When a brand has control of its own sales channel - your e-commerce platform - it is able to mould how a good relationship with customers should be. A critical element of this is customer service, with the option of deploying it via an in-house team or through your 3PL fulfilment partner.
On the other hand, marketplaces have limited capability when it comes to brand relations. With unbranded, uniform packaging and little opportunity to forge a customer connection at any point in the purchase journey, marketplaces make it impossible to create a robust community of loyal customers on this channel.
This distinction is important because loyalty is built on positive experiences. Aside from product quality and other givens, customers really appreciate it when a brand treats them as an individual (they feel valued) and they are welcomed into a brand’s community (they get a sense of belonging).
Customers expect convenient access to their favourite brands. When we are providing customer service for a client, we go where their customers are with comprehensive wraparound provision. This usually includes, where appropriate:
From a brand’s perspective, each channel should be aligned to your brand voice, culture and ethos and optimised to be a brand ambassador. Every touchpoint should be consistent.
Customer service can be overlooked and its true value isn’t always appreciated, especially if you rely upon marketplaces for sales. In our experience, they add excellent value across the board - facilitating sales, building relationships and brand awareness, averting brand reputation disasters, and providing opportunities to upsell.
Working out if, when and how you need to provide customer services is a daunting prospect.
Our best recommendation is to consult customer service professionals. If there is no need for a customer service team to support your promotional marketing campaign or product fulfilment, this will quickly become obvious - no harm, no foul.
The thorough scoping of requirements, as seen through the experienced eyes of a professional, is educational. And, in our experience, outsourcing your customer service works very well, helping you meet all 8 requirements on the above ‘does your brand measure up’ checklist.
A recent project Granby fulfilled for a public sector client required the recipients to complete data on the client’s bespoke portal.
Unfortunately, factors out of our control meant that recipients couldn’t log into or navigate the portal. Nor could they find an easy way to contact our client for advice - the client had previously declined a customer service requirement for this project.
However, quite by chance (and good fortune), the recipients did know that Granby was working with the client to fulfil the project. When they came to us to help them troubleshoot, we were able to respond quickly and, working with our client, set up an official customer service resource immediately to cope with the snags of the project effectively.
If you have any questions about how a 3PL partner can provide customer service with a ‘brand ambassador’ approach, we’ll be happy to talk it through with you. We provide experienced customer service teams for both promotional marketing and 3PL fulfilment projects.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Think we could be the partner for you and are interested in working together? Call us or fill in the contact form and we will get the ball rolling!
Call us on 01254 682702 or email@example.com
Granby house, Stanley Street, Blackburn, BB1 3BW