Unfortunately, shipments from any dust collection supplier you work with can sustain damage during transit. While you cannot control what happens in-transit, you can control how you respond to freight that arrives damaged.
How Damaged Freight Affects Your Bottom Line
Shipping claims and getting replacements for damaged freight can be a frustrating to deal with, but the true price tag of this issue can cost far greater than just a few broken boxes or lost product. Other costs to your business may include:
The U.S. Air Filtration logistics team understands that packaging can play a role in the potential of damaged freight. Your shipment will be handled by many people along the way. So we keep this in mind when we prepare your dust collection order for shipment in the U.S. Air Filtration warehouse, and we follow a system of best practices that can help protect your items as much as possible.
Inspection –To avoid shortages we inspect, count, and match up the items to your packing slip.
Right Packaging – Our team makes sure that the box is suitable for the item that is shipping.
Proper Seals – We distribute tape evenly to ensure your product stays fully sealed in its package. For palletized items, we shrink wrap your freight multiple times to ensure all boxes remains together.
Appropriately Sized Pallets – Our warehouse team makes certain that the right sized pallet, also known as a skid, is the right one for the weight and size of the shipment.
Clear Shipping Labels – Labels are legible and durable. Paperwork such as a bill of lading or packing slips are placed inside of a protective sleeve.
How Do I Receive Freight?
There is one golden rule of receiving freight that every receiving dock should follow. Do not accept or sign the bill of lading before checking freight for damage, concealed damage, or missing parts.
It’s critical to pay close attention and inspect all details when you receive a freight shipment. You have the right to record exactly what is missing or damaged. If damaged freight is not recorded, you may not be able to file a successful freight claim.
When you receive freight, here are the steps you should take.
Box Count & Damage Inspection
Count the number of boxes received. Compare the box count to the bill of lading for accuracy.
Inspect the shipment for any visible damages. Ensure all packages are consistent.
Are there any damages present? If yes, then take immediate action with the following steps.
Accept the shipment as damaged.
Write down all damages or missing box count on the delivery slip.
Take photos to showcase the condition of goods when received.
TIP: Do not refuse a shipment or discard any damaged freight. Your shipment may get damaged further, or worse, lost in storage. Without your dust collection products in-hand, getting replacements or a freight claim solved can take several weeks longer.
TIP: Keep a copy of all related documents like the bill of lading, packing slip, and copy of your invoice.
TIP: There is a limited window of time to submit a freight claim for resolution.
Report any damages to your supplier within 24 hours of receiving your shipment and they will help your take the next steps. If your shipment was from U.S. Air Filtration here is what you can do:
Contact your account manager directly or the USAF main line at 1-888-221-0312.
Send all photo evidence and a copy of the delivery slip to USAF.
USAF will help start the freight claim process and get you replacements ASAP.
Damaged freight is a headache that no one wants to deal with. They strain your time and bottom line. If you would like to get help with your damaged shipment, submit your information with our interactive receiving checklist below. Once your information is received, a U.S. Air Filtration rep will be in touch to help.
• Industrial Dust Collection buyers place high importance on customer experience when making purchasing decisions
• Customer experience is defined by the interactions a buyer has with a company before, during and after a sale.
• There are five things industrial buyers value most in their purchasing experience: Product knowledge, Responsiveness, Service, Relationship, and Educational Resources
If you were to ask most people what’s most important to them when making a purchase historically it’s come down to three things – price, quality, and service. But as buyers have become more savvy and have less time to spend on purchasing, customers now place equal if not more importance on customer experience when making dust collection purchasing decisions. In fact, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for agreat customer experience. And a recent Walker study found that by the end of 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
Customer experience is defined by the interactions a buyer has with a company before, during and after making a purchase.
What makes a good customer experience when purchasing dust collector parts
We recently sent a survey to our customers to understand what they currently value when making purchasing decisions and to learn where there may be gaps and opportunities for improvement.
By understanding our buyer’s perspective it helps us build an experience tailored to the different needs and wants of our customer.
We’ve organized our findings into five core components that customers valued most:
Top 5 Key Components to a Customer Service Experience
Expertise and Product Knowledge
Educational Resources and Tools
Dust Collection Expertise and Product Knowledge
Expertise and product knowledge were voted as the most valued component in a dust collection customer service experience. Dust collection needs vary significantly even within the same industrial application. Today buyers value sales reps who function first as product experts who understand their specific dust collection challenges. Finding the right dust collection products that will optimize performance requires vast technical knowledge on a filters, valves, troubleshooting, dust collection engineering and more. When a sales rep delivers and establishes their expertise, this evokes trust and assurance to the customer that their buying journey and partnership will be successful.
“I had a very good conversation with internal sales, Mark. Sharing technical knowledge and information is always helpful!” – Customer Testimonial
Leveraging Technology to Improve Responsiveness
Responsiveness is critical to industrial dust collection customers in order to keep their system running at peak performance. A customer may need dust collector parts for an upcoming inspection, an unexpected explosion, or replacements for broken or underperforming parts. To help solve issues before they turn into more disruptive maintenance problems, it’s vital to get a response back to the customer promptly.
To improve response time, companies can leverage technology in innovative ways that cater to the customer.
For example, at USAF our sales reps can be reached through multiple channels including direct phone line, email, online quote request, online chat, email nurturing and marketing automation, or via the main line where a live person will answer and direct your call immediately. Investing in several channel options allows USAF to communicate with customers quickly, using their preferred communication method.
Further, as more of the buyers journey moves online, and as more buyers now prefer online communication over phone and face to face contact, particularly in response to COVID-19, companies need to adapt by investing in technology that will streamline the buyers journey by moving more customer interactions online. This could include any or all of the following solutions:
Chatbot Artificial Intelligence
Marketing Automation & Email/SMS nurturing
Content marketing – Includes videos, blogs, eBooks, case studies
“The products I purchase are specialized and by me contacting Patty and her quick response back to me works for our relationship and I wouldn’t change it. She does a fabulous job!” – Customer Testimonial
Customers face so many choices when it comes to where they purchase dust collector parts. One key component to the dust collection customer experience is service. Great service isn’t about being short-sighted and merely searching for the next opportunity, instead it’s about prioritizing solving customer problems and focusing on long term wins.
Today’s industrial buyers expect a service experience that combines one on one human connection with the efficiency that technology brings. An example of this could include the following touchpoints that combine technology with personal outreach:
Regular phone call check ins by sales rep before, during and after a sale to help the customer identify the right product and confirm successful delivery.
Email nurturing that includes how to advice and relevant educational information on dust collection.
E-Commerce product catalog for direct online sales
Post-sale shipping and tracking notifications by email or text
Post-sale customer satisfaction survey by email
While technology has changed the way we do business in critical ways, particularly through e-commerce, the need for human connection will never go away. Companies who can master this hybrid model by finding the right balance of human vs. technology touchpoints will be the most successful in the future.
“I think you’re already doing a great job. Bonnie is always fast to respond to my emails (always within an hour, often within minutes). On top of that she calls me periodically just to check up. She is a true professional and you should consider her a major asset to your company. Without her being my sales person I cannot guarantee that I would be even purchasing from you, there are local guys that I could buy from but I keep coming back to USAF because the service is so good.” – Jake Z.
The main goal of establishing a relationship between the customer and their sales rep is to create a consistent experience across all touchpoints in the dust collection journey. The sales rep is the direct connection from the company to the customer, and to ensure the process is as smooth and positive as possible the sales rep should be a customer’s first go-to contact for orders, questions, or issues.
Have you ever called a customer service line for a large retail or phone company? You often find yourself frustrated at being bounced around through several different departments before you even speak to the right person. A direct sales rep for a company keeps an eye on the customer’s entire journey to ensure their experience is positive and to also help mitigate any issues that may cause a bigger problem down the road.
“Bonnie was incredibly kind, helpful, and persistent (in a good way) with our last order” – Thomas J.
Educational Dust Collection Resources and Tools
Expertise, product knowledge, responsiveness, service, and a relationship are all important to the dust collection customer service experience. Providing additional educational resources and tools throughout the purchasing journey is crucial to building trust and long term partnerships. Examples of successful educational resources can include:
eBooks that provide in depth analysis on a key topic such as dust collection design
Regular blog posts that answer common questions customers ask
3D animated product demo videos
Instructional maintenance videos – includes installation, assembly, how-to and troubleshooting advice
Engineering drawings of products
Detailed spec sheets
Project case studies
Here are the most popular dust collection resources USAF has complied over the years that are most valued by our customers.