Choosing a 3PL Provider: Look for More than Just Price

Who would you turn to if you needed surgery? The best, most qualified doctor or an inexperienced one who charges half the going rate?

Similarly, if you needed investment advice, would you consult with a reputable financial firm or trust your local auto mechanic with your hard-earned savings?

The same concept applies when you decide to outsource to a 3PL provider (third party logistics). Do you prefer an experienced and reliable partner or are you willing to take your chances with a less experienced provider who offers you a lower price?

The contact center is the central point in your organization that is charged with responsibility for customer care. As a business owner, you need to ensure that your customers are satisfied. Always remember:

Quality in a service or product is not what you put in it. It is what the customer gets out of it.
- Peter Drucker

So a wise decision would be to not to cut costs in this area as it might be detrimental for your business!

Factors you need to consider when evaluating a potential 3PL relationship:

  • Define your business requirements and hire providers that are well-qualified to meet them.
  • Conduct background check on any 3PL partner you are considering:
    • Are they financially stable? A company that is unstable and cannot sustain their employees will not be able to cater to your customer requirements either.
    • Do they have adequate experience? Do they have the ability and resources to train the agents responsible for interacting with your customers? These agents become part of the fabric of your company and work toward the growth of your business. You need a team that is strong enough to uphold your reputation and push you to the peak of success.
    • What are the costs involved? Assess and verify the costs involved including the set-up, shipping, fees, management, maintenance, etc. Look out for any underlying charges so there are no unpleasant surprises in the future. Transparency regarding costs is essential.
    • Verify that they have the right resources in place to support your business. They need to be reliable and show accountability for their actions.
    • Finally, location may also be an important factor when you outsource customer service functions. Analyze your customer demographics before you make a final decision.

Some think that opting for the lowest cost provider will yield savings that can be invested in other areas of the business. However, if you choose an inadequate partner, you may end up losing customers due to lack of good service. It is very difficult for companies to recover from the bad publicity that inevitably results from poor customer care. Customer satisfaction should be the major goal of your company because it leads to both repeat purchases and referrals from loyal customers. Just as cost should not be the primary consideration when choosing a healthcare provider, neither should it be when evaluating a 3PL provider.

Carefully analyze the pros and cons that a 3PL has to offer and take decisions based on what fits your bill. Your partner would be the one that would walk by your side joining hands and promoting the success of your business.

To know more about MAI's expertise in contact center and fulfillment services, please drop in an email now!

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