Communication is the key to providing exceptional customer service. And it is like that regardless of the industry you work in.
Whether it’s addressing customer questions quickly or keeping them updated about new services, solid customer communication is critical. This is essentially where last mile efforts come into play and start to really shine and balance everything out.
The last mile is almost literally just what it sounds like. It is the last few steps in the delivery process. And those last few steps right before the package finally arrives at the customer's doorstep are the most crucial. During this "last mile", the shipper has an opportunity to really impress a customer and leave them with a glowing experience. From start to finish!
To help streamline and customize the experience down to the detail many shippers employ a TMS platform. TMS solutions come in handy to help shippers expedite the entire order fulfillment process and find the right carrier and route for the customers preferred delivery commitment.
In this blog post, we’ll outline a few of the latest last mile technology solutions found in a modern TMS that can tremendously help shippers of all sizes, scopes, and customer types.
How TMS Solutions Drive Last Mile Logistics
In order to explain how TMS solutions are used to improve the last mile, it’s important to clearly define what is involved in a successful last mile or white glove service program. While each business has their own strategies, there are a few last mile best practices that are used.
Let's take a look at some of them now...
Automated Fulfillment Updates
Companies like Costco, Amazon, and Walmart have set a new, really high, standard on last mile efforts. They have achieved this simply by updating their customers frequently throughout the order process.
It all starts by sending automated email alerts that let the customer know that their order has been processed. And even when their order is set for fulfillment, it has been packaged and is being shipped.
Status or Delivery Confirmation
Further through the communication line comes automated alerts via text messages, automated phone calls, or email that provide status updates on the delivery.
Customers will then receive notifications if their delivery is delayed due to poor weather, traffic or other acts outside of control of the carrier or shipper. While late deliveries are never positive for white glove service efficiency, they can be acceptable assuming the customer is fully aware of this situation.
Sometimes, situations happen where a customer is not available to accept a package delivery.
To provide flexibility, smart fulfillment centers offer customers the opportunity to change delivery details. Some items they can change simply by visiting the order fulfillment platform include changing the shipping address, requesting a specific delivery window, or permitting a secondary individual to sign for a secure shipment.
What TMS Tools or Platforms Provide Improved Last Mile Service?
There are a few newer tools packaged in today’s TMS solutions that help shippers improve the last mile of delivery, by offering customers the flexibility they require.
The blockchain technology used in modern TMS solutions is used to improve the communication process between shippers and their customers. It allows the shipper to set up automated customer notifications, including quick updates on picking, packaging, and shipping.
Cloud technology allows shippers to access and update their TMS from any location.
This includes checking up on order status for a customer inquiry quickly from a wireless device. This reduces the time needed to access the TMS, improve customer service, and quickly update or change orders.
There are multiple tools found in today’s TMS solutions that allow shippers to provide white glove service. And many of them match the likes of Amazon, Costco, and those other giants in e-commerce fulfillment. The key to finding a TMS that fits your needs is to consult with a 3PL like Redwood Logistics first.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can customize a TMS solution for your business to improve your last mile efforts, contact Redwood Logistics today.