Helping customers ship items faster
When a shipping company wanted to modernize its approach to customer service, we helped build an online quote tool that makes it quick and easy for customers to plan their shipments.
Supply-chain logistics are complex. Whether you’re shipping cases of wine to New York or a fleet of cars to Alaska, you need a shipping partner that has the right equipment, expertise, and network to get your shipment to its destination. But first, you need a quote.
Lynden Incorporated, a leading freight and shipping logistics company that provides shipping solutions to destinations around the globe, wanted to improve the quote process for its customers. It’s a key initiative that supports the company’s mission to provide the best customer experience in the transportation industry.
In the past, excellent customer service meant having a great sales staff. These days, it means having a great sales staff and the right digital, self-service tools so customers can get the information they need on their own terms.
Embracing the shift, Lynden wanted to build a web-based tool to enable customers to get a shipping quote online—quickly, easily, and accurately.
"Prior to this effort, there was a big opportunity to improve the efficiency of the quoting process. The new experience gives more control to customers while streamlining Lynden's internal business processes," explains Slalom Practice Area Lead Tom Wagner.
To modernize the online process, Lynden’s team of developers first had to build a cross-company quoting and logistics engine that would provide business customers with the best delivery options for their shipment, be it by air, land, or sea.
Next, Lynden worked with a partner to design the look and feel of the tool and produce workflows. Slalom developed the front-end web assets to bring the tool to life.
“This is a huge step for Lynden to start working toward being a leader in how we use customer-facing technology in shipping and logistics.”
Leaning down the design
“We wanted to lower the barrier to entry as much as possible so that when people were looking for quotes, they didn’t feel like they were typing for a year before they got the price they were looking for,” says Keith McDaniel, UX designer at Lynden. That meant simplifying the web design as much as possible.
When development work started, the team found that some baggage from previous design versions had been carried over. Some of the features were more complicated than expected; others no longer made sense.
“We were able to lean down the design even further, and ended up saving enough time and money that we were able to add in a few features that we’d only planned for in the next revision,” says McDaniel.
To make the quote tool applicable to more customers, the team worked together to improve the user interface with new fields and a specialty-rated section for common shipments. Slalom helped set the tool up for long-term success by making it fully responsive on smartphones and tablets.
“It’s an important proof of concept for the company.”
Lynden is looking forward to launching the tool. “People have been talking about how this is going to be beneficial to the business in ways that we didn’t even expect,” says McDaniel.
Many of the efficiencies will come from Lynden’s call center, but analytics are another big benefit of the tool, says McDaniel. The company will get new insights into its customers, including what, where, and how they want to ship.
Most important, the quote application is setting the foundation for a new era of customer service for Lynden. “It’s an important proof of concept for the company, not just for quoting, but for all of our web tools,” says McDaniel. “I think this is a huge step for Lynden to start working toward being a leader in how we use customer-facing technology in shipping and logistics.”