In recent years, there has been a dramatic shift in the landscape of customer service, one in which a company's customers, as opposed to the companies themselves, are making the demands on supply chains. More often than not, customers are calling the shots on when, where, and how they want their goods and services delivered and ultimately determining what goods and services will succeed in the marketplace.
This is not an entirely new phenomenon in the high-tech industry, which is particularly prone to unpredictable fluctuations in consumer demand. New products become "must haves" overnight, and existing products become obsolete just as quickly.
These trends illustrate the critical need for high-tech manufacturers to focus on customer service across the supply chain to differentiate themselves in the marketplace and build greater customer loyalty. This means moving beyond a "reactive" view of customer service and embracing a more proactive approach to anticipating customer needs at all stages of the supply chain. Even after a product has left a manufacturer's distribution facility, the company still has the opportunity to make a difference in the delivery experience of the product.
In fact, the product delivery experience is a critical aspect of customer service, and one that is often overlooked by companies. UPS research has shown that consumers want more choice around when and how they receive their products. In the delivery business, this means knowing ahead of time when products will arrive; the ability to make changes to or reroute scheduled deliveries; giving customers the ability to communicate delivery choices via mobile devices to free them from waiting on packages at home; and even the option to provide specific details on where packages should be left (such as "garage").
The security aspect of being able to designate where packages are left is especially critical in the high-tech industry, where many items are high-value, such as smartphones, tablets, and other electronics.
How do businesses benefit from focusing on delivery services to end consumers? The answer is simple: an improved customer experience. Consumers who have a positive delivery experience with a product will associate that positive experience with the retailer and manufacturer. Another potential benefit for businesses is a possible reduction of WISMO or "Where IS My Order" calls from customers.
If customers know ahead of time when their packages are coming, they will not need to call the retailer or manufacturer to inquire about the status, which could ultimately translate into cost savings for companies. Businesses could also see a reduction in the number of undeliverable packages, which could result in savings on return shipments as well as cutting down restocking and check-in costs.
In today's market, companies can get ahead by focusing on new and innovative ways to solve customer pain points and giving more choice and flexibility to their customers. UPS has approached this with the launch of UPS My Choice, a service that has changed the product delivery experience for consumers -- as well as the benefit it offers to shippers for enhancing customer service. High-tech manufacturers should think about new ways to engage customers and improve the experience across the supply chain. Companies can do this by embracing solutions of third-party partners and introducing new products and services -- ultimately retaining current customers and attracting new ones.
For more information about the UPS My Choice service, please visit www.ups.com/mychoice/pr.