Why is this survey so important to WW Ocean?
Simon White: Customer feedback is vital as it allows us to adjust the way we deliver our services and address specific areas of improvement.
Clare Schultz: Yes, and it’s a great way to capture the voice of the customer and understand how we’re performing. It helps us to set the direction of where we’re going as an ocean carrier, and determine how we can better support our customers in the future.
What are the key results from this year’s survey?
Simon: Overall delivery satisfaction was pleasingly high at over 4 out of 5. We feel that this supports the direction we’ve taken in terms of localising our sales and customer service activities while centralising contract fulfilment activities for our larger accounts. In terms of WW Ocean performance, response times and information flow (as well as schedule and cargo delivery performance) were rated highly. Interestingly, these were also the areas where we could most improve, so this is something we’ll continue to work on.
How has the commercial team used the survey results?
Simon: After reviewing the empirical data and comments, we’ve tried to determine areas of consistent feedback to identify what needs improving. In selected cases, we’ve also followed up with customers to discuss feedback further. Going forward, we’re going to better align our local sales support teams in order to provide a more seamless customer experience for those working with us across multiple locations.
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Which feedback were you particularly pleased with?
Simon: When choosing an ocean carrier, customers consistently rate schedule reliability, transit and lead time performance over price. In an increasingly price-driven market, this is pleasing to see. WW Ocean also received particularly strong feedback in terms of technical and operational capability – which is great because we see this as a key differentiator.
What’s been the most surprising piece of customer feedback?
Simon: We were surprised at the relative lack of awareness around our environmental profile. While certain aspects of our environmental performance are increasingly discussed in light of changing regulation, areas such as ethical and environmental ship recycling should definitely be on our customers’ radars.
Clare: I was surprised by the relative lack of value placed on technological capabilities, such as online tools and web-based tracking. We’d like to explore this further with our customers to understand if they have a general expectation from their ocean carriers on these services and how WW Ocean can support this.
Any areas of improvement?
Simon: When it comes to transit and lead time performance, we feel that the financial value of these criteria are often overlooked in purchasing decisions. This extends to inventory carrying cost and ability to efficiently plan activities in the supply chain. We’d like to work with our customers to ensure we quantify and monetise these factors so that they’re an integral part of a true price and cost comparison – and ultimately identify where we can improve mutual performance improvements together with our customer contacts.
What have you learnt from the results?
Simon: We have some way to go in terms of delivery of digital tools, particularly with regards to online pricing and quotation tools. The Wallenius Wilhelmsen group is going to be configuring and implementing a new web platform supporting our ocean business, and this will provide a strong platform for improving our capabilities in this area.
How else do you gather customer feedback at WW Ocean?
Clare: Customer feedback is constantly being gathered through daily interactions with our customers, but we also have tools in place both internally and externally that allow feedback to be captured in a structured way.
If a customer’s reading this and has feedback to share, what should they do?
Any final thoughts?
Simon: One can never rest on survey results! We know we need to continue to work hard if we’re to improve the way we’re perceived by our customers. WW Ocean will continue to focus on getting the basics right in order to be able to deliver a quality product at the lowest possible price.