Top 5 challenges faced by logistics companies

Brian Reijngoud, VP of Sales

From navigating bureaucratic customs regulations to battling all sorts of supply chain disruptions. These hurdles are the daily rhythm in logistics. Now, factor in customer service and the challenge reaches new heights. Let’s explore.

In our fast-paced global economy, logistics is hard work by definition. Overwhelming volumes, staggering complexity, and conflicting customer service priorities are just a few of the headaches in this challenging and vital industry.

When logistics run smoothly, it’s an intricate dance in which millions of moving parts move around the world with ease. Truly impressive. But it doesn’t take much to throw this dance off-step and create bottlenecks and delays. Then, the questions start - customers, suppliers, sellers, boards, and governments (God forbid!).

By understanding these common issues and how technology can help, it becomes easier to limit their impact and keep things running smoothly.

1. Volume & Optimization 

Logistics is a volume business. In the Netherlands alone, DHL - the largest logistics company in the world - moves up to two million (2 million!) packages a day across a network that includes over 4000 service points. Such a large scale of operations means logistics companies will undoubtedly face challenges in managing customer support effectively. In this context, there are a few ways to address the challenges of volume.

Automating responses: A high volume of inquiries challenges logistics companies to automate responses without losing personalization, which is crucial for customer satisfaction.

Peak times management: Handling spikes in customer inquiries during peak seasons like Christmas or promotional periods like our beloved Black Friday, without compromising on response time or quality. See how DHL makes sure to keep control over the process in the busiest times.

Data analysis: Continuously analyzing customer interaction data to identify common issues and optimize logistics operations, thereby reducing the volume of similar future inquiries.

2. Complexity 

Complexity, like volume, is what the logistics industry is designed to solve. The networks that make logistics possible are inherently intricate and interdependent. No human agent could ever keep track of all the moving parts in such a vast system, but AI can. Agents tracking down a package or dealing with bottlenecks are having their work simplified by an AI tool on the backend as well.

By using AI to handle repetitive inquiries, logistics support teams free up human bandwidth to handle tasks that require human touch. As AI evolves, it’s possible to automate increasing complexity and go beyond easy answers.

3. Balancing Customer Service and B2B Commitments

Customer support teams for logistics companies spend most of their time dealing with people who technically aren’t their customers. Logistics is primarily a B2B service for businesses that need packages delivered. These businesses are the customers. But try telling that to the irate online shopper whose package was supposed to arrive yesterday.

Addressing this issue is all about communication, both internal and external. AI tools can connect distributed sources of knowledge and unsilo communications.

4. UI challenges

One way to address the communications volume issue is to make sure the user interface (UI) for support channels is seamless and intuitive. If the answers to common questions aren’t easily found, the support team will be hearing from customers again and again for the same issues.

Outages can disrupt effective communication with customers in the same way extreme weather might wreck havoc on a logistics network. Support teams can use low-tech solutions like pinned messages to effectively communicate with customers during these incidents.

5. Channel Shift

Sadly, multi-channel - chat, email, or voice - often means multi-headache for logistics companies.

Proprietary apps are pointless if nobody wants to use them.

Email, a channel many logistic companies over-rely on, is not as easy to integrate with the AI tools agents use on other channels.

How best to adapt to channel shift depends on the channel in question and your existing support infrastructure. The main thing is to stay adaptable. Focus on multi-channel integration rather than developing channels independently.

Delivering Better Support

Logistics companies navigate a complex landscape marked by high volume, intricate systems, and shifting communication channels. Leveraging AI and technology offers a path to streamline operations, improve customer interactions, and maintain operational efficiency. Embracing these solutions keeps everything running smoothly.

Happy agents, better conversations

Increase NPS, without the cost: Deepdesk's AI technology helps customer support agents to have more fulfilling customer conversations.