Not long ago, John Rodeheffer of Zipline Logistics wrote an article called “Does Your 3PL Provide ‘Golden Rule’ Customer Service?” In it, he outlines some of the characteristics that you should expect from your Third Party Logistics carrier in terms of customer service, including:
- Transparent communication
- Financial flexibility
- Proactive problem solving
- An “above-and-beyond” attitude on every transaction
One of Rodeheffer’s more interesting points is that there is an “upside” to this slow economy – in the form of 3PL providers going the extra mile for their clients. No one is immune from the effects of a “down” market, so companies have to try a little harder to attract and retain your business. This often translates to 3PL providers working extra hard “to do the right thing, in the right way, every day.”
So what’s the best way to determine if your logistics service is willing to provide “Golden Rule” customer service? Rodeheffer suggests checking out the company’s website and discussing the provider with your peers. He also recommends taking an in-depth look at the 3PL provider’s communications policies. As we all know, sometimes things don’t go as smoothly with a shipment as we had anticipated (due to weather, traffic, or other extenuating circumstances). You need to feel as though your 3PL service is working hard to keep you in the loop on every transaction, so that you’re not left guessing if things don’t go exactly to plan.
Rodeheffer’s final piece of advice: don’t be afraid to expect a lot from your 3PL company. Ultimately, their level of commitment to quality service reflects on your business.