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The Power of Logistics and Social Media

At first glance logistics might seem boring. Goods are sent from A to B in parcels or containers and it would appear that there is not much emotional potential or a huge amount to talk about, depending on whether you find ships, freight planes and heavy trucks an interesting subject.

Of course, watching harbour cranes unloading and loading giant ships is impressive, and not many people can understand  the sophisticated IT and CRM-Systems that make it possible to channel and control the huge stream of goods involved. Every morning, in every country around the globe, armies of light trucks are deployed to deliver goods to companies and individual persons. The internet or, to be more precise, the inexorable rise of e-commerce is making logistics more important in new fields.

Logistics keep economies running and every disturbance such as the floods in Thailand last year are a major threat and can have a heavy impact on supply, production, prices and stock. Logistics companies are the silent superheroes of economies.

The question remains however – what has this got to do with Social Media? What does it mean for my business? The answer to that is easy, though not always obvious. It can mean everything and it applies for B2B and B2C. Here are some examples:

The information-behavior of decision makers in B2B (and that is not only true for logistics) has changed massively. Since information can be found on the internet, decision makers spend more and more time each day online, and company websites are a not an exclusive source for information anymore. Of course, websites are still important for research: overviews, details, comparisons and optimisation, but are now only a part of the picture.

Decision makers have different motivations during the buying process and also inspire themselves before there is even an actual need or a plan for an investment. For companies there are now chances to target prospects or clients at different stages of the decision making process, to create awareness, leads, insights and feedback or even create demand. As I have mentioned it is not only the company website, it also happens in blogs, forums social networks, knowledge platforms etc. To be present where all this happens you need to plan carefully and strategically. Companies who neglect or ignore these new kind of touchpoints will face competitive disadvantages in the future.

Another example is the “last mile” and this is mainly B2C. I have mentioned the emotional potential of logistics and to be honest, there is really not much at the beginning. A recipient is waiting for his parcel and sometimes it creates an emotional moment, when the delivery man hands over a parcel. Your staff are certainly well trained and the handover is an unforgettable moment. From experience with our clients we know that some have more patience and others less, and they express it online in Social Media, talking about your brand. And what happens when things really go wrong? The parcel is delayed or lost, the hotline is overstrained and the receiver (who is in most cases not your customer) starts to rage online, causing massive damage to your brand and reputation that may reach thousands of people? Are you prepared? You should be.

To tackle these problems, we have created customer service channels for clients in Social Media to address the customers needs, where they are and where they talk about the brand. The results have been very positive: issues can now be channelized in real-time and in most cases before a bigger negative discussion emerges. Costs for customer service could be lowered. Recipients value the service and started to talk positively about the brand online. This improves reputation scores step-by-step and helps the company to distinguish from its competition. Though the customers are usually still surprised about this new form of customer service, it will be expected in the future. Now it is time to position yourself.

Looking forward to your comments

  • Saran Thekki

    depending on confidence