Supply chain operations entail much more than getting products to customers in today’s digital world. There are bigger goals to achieve, such as increasing organizational competitiveness and growth in high-paced markets. Distributors are under more pressure than ever as supply networks become increasingly interwoven and expand as customer demands skyrocket.
This evolution necessitates the development of a dependable logistics and supply chain infrastructure that meets evolving customer service standards. Therefore, ServiceNow customer service management in the supply chain is a critical component.
What is a Supply Chain?
A supply chain is a network that connects a company to its suppliers to manufacture and distribute products and services. Producers, distribution hubs, warehouses, and transportation companies are crucial supply chain components.
Common Supply Chain Management Problems
Many businesses use inventory and supply management systems comparable to customer service management (CSM) to keep their supply chain operations running smoothly. However, shifting consumer demands provide numerous challenges to using legacy systems. Supply chain managers continue to face roadblocks that prohibit them from maintaining high customer satisfaction.
The following are three of the most common problems:
Heightened Customer Expectations
Customers expect affordability, quick deliveries, high-quality products, and outstanding overall service. Most consumers have a wide array of product options across many channels, putting pressure on organizations to outperform their competition.
Hidden costs can suddenly emerge in all areas of the supply network, catching supply chain managers off guard and placing added pressure on profit margins. Those unexpected expenses might include growing fuel prices for transporting goods, rising labor and manufacturing costs, and inflated prices for natural resources.
The Potential Risks are Dynamic
The supply chain grows more complex as businesses expand their product lines. Manufacturers, suppliers, logistics, and customers are spread across different time zones worldwide, necessitating careful coordination and management. International relations, export and import complications due to trade disputes, economic pressures, and environmental changes provide risks that disrupt processes and wipe away profits.
How to Leverage Customer Service to Improve Supply Chain Operations
Organizations can begin addressing these problems by integrating customer service into supply chain operations in the following ways:
Making Supply Chains Adaptable
Providing outstanding customer service is a tall order in today’s complex supply chain world. Organizations should consider adapting their supply chain processes to fit consumer needs from purchase to product delivery to meet this challenge. These changes might include special shipping arrangements for clients with specific pricing or delivery needs. In addition, adapting might require customer service to interact more directly and frequently with those in charge of packaging and transporting the item.
Training Customer Service Teams
Organizations should train customer service teams to identify and resolve consumer pain points. This training should include familiarizing teams with company products to determine which ones best serve a given customer’s needs.
Promoting Consistency Across All Branches and Subsidiaries
Many modern organizations have domestic and international branches, and subsidiaries in different countries may provide various experiences and qualities. These disparities can distort the customer experience when consumers travel to new places.
To combat inconsistencies across locations, customer service and supply chain dynamics must function similarly, if not identically. The best way to ensure a consistent experience is to train all employees – domestic and foreign – in the company’s universal core competencies and values.
Integrating Customer Service With Order Entry
Timely (or lack thereof) order fulfillment is often a point of conflict between organizations and their customers, particularly if they don’t know the shipping or delivery status. Customer service teams can help clients identify where their shipment sits in the delivery chain via order entry and delivery systems integration.
Offering Multiple Contact Methods
Not all consumers have access to the same communication vehicles, so organizations should provide multiple ways for customers to contact service departments. These channels typically include website chat, phone, email, and social media. A wide array of options increases the likelihood that clients who need to contact departments like customer service and sales can do so quickly and easily.
Using ServiceNow Customer Service Management in Supply Chain Operations
Sales, marketing, and customer support teams can all benefit from a well-managed CSM platform. Integrating CSM with supply chain procedures helps organizations gain valuable market insights into competitive advantages.
Combining supply chain with CSM technology can help businesses accomplish the following:
Collecting Customer-Specific Information
Organizations can collect customer feedback from multiple sources, including focus group discussions, surveys, interviews, field reports, and complaint logs. However, many businesses fail to collect feedback regularly, often due to insufficient time and resources.
On the other hand, CSM software can collect and retain vital client data in a single database with minimal personnel involvement.
Monitoring Evolving Consumer Demands
CSM helps organizations track and update customer preferences after each purchase, including their buying patterns and favorite products. This CSM feature helps businesses determine what goods (and in what quantities) they need to supply to any given area.
CSM systems can also identify which suppliers provide the most essential or sought-after products and how well they perform based on customer feedback. Lastly, CSM can leverage those buying patterns and sales history to predict future customer behavior.
Leveraging Accurate Customer Data
Supply chain operations cannot alter their processes to address changing consumer demand if existing customer data is incorrect or obsolete. CSM software enables organizations to improve the customer experience by utilizing accurate and up-to-date data. CSM compiles and communicates this information to the supply chain, where the business can change or develop new resources as consumers demand new products.
Let Cask and ServiceNow CSM Solutions Improve Your Supply Chain
A well-managed CSM is critical to supply chain success in today’s customer-driven society. Companies must adapt to a changing market because the supply chain is becoming an increasingly crucial component that drives corporate performance. Customers today demand faster delivery times, more prompt communication, and higher-quality products, and organizations need powerful solutions to accomplish them all.
Request a quote today and discover how our ServiceNow solutions can help you design and execute a set of customer service management strategies to improve supply chain operations.