One of the main reasons your customers choose to outsource their freight shipping is because they can’t get the same rates or deals that you can for shipments. In addition to that, they place their trust in your business that you can find and coordinate the best rate, best route, and best carrier(s) for their shipments.
After all, that’s the main benefit in working with a 3PL, right? Less stress, less worry, better quality shipping.
That might have been enough for the last few decades, but recently, customers are getting more demanding.
It’s not enough anymore to simply let them know the rates for shipments. Now, they want tracking information, they want to be able to view and decide on rate quotes for themselves, and they want to handle everything for their shipments on their own. They don’t want to call you every time they make a shipment anymore – they want the ease of taking care of shipments themselves.
What exactly is a customer portal?
In any transportation management system (TMS), you or your team will log in to your own portals to review all the data for running your brokerage. Software like BrokerWare™ shows you pretty much everything you need for your business in one place: accounting, documents, quotes, shipments, tracking information, etc.
The portal itself is just how you log in to that software – since BrokerWare™ is hosted in the cloud, you can log into it from any computer, anywhere. This makes it monumentally easy to manage your business: log in from home, work, or any location you have to work for the day. If you hire someone new, there’s no installing the software locally – you simply confirm that you need to add a new user, and you can have them onboarded in a single day.
The ability for each user to have their own portal (and associated permissions) is what makes BrokerWare™ so popular among our customers, and their customers, too.
Your office staff can have their own portals, with their own permissions, which you set at an admin level.
Your customers can also have their own portals, with access only to the carriers and rates you’ve chosen.
It’s those customer portals that are so valuable.
Customer portals are just one tool that enable you to provide a superior customer experience.
Shippers today want an integrated, easy experience that’s reminiscent of how they ship things in their every day life. You and I both know that shipping FTL or LTL isn’t at all like ordering a package from Amazon, but the average shipper doesn’t understand why that isn’t the case.
If Amazon provides tracking updates for their individual packages, and they can just log in to check them, why can’t they get similar updates for the shipments they book at work?
By using the BrokerWare customer portal, they can log in and check tracking information.
Just like how Amazon’s tracking updates come in each time packages go through a check point (changing trucks at a distribution center, etc), you can provide similar insights for your customers by granting them access to a customer portal.
Seems almost absurdly simple, but it’s the kind of insight customers are starting expect from their 3PL providers.
You can provide that for your customers, increasing their satisfaction with the service you provide – and ensuring you retain their business.
More than just keeping your current customers, improving their satisfaction with your business is one of the best ways to get those all-important word of mouth referrals. Happy customers tell others about your business, which of course, means you get more customers.
See what the customer portal is all about – Request a BrokerWare demo today!