A Long Journey for the Travel, Transport & Logistics Sector
During the crisis, there have been moments where the travel and hospitality industries almost came to a sudden stop. Meanwhile, the logistics & distribution sector saw demand increase in areas such as medical equipment, cleaning equipment and supplies, and food. With huge populations staying home, ecommerce sales boomed, and customers were supported by their logistics partners.
The crisis is becoming more manageable as we move into a new normal, and this is no time for any organisation to put the brakes on. Raising customer confidence must be top priority and there are a number of key elements to this. Organisations must consider the below key issues over the next 12 months to ensure they are in a good position to trade as restrictions are lifted, and in the difficult years ahead.
It’s all about the Strategy
The customer-centric strategy must be driven from the top of the organisation and be supported by all divisions and teams within the organisation. This is essential when aiming to track and improve a customer’s journey, during which they may engage with multiple, traditionally siloed parts of an organisation. It is particularly important to revisit the difficult questions of what it means to be customer-centric today and tomorrow, given the ramifications of the pandemic. What would customers value most in the current environment and tomorrow?
Planning, Planning, Planning
The industry experts we interviewed agreed that it is foolhardy to invest in technology to deliver customer- centricity before investing time in understanding what information an organisation holds, what it could be used for, and what needs to be done to ensure privacy, security, compliance and data quality. Once understood, these elements can be used to build a robust business case for any technology investment. Managing data effectively will have a significant impact on demand management, while schedules for people and goods may need to change dynamically.
Early adopters report that investments in AI and ML technologies, often supported by modern data platforms, are delivering strong benefits. Organisations should begin with small, fast trials of these technologies to ensure they aren’t left behind. Fewer people will be available to make the necessary changes needed and a few well-placed, effective investments here could make a tangible difference in the overall experience for customers.
With the opening and closing of borders, seaports and airports with as little as 24 hours’ notice, it is critical that organisations in the travel, transport and logistics business have a very human way of communicating with travellers in real time. For logistics and distribution companies, being able to make meticulous use of data in order to raise visibility and resilience across the supply chain is vital as schedules become further disrupted.
Organisations must prepare for an escalating pace of digital transformation as the global economy rebounds from the crisis in 2020. This speed of change must be balanced with rigorous safety and governance to ensure that customers are given the best possible experience. Processes must be simplified to facilitate faster decision making and smoother transitions.
Customer experience will remain a priority with more emphasis on, “Keep me safe and well while getting me or my deliveries to the right destination”. Turning data into wisdom and employing it intelligently has never been more important for you and your customers. And it is only going to grow.