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Defining Your Customers By Defining Who You Serve

05/15/09

Defining Your Customers By Defining Who You Serve

  12:17:53 pm, Categories: efficiency , Tags: current economy, over-capacity

Freight brokers serve many masters. From the entity paying the freight charges, to the shippers, receivers, and carriers, and just about everyone and anyone in-between. Freight brokers, like a conductor of a symphony, must orchestrate the entire process with precision, experience, and harmony.

Some would say to define your customer by following the money - he who pays is served. While that certainly has some truth to it, it's definitely short-sited. You wouldn't have freight to haul if you didn't have a quality carrier to haul it for you. For sure right now there is an over-capacity problem, and there may continue to be for some time. But truly that just raises the bar. If your performance and service isn't exceptional, you are making it easier for others to replace you.

The over-capacity issue would indicate there are quite a few people competing for the freight you are managing. It is a good time to do more for your customers. Make yourself irreplaceable, not just to the person paying the freight but to the carrier as well, and to the shipper and receiver if possible. Take every opportunity to show you care and are interested in helping each person. It isn't about just being nice but looking for opportunities to help.

As an example of this, I knew a broker that had a receiver she dealt with on a weekly basis that always took three to four hours to unload each truck she sent in. The actual unloading only took about thirty minutes, but the process of checking in, assigning a dock door, or being sent to a holding pad was inevitably over two hours.

Some people would have started yelling and complaining and threatening detention charges, but not her, she just kept asking the receiver how she could help make things go more quickly. Finally after weeks of stonewalling the receiver let her know that they always held her customers loads until last because they were not stacked right for their rack space, creating more work in the warehouse to break the pallets down to a shorter stack. So they waited until all the other loads were done before unloading her shipments. With a few phone calls she was able to arrange a different stack height from the shipper.

Problem solved, not only for her and her trucks but for her customer, and ultimately her customers customer, the receiver.

A good freight broker recognizes that each person is a customer at some level. You serve and are served by each. Because freight brokers are the go between for so many different segments of our industry, they are in a perfect position to be problem solvers. As a problem solver you create a dependency and become irreplaceable. Having the time and organization to be a problem solver by paying more attention to all of the needs of the people you work with each day demands an efficient work environment.

If you are too busy pushing paper, and trying to find information, you will not have the time to provide excellent service. Yes, you know where I'm going with this.

In order to provide excellent service to your customers in today's environment, you must have a great freight brokerage system. You guessed it: TruckMaster's Freight Brokerage system will provide you the efficiency and organization that will allow you to spend that extra time solving problems for your many customers. Your customers, all of them, need to know that you can help them with their problems. Let us help you with yours.

If you don't have a freight brokerage system for your freight brokerage, or the system you do have isn't cutting it, contact TruckMaster today.

The money you invest in a TruckMaster system today will ensure your success tomorrow, and for years to come.

Kurtis Brown
TruckMaster Solution Provider
TruckMaster Your Freight Brokerage

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