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How to increase your forwarder partners retention

Many forwarders think that the sales process ends up when the client signs the deal, which is a big mistake. Once you have that kind of mindset you can lose around 75% of new partners within the first week, also almost 40 to 60% of partners that have hired your services will not hire them again, that is the moment you need to start worrying about your forwarder partners retention.

To avoid this path it’s important to set an onboarding process inside your freight forwarder company to let your clients know how your forwarder operates. By setting a functional onboarding process you can guarantee customer success

Ok, but what is customer onboarding?

The customer onboarding process is defined by all activities involved in introducing your company’s service. The main goal of this process is to inform your new partner step by step how to successfully use all services you offer and how they work so he can get the most out of them. It’s about making their experience as good as possible.

Customer onboarding refers to the process of gradually and effectively showing the customer everything you have to offer

The onboarding process can impact positively or negatively on the customer journey inside your freight forwarder company. It’s up to you to make your partner’s experience successful. 

When should the onboarding process begin?

After your sales team closes a new partnership, that is the best moment to start your onboarding process. 

Usually, big freight forwarder companies have a team designed to do the onboarding process of each new partner. 

Small forwarders can also have a structure of the onboarding process and that can be taken care of by the sales team. 

In fact, the onboarding process is a vital part of customer service and customer experience, which should also be part of your freight forwarder company in order to increase your forwarder partners retention.

Keep in mind that selling your forwarder’s services is only the first step of the process because if you fail to deliver the goods due to a lack of information your partners will not make business with you again. And that means that your onboarding process was not done properly. 

The whole concept of onboarding is about bringing the customer “on board”. It’s about understanding your partners and their needs other than just providing them with all the information about your services.

Why is the onboarding process so important?

If you care to see your partners happy with your services, the onboarding process is crucial to increase your forwarder partner’s retention. The way you choose to onboard your customers will set expectations for a continuous relationship. 

Once your onboarding process is effectively done your forwarder company can reduce the chances of turnover and increase the overall lifetime value of the business partners. Not to mention that the most profitable route is through existing partnerships.

Having great relationships with your partners can bring to your forwarder company more business exchanges, that is why once your client is happy with your services he starts doing more business with your forwarder and recommending your company to other freight forwarding companies, and that works like a free marketing strategy. 

In addition, you can also decrease acquisition costs when you retain a partner and strengthen business growth on both sides. 

On the other hand, when the onboarding process is not set and the business exchanged was not successful the chances of your forwarder partner doing business with your company again are extremely low.

The customer onboarding should be about making your client’s life easier to work in a partnership with your forwarder company.

In case you want to know more about how the onboarding process works in a practical way watch our conversation with Jemma Cross and Matthew Gardiner.