The industry is booming, largely thanks to the global trend in world trade growth. A new market report published in October 2018 by Transparency Market Research forecasts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the logistics market by transport infrastructures of 6% between 2016 and 2024, while Statista projects a CAGR of around 19.5% up to 2020 for the global smart transport market.
Technological innovation is a significant driver across the network. Automated material handling equipment, GPS, biometrics, warehouse control software, RFID and warehouse management software all take their place in helping businesses work more effectively. There is also significant advancement in the integration of technologies that improve B2B and B2C interactions, notably CRM.
What’s with all the tech?
In 2016, Fortune reported that for the first time ever consumers were doing the majority of their shopping online with 51% of all purchases taking place over the Internet. At the same time, it’s clear from online giant Amazon’s foray into bricks and mortar with the 2017 opening of its New York book shop, that shoppers still want a physical experience.
But the concept of shopping has changed dramatically. Online presence is essential, even for businesses specialising in local products. New models like Amazon Go tap into consumer demand for frictionless, flexible, convenient shopping across channels. Now even physical shopping comes fully loaded with technology.
In line with expectations set up by changes in the retail landscape, whether your business deals B2B or B2C, personalised interaction is key. Consumers want tailored experiences that require detailed management of customer relationships, and bottom line depends on building a strong base of loyal customers.
What should I do?
One of the best ways to meet consumer expectation is to employ customer relationship management software (CRM). An industry-specific solution like Rezcomm Engage will allow you to create a database that helps you to connect with your customers right up to the moment of purchase, support them throughout their travel experience and integrate them in a loyalty loop as returning customers and brand advocates.
3 Big Benefits of CRM
1. Visibility creates streamlined communication
A CRM builds transparency and a good sense of company alignment. When visibility across your company is strong, it is easy to communicate. CRM is the unifying force that makes this possible, giving visibility via a user-friendly dashboard into all the moving parts of your production and distribution chains.
2. Information Allows for Scalability
A CRM system facilitates cross-team communication and clear, real-time information about the day-to-day workings of your business. This allows you to increase productivity and scale. You’ll be able to manage your customers through an easy-to-read database and to track important metrics and relationships with prospects and clients.
3. Scalability Leads to ROI
The ability to employ detailed, automated customer management and to see real-time reports about every aspect of your business from sales and capacity to email marketing campaigns gives you prime opportunity to increase ROI.
Retailers have long benefited from CRM software, but CRM is just as valuable for transportation and logistics companies as it is for any other industry. The software’s central database and data visualisation allows for transparency, efficiency and financial forecasting, making it possible to optimise operations and customer satisfaction.
How can CRM help my business?
Let’s use air transport as an example to look at how CRM can improve a typical passenger experience…
When a customer books a flight online through an airport, there are six strategy stages or ‘touchpoints’ at which a CRM system can benefit the process.
These stages represent the customer’s purchase journey and begin before a purchase is made.
1. Active Evaluation
According to Olapic, the path to travel, both the purchase and the experience, has become nonlinear. Consumers no longer research and book with a specific destination in mind, they instead turn to friends, influencers and colleagues through social media to find travel and holiday inspiration and deals.
A CRM system allows your airport to see the browsing history and interests of a prospective customer. By sending personalised, timely messages and offers to that person’s inbox or connecting with them on social media you’re more likely to offer the deciding factor at the active evaluation stage, ensuring you capture the booking.
2. Moment of Purchase
This is the point at which a prospect decides to make a purchase based on the research they have done. You can smooth the customer’s journey by providing information such as reviews, customer case studies and ratings that confirms their decision. This increases your airport’s credibility and builds trust and engagement.
CRM also makes it possible to ease the purchase process. The customer data in your CRM system can be used to correspond, inform and to pre-populate forms such as checkout.
3. Flight Countdown
One the customer has booked a flight, their main concern will be that the service lives up to expectations. Here the CRM system is vitally important to provide relevant customer communications so that the right contacts have the right information at the right time. This will help build a strong customer relationship as trust grows.
The CRM software can also be used to generate customer surveys to ask customers about their experience and to draw attention to and resolve any problems. Surveys from multiple customers are also useful in that they can be analysed to show any areas of poor performance that your airport needs to address.
Any replies you receive from any of these methods can be fed back into the CRM system to allow you to tailor communications to the exact interests of your customers. This reduces the potential of spamming, is in line with GDPR guidelines and will result in a more engaged customer.
4. At the Airport
Information already collected about the customer can be used to offer on-site discounts and special offers relevant to the customer, leading them to explore your airport’s retail concessions. Other communications might include details about the destination such as real-time weather reports, or flight information like gate and departure times.
5. Return Home
Catch the customer on their return from a trip with a ‘welcome home’ message. This message can be used to ask for feedback or reviews, which can in turn feed back into the CRM system.
6. Loyalty Loop
The detailed information made available to your airport by the CRM system makes it possible to continue the customer relationship with personalised communications long after the trip. The familiar statistic that it costs five times more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one stands for airports too, and this is where the CRM system can be used to encourage repeat bookings.
Business Intelligence (BI) leads to happy customers and ROI
Personalised service is the key to customer satisfaction, and a Cloud based CRM system like Rezcomm Engage allows your business to provide customer service on a personal level for every single person who calls. In addition to offering customer browsing and purchase histories, the system can provide social media data for each customer, giving customer service staff a better picture of the person at the end of the line.
CRM can help with the development of loyalty programmes by collecting point of sale data that give a clear picture of what the customer wants, or to develop an online community with interactive social media posts. It can also be used to streamline omnichannel sales.
The BI features in Rezcomm Engage can be used to forecast and keep up to date with product sales, and to determine which products are most popular across channels.
Any business that serves a customer base, whether those customers are B2C or B2B, will benefit from a CRM system. As new customers discover the products and provide data, the CRM helps the business to upscale. And remember: With many generalised solutions available, it’s important to choose a solution from a company like Rezcomm that understands the needs of your industry.
If you would like to find out more about what CRM and marketing automation can offer to airports and other transportation businesses, read our blog post, CRM vs Marketing Automation Software: What do I really need for my airport.
Rezcomm Engage is the first combined data warehousing, business intelligence (BI) and customer relationship management (CRM) system specifically designed to perfectly suit the unique business needs of the transportation industry. If you would like to speak with the team about our integrated CRM systems, get in touch today!
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