This week, while we were reading a recap of issues discussed at a Q&A panel of freight forwarders we realized that many of the topics that are generally thought to be primary considerations between carriers and forwarders are also strategic skills for job seekers to cultivate and apply. Customer service, communication and action-based solutions are the bones of a quality candidate.
Customer service has the unfortunate benefit of being such a common and overused phrase that we take for granted what it really means any longer. In this case, having customer service skills means that the candidate has a singular dedication to their clients. They are devoted to developing relationships and being available and ready for each and every situation that arises with those clients. Stellar customer service comes with being accountable and reliable. It’s a skill that is virtually undetectable until problems occur. However, understanding the nature of a problem, accepting responsibility for an error and working tirelessly to resolve and assist clients are the qualities employers are looking for.
Discussing customer service leads us invariably to communication. We have all been at the precipice of a difficult phone call. Something in our industry goes wrong and while we urgently move to correct it, we can forget to report to our clients that there is a problem. We want more
information, better preparation, the ability to answer difficult questions when we finally alert someone to a problem. Having good communication is not just the ability to write a lovely email or speak a captivating sentence. Good communication is a dissemination of information, especially when that information is not going to be well received. Employees that can formulate an action plan, explain a situation clearly and remain calm in the face of calamity give clients a sense of security at a time when things can feel terrifyingly uncertain.
Uncertainty is conquered only by solutions. Action based, targeted and often simple, effective solutions are the bread and butter of logistics. Being able to think on the fly and tap into a wealth of knowledge is the mark of a valuable employee. Personal experience, creativity and sound judgment will guide all of us through myriad problems and conflicts. Clients need to know that their shipments, their troubled, lost, or delayed cargo is in the very best and most capable hands. Offering solutions with real time applications is how you assuage fear and worry.
It is the final goal that we don’t have errors that necessitate a strong and loyal customer service orientated employee, but in the real world of logistics that’s often the moment that our candidates shine brightest. We cannot expect perfection, but we can lead a culture of service and knowledge and solutions that provide clients with support and results in their most difficult situations. There are many forwarders available to move freight but the best and most successful understand that the information and security disseminated by their teams will be what sets them apart from the competition. BCS stands ready to fill those positions with the best candidates in the market.