Customer contact in difficult times - Martin Sieg

Customer contact in difficult times

Digital pricing as a crisis solution – and beyond

Home office, quarantine and plant closures  especially affect forwarding companies. The weak points of analogue sales are mercilessly exposed. Now is the time to digitalize rates and prices and make them available online!

As is so often the case, the current crisis hits small businesses particularly hard. Here, work is often still done “by hand” and personal sales visits or various telephone calls must be made to create a suitable offer. What is normally good, because it is individual and tailored to the customer, turns into the opposite when normal office work is not possible.

Field sales? Forget it!  In difficult times like these, hardly any customer will welcome you. It might be possible to reduce personal sales for a certain time. But what if your office operations have to take a break and the team has to work from home? Is all the necessary information available online? Can you also process and submit offers from home?

The loss of normal operations can only be handled with digital rate management

Who would have thought that the pressure for accelerated digitisation could be due not to the market but to a virus? Because only those who have already digitally processed their purchase and sales prices can now submit offers even when their office operations are shut down. And only those who also offer their customers the possibility of requesting prices via an online shop or placing a transport order are able to cope with longer interruptions in normal office operations.

Digital shop systems: customer-specific pricing for small forwarding companies

It is clear that it is high time for all freight forwarders and logistics companies to digitalise all rates and prices and make them available online. It is equally important to allow both employees and customers access to the relevant data, because a nice Excel sheet in the DropBox will not help anyone.

Digital pricing and an individual offer are not mutually exclusive. Modern shop systems tailored to the needs of the small freight forwarder allow for customer-specific pricing, even online, i.e. 24/7, regardless of whether your own team or those of the customer are in the office.

Using the crisis as an opportunity to rethink and redesign

Perhaps it is now too late for most companies to change their rate management on such short notice – but not for those to see the crisis as a wake-up call and an opportunity. If freight forwarders now use the crisis to become familiar with digital solutions, downtimes can also be used positively.

After all, we  want to learn from crises – this one offers a concrete opportunity right now.

About the author Martin Sieg

During his long career with logistics companies such as Hapag LLoyd, Bolloré Logistics and Rhenus Logistics and as a freelance expert for Mergers & Acquisitions and long-term partner of WCL- WORLDWIDE CONSULTANTS IN LOGISTICS GMBH, Martin Sieg has gained a wealth of experience and sound expertise: on the logistics market in general and on the requirements of medium-sized companies in particular. As a blog author, he is not only an observer and advisor, but above all an open dialogue and contact person for medium-sized entrepreneurs. So Martin Sieg is always looking forward to personal exchange and your questions.