FedEx Express truck. Source: Shutterstock

How FedEx uses technology to delight customers in the digital era

In an era powered by e-commerce, FedEx’s relevance and influence have only grown — but the logistics giant is keen to accelerate its growth and it is betting that customer-centric innovations will help it get the job done.

To better understand the company’s direction and initiatives, Tech Wire Asia spoke to FedEx Express Asia Pacific President Karen Reddington.

“Customer service in the logistics industry has traditionally relied on frontline employees, like the friendly delivery man.

“Once a siloed function within the logistics industry, customer service is increasingly integrated, creating new connections across previously discrete divisions. The catalyst? Technology.”

Keeping the fast-growing market in Asia Pacific and the prospects it offers in mind, Reddington believes that technology must be used to create smarter, digitally-driven supply chains that deliver new possibilities to customers with niche and diverse business needs.

Ultimately, in her opinion, digital innovation must solve a problem, be ever more adaptive and ready to respond to volatility and risk, and most importantly, reduce complexity and cost.

Therefore, FedEx does not believe in treating customer service as a transactional, offline activity. Using chatbots and online virtual assistants, the company proactively advises customers on how to ship their goods and handle complex transactions such as international imports, high seas sales, and transshipment.

“The virtual assistant on our portal responds right away. This level of immediacy is essential: three in four customers expect service within five minutes of making contact online.

“As a logistics company, delivering on expectations not only results in satisfied customers but also empowers them to expand their shipping capacity with confidence.”

FedEx believes that technology provides logistics companies with an opportunity to make the customer experience more convenient, from start to finish.

“We have robots that are already moving unwieldy packages in highly automated warehouses. Robots will soon deliver packages on the street, enabling customers to ship and receive their items more easily. This is an ideal solution for last-mile deliveries – a classic customer service challenge.”

The APAC President proudly talks about the company’s SameDay Bot Roxo — which will be making a debut in a few cities in the US to deliver packages to customers, intelligently and with agility.

“While innovations like this are not yet ready for mass deployment, they offer an exciting glimpse into the intelligent future of logistics,” said Reddington.

The work that FedEx is doing proves that logistics companies cannot rest on their laurels. The approach FedEx is taking is with customer-centric innovations, which is key to creating possibilities for its customers.