Shippers that outsource the transportation duties of their company to various trucking carriers are familiar with account representatives. Account reps are responsible for working directly with customers (shippers) to ensure their expectations are achieved. Account reps serve as an intermediary for shippers using a carrier for their transportation needs. They are responsible for finding new sales, as well as generating pricing/quotes for current customers, managing the needs of their current customers, and serving as a liaison for communication between the shipper and carrier. Account reps play an important role in the transportation industry, and we wondered, “What makes a great account rep?” Essentially, what traits would the perfect account representative possess? Here’s the list we came up with; and, we’d love to hear your thoughts too!
When you have a question, concern, or new shipment for your carrier, how do they respond? Do they provide timely and accurate responses, or do they take a long time to get back to you? It may be time to look for a new account rep if they aren’t responsive to your outreach, don’t answer questions directly or honestly, or the details in what they’re saying don’t align. For a more in-depth understanding of how to spot risk in communication, check out this blog. However, a great account rep will always be available to respond to your inquiries quickly, helping your business succeed. They will provide useful answers to your questions, and be quick to assist you with new shipments.
Responding to customers promptly isn’t enough if the responses aren’t helpful or provide incorrect information. How knowledgeable is your account rep? When they respond to your questions, do they provide useful answers given your business’ needs? You want to make sure your account rep is a helpful, key part of your business’ transportation solutions. A great account rep will be knowledgeable in a wide variety of areas. For example, a great account rep will have an in-depth knowledge of your specific industry, your account details, and their company’s service offerings. Understanding these various factors will allow account reps to excel at matching your business’ transportation needs to the carrier’s best solutions.
One of the most crucial responsibilities of an account rep is providing excellent customer service. This means managing all customer requests and ensuring customers needs are met. Your account rep also serves as the liaison between your business and his, matching your transportation needs and his service offerings. However, a great account rep will also have other customer service skills that will make them truly great. First, they will have a willingness to say “no.” From time to time, maybe they will not be the best carrier for your given transportation needs. For example, what if you need to move an odd sized piece of freight, and the carrier doesn’t have the necessary equipment? A great account rep will be honest and up-front, telling you that it would be wise for your business to choose another carrier. This way, neither of you is wasting the other’s time if the job isn’t a good fit. If you have an account rep that isn’t afraid to say “no” if his company can’t do something, you know you have a great account rep. In addition, great account reps are also innovative and always coming up with solutions for your transportation needs. While a great account rep will say “no” if they can’t do the job, they will exhaust every available option first, trying to help your business excel.
Overall, account reps play a crucial in many businesses, helping shippers meet their transportation needs. After reading this list of what makes great account reps, evaluate your own reps and make sure you are working with carriers that see themselves as part of your team and business solution.