Skip to content

Supply Chain Customer Experience: Why Customer Experience Is the Supply Chain Buzzword for 2017 & Beyond

Customer needs and expectations rule all businesses. In the modern age, businesses have been forced to become practically clairvoyant in their ability to meet customer expectations. Meanwhile, Amazon, Walmart and other online retail giants threaten to undermine the success and profitability of small to medium-sized businesses. However, being smaller does not necessarily mean a business is doomed fail. Instead, business owners and companies who understand why supply chain customer experience is the buzzword for 2017 and beyond can position themselves to stay competitive. First, these entities need to know why the focus has shifted toward customer experiences, not just profitability.

1. Existing Technologies Are Falling Short.

Predictive analytics were once thought to be the end-all solution for achieving exactly what customers want. However, recent years have shown companies that focus on creating a seamless shopping experience, an omnichannel sales strategy, can overcome exceed the level of customer service in even the most advanced systems, reports Lauren Horwitz of SearchCRM. Today’s technologies are effective for managing workflows and product fulfillment, but new supply chain technologies can provide even greater refinement to become customer-service focused as customers become more aware of what is out there.

2. More Companies and Customers Want Omnichannel Shopping Experiences.

As explained by Digitalist Mgazine, customers want to get information relevant to their immediate needs. They do not want an endless barrage of ads, and most Americans have installed ad-blocking software to prevent online ads. As a result, companies must focus on interactions with customers engaged with their products and websites. In other words, these companies cannot get messaging out via advertising, so all interactions must be consumer-centric and focused on offering a better deal.

3. Customer-Centered Shopping Is Dominating Future Delivery Trends.

Many supply chain leaders have envisioned a future of delivery filled with robots, drones and immediate delivery, but this is not what customers want today. Today’s customers want to feel special. They want something more than just a quick, unreliable experience. A memorable supply chain customer experience should give customers options for delivery, and shipping should always be free. While this might not be possible from a logistics’ view, your company needs to cut overhead costs wherever possible to divert resources to achieve free shipping. This is essential to staying competitive with the online shopping giants.

4. Customers Spend More Time Researching Products and Using Technology to Find the Best Deals.

Customers can spend more time researching and reviewing products today as well. Social media, online review sites and comments play a role in customer’s decision to buy or walk away from a full shopping cart. Rather than leaving it up to chance, your company needs to make service a priority for every visitor. This may include using chatbots or automated emails and follow-ups to get customers interested and engaged with your products.

5 Consumers Want a Safe, Secure Way to Shop.

The final reason behind the focus on customer service lies in safety and security. Customers need to know their personal information is secure in your system, and if your company is new, you may want to use shopping carts or other API-based systems for provide enhanced security during check-out. This also leads to the generation of consumer data to improve internal analytics’ insights and derive value in your company.

Final Thoughts For Your Supply Chain Customer Experience.

Material Handling and Logistics magazine

 found an overwhelming majority of supply chain executives (86) percent believe improving the customer service experience must be a company-wide goal. By understanding the reasons for this focus, your company can stay competitive and grow as the online shopping revolution becomes everyday life for millions of customers.