Fulfillment Services & Brand Loyalty

To truly “wow” today’s customers, companies must think far beyond simply delivering a superior product and providing decent customer service.

Embedding a total brand experience into the entire culture and delivery of a good or service will set today’s organizations apart in a highly competitive, crowded marketplace. To help brands achieve this goal, fulfillment services are becoming increasingly popular. Most customers are unaware that the brands they do business with are working with these “invisible partners,” which, in actuality, means they are operating correctly. Companies like USA Fulfillment offer behind-the-scenes, high-touch services to their clients, serving as a third-party supply chain solutions provider that helps producers build loyalty and turn their customers into loyal brand advocates.

On this week’s episode of Ditch The BoxUSA Fulfillment Logo, host David Marinac talks with Linda Dickinson, director of sales and marketing at USA Fulfillment, about successful ways businesses can work with a fulfillment services provider to manage their supply chain and generate positive experiences every step of the way.

Dickinson says her company is 100 percent employee owned, and brand loyalty is embedded in each team member’s DNA. The difference between a fulfillment company and a contract manufacturer is that fulfillment involves one segment of the supply chain – the very last part – and offers kitting, packaging, logistics, and warehousing for clients. These companies will store a client’s product and literature then pick, pack, and ship it once a customer places an order. They are totally invisible to clients’ customers and achieve this by keeping their clients’ branding consistent and fully integrating with their shopping carts and software.

Fulfillment services help brands get ahead by learning as much about their clients as possible and putting themselves in their customers’ shoes. They evaluate each client’s website, 800 number, level of correspondence, and experience placing an order and unboxing a product. They then will develop a formal presentation, which Dickinson’s company calls a “Customer Service Evaluation,” to review their thoughts and opinions about each of these areas and what their clients can do better. They then gather feedback from their clients’ customers and turn their overall customer experience into positive occurrences that build brand loyalty and loyal brand advocates.

Many companies start out doing the fulfillment work themselves, but as they grow, this process can become burdensome and time consuming.

As the day-to-day operations and other aspects of the business become more prevalent, it’s important for companies to partner with a fulfillment services provider that will nurture customers and provide the space and manpower necessary to interact with consumers and get products in their hands efficiently. USA Fulfillment uses high-touch service to produce the highest service levels in the industry. To do so, they commit to regularly monitoring and tracking their performance levels, including even smaller tasks like speed of answer, QC barcode scanning for order accuracy, and timeliness of order processing and deliveries.

Partnering with a fulfillment service will help companies manage their supply chain most effectively and build strong customer relationships as they grow and expand their product offerings. Customer experience must remain a priority during each step of the ordering process, and this responsibility shouldn’t fall into the hands of just one department in an organization. Fulfillment services help get goods to shoppers quickly and effectively while tackling any issues or answering questions carefully, accurately, and in such a way that helps the parent company form strong, lasting relationships with their customer base.

Dickinson says establishing that “wow” experience from the time a customer places an order, to when they unbox it, is key, but taking it to the next level and building upon the first impression of the brand and product will set companies apart and build brand loyalty.

Marketing Strategies in the Modern World

It’s no secret that the way brands reach consumers and convert prospects into leads has changed dramatically in the last decade.

Rather than promoting a product to a faceless mass of people, successful companies are tailoring their strategies and content to specific individuals. Consumers want to feel special and fully informed about a product or service before spending their hard-earned dollars on it. They expect incredible customer experience before, during, and after the sale, and they put their trust into companies that make this an integral part of their culture. Just as customer experience should no longer be viewed as a single department, marketing, too, must be top of mind for every team member. There are no shortcuts or hidden tactics – marketing encompasses many different elements and must be nurtured and fine-tuned over time.

On this week’s episode of Ditch the Box, most David Marinac sits down with Owen Blevens, a Partner at Focus Inbound and experienced consultant specializing in inbound marketing strategies.

Focus Inbound

Blevens explains that marketing strategies in the modern age should never be viewed as a 100-yard dash — it’s more like a marathon, and every team member must employ hard work on a consistent basis to achieve results. Good content trumps everything, he says, and educating and informing clients is much more effective than trying to sell to them. Gone are the days when companies could just advertise a product and hope customers get on board with it. Today’s shoppers want to receive something of value in exchange for their time, and great companies will be transparent with pricing and a breadth of information about their goods online and during one-on-one chats with interested consumers.

A company’s website is often the first place prospects go when they want to learn more about a brand and its offerings, and your team should always place themselves in the visitor’s shoes when mapping out the content that represents the brand online. Thinking about a client’s pain points and challenges shows them the company understands their world and is providing solutions that assist them. After a visitor has digested the great content online, brands can then provide additional tools and materials, like videos and eBooks, that help establish themselves as subject matter experts. Blevens says it’s crucial to never violate a customer’s trust and to always err on the side of caution when asking them for their information. Providing unique content for each individual buyer persona will establish a relationship between producer and consumer that is based on trust and understanding.

Blevens explains that addressing consumers’ problems helps people bond with companies and become loyal brand advocates.

There are no games or tricks, and brands can’t force feed their offerings onto people. It’s all about using organic methods to draw in consumers rather than trying to cheat the system or mimic what other successful companies are doing. Enacting a blended strategy focused on audience engagement and thought leadership is what helps some of the world’s greatest businesses get ahead. Blevens says today’s companies can’t just hire an agency to handle increasing their visibility. Clients typically won’t take responsibility for their own failures, and this is how things begin to spiral out of control. When the entire organization makes marketing strategiesand customer service part of their overall mission and company culture, the seeds of success will be planted and will continue to grow at a steady and sustainable pace.