3 Ways to Improve the Supply Chain Customer Experience
Customers’ expectations and preferences are constantly changing. Gartner advises chief supply-chain officers (CSCOs), to take three steps to improve customer service in the supply chain. “Customers in the supply chain are demanding improvements in areas like on-time, complete (OTIF) delivery. Beth Coppinger, an analyst from the firm, says that customers also want shorter lead times and personalized products and packaging. “Organizations need to be flexible as failure to understand and satisfy customer needs could result in customers being lost .”
A Gartner survey surveyed 983 supply chain executives in the second quarter of 2021. 62% of them are planning to invest in capabilities to capture and analyze supply chain-specific customer satisfaction data in support of reinvention of their supply chains to drive commercial innovation. Gartner predicts that supply chains of tomorrow will be completely tuned in to their customers through the use of massive amounts of data, from customer product usage data to customer satisfaction data, and data from many ‘listening posts’.
This is causing supply chain organizations to be more customer-facing and to grow their business by focusing more on commercial growth than cost-cutting innovation. Many supply chain organizations desire to be more customer-centric but lack the clarity to transform their businesses.
Also read: 13 Types of Supply Chain Management Tools
1. Build customer understanding
Building a relationship with customers is the first step. Companies must listen to customers at all touchpoints, and look at customer satisfaction and product usage data. It is important to understand the customer’s needs, wants and thoughts in order to build a shared understanding at all touchpoints. More than 60% of supply chain executives are currently investing in developing and maintaining the voice of the customer (VOC). If these investments continue, the supply chains of the future will be completely tuned to their customers.
2. Create and implement a strategy to improve the customer experience (CX).
Gartner says supply chain leaders can only set a strategic direction for CX if they work with other executives and agree on the areas where the organization should concentrate its efforts. Because they can help determine if the investments and strategies are chosen are actually delivering the expected results, clearly defined performance indicators and expected outcomes form the foundation of a successful program.
3. Collaborate to build a customer-centric culture
The third factor that makes CX successful is the commitments and actions taken by all employees. CSCOs should align and communicate the CX vision with everyone in order to get them on board. They also need to make clear what behaviors are required to improve. This is essential for creating organizational alignment, prioritization, and ensuring that the changes are made.
Gartner recommends that there be a CX leader who coordinates best practices, assets, and procedures. The leader should collaborate with a cross-functional steering group to get the whole organization involved in developing products, solutions, and services that meet customer needs.