ACE: Give the customer more choice as to how to interact

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Giving the customer the choice of how they want to interact may be the key to customer satisfaction, delegates were told at air cargo europe on 11 May.

In the session ‘Reorganizing sales and customer service to match today’s new customers’, co-host Dr Joachim Ehrenthal, who is the owner of software company joe.systems said customers have a greater choice in how they interact with him or his firm.

He believes it is important to give customers the choice as to how they want to interact, and it is more complicated than putting everything online.

Ehrenthal says: “When I started my company I thought I had to put everything online and be done, but people want people, they want personal interaction.”

Describing the new generation, he says: “The new generation are more open about receiving comments, they trust peers, they are a bit different, they always talk to a person but maybe the entire world is listening.”

Ehrenthal was co-hosting the session with Bernd Maresch, and they were joined for a panel discussion by Accenture director, Dominik Dieckmann, CEVA vice president business development Germany, Christian Stingl, Swiss WorldCargo cargo head of area and contribution management, Alexander Arafa and The International Air Cargo Association secretary general, Vladimir Zubkov.

Dieckmann says customer expectations have changed tremendously, saying: “It is all about innovation and solutions. What I mean is they want to be delighted on any channel.”

He says new customers demand more transparency than ever, and want sleek interfaces, and they do not care about the complexity of freight.

The digital generation also expect more choice for how they want to interact, and Dieckmann says: “Some people in their mid 20s have never been to a bank. We need to leverage the cost advantage this gives and free up sales the force.”

“New technology can help, it is not about replacing the key account manager bit tasks can be addressed by a chatbot.”

Ehrenthal says: “Young people have a choice what they do. They are super interested in the transport logistic supply chain. They want to know how e-commerce arrives but when they learn the detail then they go off. If you want to interact with them then give them a say in how they want to do stuff.”

Stingl says: “At the end of the day were are in a people business. There has been a heavy change in freight forwarding in the last couple of years, people sit at the front of the table. You have to sit in front of the customer, you need to specialise in air and ocean freight, automated innovation, tracking and IT.”

Arafa, who has extensive experience in the passenger division, says: “As an airline we need to cover our core competency of moving goods, we need partners to do things before and after. A lot of things happen on the ground to bring things up to speed, there is a lot of room for improvement. The passenger division is way in front.”