Cross-functional Customer Engagement Invaluable at Ryder System, Inc.

For Samuel Johnson, VP Global Marketing, Customer Loyalty & Insights, Ryder System, Inc., the inaugural Customer Expo was a showcase for his company, a leader in commercial fleet managementdedicated transportation, and supply chain solutions.

During the Loyalty360 Customer Awards last week in Nashville, Ryder garnered several awards: A Gold Award in Operational Excellence, and Silver Awards in the Brand Insights and Customer Experience & Engagement categories, along with the Silver Award in the comprehensive Brand 360-Degree Award category.)

Ryder is a leading provider of commercial transportation, logistics, and supply chain management solutions, serving customers throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Over the past 84 years, it has earned a reputation for delivering solutions that ease complexity and increase efficiency for companies of all sizes.

Ryder, which is a $6.8 billion company with more than 50,000 customers and over 34,000 employees, also offers a customer loyalty program for its commercial rental customers called Ryder RedZone. Ryder RedZone provides Ryder commercial rental customers in the United States and Canada with a convenient way to earn points and rewards for each rental dollar they spend.

During the “Meet the Finalists: Q&A with the Loyalty360 Customer Award Finalists,” session at Customer Expo, Johnson spoke about Ryder’s approach to customer-centricity.

“How do we harness customer insights to inform our loyalty program?” he said. “It’s really been a cross-functional journey with leadership from key functional areas at the table helping to drive change. We have a cross-functional engagement and we leverage customer insights to identify and improve the business processes that matter. I think that is a pretty innovative approach in the B2B space to ensure we get the continuously improving, customer-centric transformation that we’re working towards here at Ryder.”

Johnson said Ryder leverages insights from its customer base to inform its prospecting.

“We’re on a journey toward continuously improving customer-centricity,” he explained. “Our services are incumbent on all of our employees. Those who interact with customers regularly as well as those who are in the back office supporting. A key differentiated approach we’ve taken is to ensure there is cross-functional engagement, so it’s not just a sales initiative, marketing initiative, or an ops initiative.”

Johnson said the entire organization is engaged, focused, and aligned on key business processes that can impact the CX.

By focusing on and influencing the business processes that impact customer experience, Ryder is transforming the company culture, he noted.

“Getting customer feedback and insights that are relevant and timely to the right players at key touch points along their customer journeys with us helps to move the needle in terms of improving their experience with Ryder,” Johnson said. “Collecting feedback and taking action closes the loop with all customers and it becomes a more holistic approach.”

Ryder is a B2B company, but when it comes to customer-centricity and gaining customer loyalty, Johnson believes it’s all about “H to H.”

“Human to human,” Johnson said. “Our customers’ expectations are no different than our B2C counterparts. The advent of Big Data and advanced analytics is coming like a tidal wave for us as customers’ expectations are increasing … we have leveraged emerging technology were applicable as experience enhancers. e.g. virtual reality tours of our warehouses and shops. There’s been an awareness of what’s happening and adapting to it. There is a realization from the board down to challenge ourselves and get out in front of it.”

Having champions who see the winds of change and embrace it is key to Ryder’s customer-centricity focus and success.

Brands have to be authentic, Johnson noted.

“We instituted customer advisory boards,” he explained. “We have leadership teams that sit down and truly listen to customers, sitting in on conversations about functional customer challenges. We also have online customer panels where we can solicit more direct feedback and participation from customers. We also scaled our Voice of the Customer program to try and reach every customer. We are trying to be less reactive and more proactive. Asking someone for feedback is awesome. Asking someone for feedback and doing nothing about it could be catastrophic.”

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