customers to eliminate phone calls. It should support electronic signatures for documents to reduce paper documents and to provide a historical record for you and them. Your TMS should have the capability to automatically verify that all the load documents your customer requires are added to any invoice you send them – reducing cycles for them and ensuring you get paid faster.If your TMS provides a positive and frictionless user experience for your customers, they will stay with you and ultimately become “raving fans” of your business. If your TMS doesn’t make it easy for your customers to work with you, they will find a broker with better capacity and technology to support their needs.
4. Growing Your Business
According to Ken Blanchard in his excellent book “Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service”, “Your customers are only satisfied because their expectations are so low and because no one else is doing better. Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create Raving Fans.” Why do raving fans matter? These are the customers who will speak at conferences on your behalf. They will serve as references when you are working through an RFP. They will refer colleagues to you because they have absolute confidence that you will make them look good. Ultimately, the user experience provided by your TMS can make or break your business. Your business is either growing or shrinking, and your TMS plays a key role in ensuring you are attracting new customers and retaining existing customers.
Improve Your Transportation Management System
Using a transportation management system with a great user experience is the easiest way to make customers loyal to your brand. A great user experience will make your team more efficient, reduce your costs, and increase your brokerage’s profits by allowing you to better serve your existing customers while attracting new customers. The BrokerPro TMS checks all of these boxes, and we would love to schedule a demo with you. Beforehand, though, we encourage you to read our reviews on Capterra so you can see how we have created raving fans out of our customers by providing an excellent product with excellent support.