Every business depends on their customers choosing them over
the competition. This concept is so simple and obvious, that we forget about it
We take it for granted that the customers we have will continue to work with us. A quick review of your customer list from last year, will most likely demonstrate that customers leave.
At TranStrategy Partners, when we ask our coaching clients why their customers buy from them, they often give superficial answers. Frequently, we hear “my customers buy from us because we provide great customer service” or “low pricing,” or “our integrity.” Customers may also buy because you have a specialty geared toward their business or because you make it easy to work together. Customers definitely consider all these factors when choosing a freight brokerage, but there is so much more that is missing.
There is significant research that suggests buyers make irrational buying decisions. Perhaps, your company was never the best option, but they chose you anyway. As a business owner, you need to know why your customers buy from you, even if the reason is a little out of the ordinary or off your radar.
Regardless of the reasons, your customer chose your company. Your company was considered the best option at the time, but…
Times Are Changing
There is new and different competition facing freight brokers. There are full-service 3PLs that offer a suite of services usually not offered by brokers. Carriers, who traditionally didn’t broker freight have opened freight brokerages. Lastly, there are new web-based freight marketplaces that will enable shippers to connect directly with carriers.
Shippers, including your customers, will consider these options. With the internet, it is easier than ever to research options. It is also easier than ever for your competition to find and connect with your customer.
Your freight brokerage might have been the clear winner when your customer compared your company to other freight brokerages, but how does your brokerage measure up against the new competitors?
The Questions are Easy, but the Answers are Hard
At TSP, we only work with freight brokers and transportation companies. We help our customers understand their customers and why they buy.
As part of our engagement, we do a complete competitive assessment of your company to determine how your company stacks up. If there are holes in your service offering, it is better that you discover them before your customer.
With the permission of our client, we interview their customers to understand why they buy and what they like about your service and where you can improve. We keep the interaction with your customers very positive and constructive. These exercises result with our clients having a much deeper understanding of their customers. This understanding almost always drives service and sales messaging enhancements.
If you want help getting the hard answers, like why do my customers buy from us, please contact TSP.
About the Author – Mike Temple
Mike Temple is a Senior Partner at TranStrategy Partners and the Director of the Xcelerator Leadership Program, which is designed to be a catalyst for accelerated growth for 3PL and freight brokerage businesses. The Xcelerator Leadership Program is a yearlong program that utilizes a unique process that maximizes business results with minimum disruption to day to day operations. Does My Freight Brokerage Business Serve Me or Vice Versa?
Every business depends on their customers choosing them over the competition. This concept is so simple and obvious, that we forget about it sometimes.
What would be a good first step to growing up?
There are fewer 3PLs, but they are larger and growing in sophistication and capability.