Improving Customer Experience to Convert More Leads in the Logistics Industry
March 17, 2022
Logistics is a critical component for any business that ships products directly to a consumer. Despite this, price still dominates many buyers’ decisions when it comes to procuring a third-party logistics (3PL) partner for their business. For 3PL companies looking to close more sales, a race-to-the-bottom sales strategy can provide quick wins, but will eventually damage the bottom line by eroding overall revenue.
Furthermore, in a commoditized market like logistics, it’s likely there will always be a cheaper alternative, so differentiating by price alone isn’t guaranteed to win over prospects. To convert more leads, logistics companies need to reject the price war and focus instead on creating meaningful partnerships with their customers. This is supported by research from Salesforce, in which 67% of B2B buyers say they’d be willing to spend more on a company providing a great customer experience.
Below are some of the ways in which you can positively influence the interactions prospects have with your 3PL brand in order to provide a customer experience that outperforms competitors and converts leads into loyal customers.
Define Your Niche
As the saying goes, a jack of all trades is a master of none. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking a larger pool of potential customers equals more business wins, but often the opposite is true. In a vertical like logistics, with an almost endless array of segments to choose from, it can be tempting to cast your net as wide as possible; however, this is unlikely to provide the quality of service desired by your prospects.
When looking for a 3PL partner, buyers want to feel like vendors truly understand their unique needs. To cater to this, logistics firms should establish a niche and specialize within their chosen field. This ensures customers experience a level of expertise they wouldn’t receive from more generalized providers. In turn, this helps to differentiate from large global players, while also narrowing down direct competition to only those within your specific niche, relieving some of the pressure to drive down pricing.
Empathize with Your Customers
Within B2B sales and marketing, especially in a highly solutions-oriented industry like logistics, it can be surprisingly easy to forget: prospects are human beings, too. This is where it’s beneficial to take learnings from our B2C counterparts, who expertly leverage emotional connection with customers and communicate with them on a human level. To do the same within the B2B space, it’s essential to understand your customers not just within a business context, but on a deeper, emotional plane.
Levelling up buyer personas is a great way to familiarize yourself with customers. Begin with the usual demographic data such as job title, age, and location, then layer in deeper insights such as their needs, pain points, and contact preferences, for example. The more layers you add, the more insightful your persona will be. Harness all the data available to you, such as website behavior, social listening, forum activity, and third-party data. As the ones interacting with your prospects day in, day out, it’s vital that the sales team gets involved in this process. Once you’ve got a deep understanding of who your customer is and what makes them tick, you can then keep this in mind when refining your sales and marketing activity, aiming to foster an emotional connection that helps you stand out against less empathetic competitors.
Demonstrate Expertise with Thought Leadership
It’s all very well saying you understand your customers and their needs, but they’re going to need convincing. Thought leadership is an excellent way for 3PL providers to achieve this, with 63% of buyers agreeing it’s an important way for an organization to provide proof they genuinely understand and can solve a prospect’s business challenges.
Use the information gleaned from your buyer personas to create content with valuable takeaways for your specific audience. Seek to answer the common questions they have about the 3PL industry in general, as well as any specific queries about your services. Don’t limit your thought leadership to blog posts alone—social media posts, podcasts, webinars, and video content are just a few of the many options available to you. To further improve the experience for your customers, analyze their content consumption preferences and respond by creating content in their preferred formats.
Provide Personalized Experiences
Personalization is a well-renowned technique to improve a customer’s experience with your brand, and 77% of B2B sales and marketing professionals agree personalization makes for better customer relationships. By using the information gleaned from bolstering buyer personas, you have the power to individualize each element of the customer journey for a more seamless experience.
One example of B2B personalization in action is varying calls-to-action to ensure they’re relevant to a customer’s buying stage. Consider two different prospects—one is a brand-new website visitor; the other is a prospect who’s already had initial email interaction with your sales team. For the new visitor, you might want to prompt them towards a piece of content to download, perhaps a whitepaper detailing current 3PL trends within your niche. Whereas for the prospect further down the funnel, a follow-up call from a sales representative is a more appropriate next step. 4 Challenges in B2B Healthcare Technology Marketing & How to Solve Them
Speedy Customer Service
The communication a prospect has with your brand can make or break a sale, and your response time matters. A recent DemandScience survey discovered almost one-third of B2B buyers expect a same-day response when reaching out to a business. With time being of the essence, you can relieve pressure on sales teams by automating some elements of customer communication. Chatbots are one such example of this, providing you with the ability to respond to customers 24/7.
However, be careful not to sacrifice the quality of your communications for speed alone—if your response is fast but fails to answer a prospect’s question, you’re better off acknowledging their query and letting them know you’ll be back in touch when you’ve got all the information they need.
Convert More Logistics Leads with DemandScience
Looking for more ways to boost conversions within your logistics business? We can help you connect with buyers who are in-market right now for 3PL services. Contact DemandScience today to find out more.