06 January 2022

The importance of Customer-First and what it means for RightShip

In this article, RightShip’s Chief Commercial Officer, Gurpreet Singh, explains the importance of Customer-First and what it means for RightShip.

Everything about the customer is changing – motivations, connections, expectations, time and purchasing power, all this in a disruptive and ”VUCA”(Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) macro-environment where events are less predictable than they were in the past. Customers’ rising expectations are driving a need for change; they expect more from businesses than ever before. Customers also want experiences with products, services and interactions that are seamless, responsive, relevant, and consistent.           


INDUSTRY TRENDS

In the maritime industry, the pain points of safety and sustainability have remained as key areas of concern for most members in the ecosystem. Some are driven by the need to do good, others by the initiative to take industry leadership, while prioritise fulfilling Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations, driven by shareholder pressures.

Maritime incidents are becoming more visible, and their impacts more widely communicated. In pandemic times the importance of safety onboard has come under scrutiny, as many of our seafarer friends unfortunately faced the brunt of the crew change crisis, which resulted in them being at sea for longer periods than normal.

At the same time, the emergence of data and increased transparency in supply chains have resulted in increased awareness of how we can leverage on digitalisation to optimise sea transportation. There is a myriad of strategic business benefits to be reaped by ship owners and managers, from operational efficiency improvements and cost reductions to environmental performance enhancements and genuine care for the seafarers.

Also, we are seeing greater trust in the shipping ecosystem, where there are in-depth and richer discussions between players in the shipping space, in how partnerships can address some of the pain points. No single party has the complete solution, so leveraging on each other's strengths will only benefit the wider shipping fraternity.


CUSTOMER-FIRST VIEW

At RightShip, being customer-first means putting customers at the centre of everything we do.

At a time when many successful businesses have lost touch with their customers many organisations realise that to reconnect with them and to create exciting and valuable new propositions, they don’t need only a digital strategy, but a customer first strategy suited to the digital age. It’s not only a strategy, but also a business mindset shift that fosters a positive experience at every stage of the customer journey.

Customers today are choosing businesses who take the time to know them and who care about their needs. A customer-first strategy is centered around customers and provides services, products and experiences that positively surprise and delight, foster loyalty and boost lifetime value.

Businesses now create their customer strategies by re-visiting a set of core questions that are simple, yet deceptively smart.

  • Who are my customers?
  • What do they want and need?
  • How do they behave?
  • What’s on their mind?
  • What’s driving their behaviour?
  • What type of experience will delight?
  • How can we reimagine our products and services?

The better ‘connected’ a company is to its customers and the various ecosystems they inhabit, the better it can understand its customers’ needs. And, with insights into their customers’ motivations and aspirations, companies can begin to develop a roadmap to build experiences that are meaningful and gain greater share of their customers’ time and money. Change and disruption is occurring today across all industries.

The impact of global trends like advancing technology, geopolitics, climate change and changing demographics, to name a few, are forcing companies to rethink their focus and how they conduct business. At the centre of, and a key driver of this change is the customer. Businesses that do a better job at connecting with their customers and their changing needs will be rewarded and will leave the competition behind.

With the changing maritime ecosystem and the widespread presence of data, there is a terrific opportunity for value creation in the industry, while at the same time ensuring that important customer needs are addressed.

Customer-first is about understanding our customers, and what is important to them before we embark on doing business for and around them. As such, there exists a tacit opportunity to embed a customer-focused culture in the organisation. In extension, I believe that it’s also important to look at ways to make the customer experience inclusive and personal, make customers feel appreciated and they’ll develop a deeper connection with you, keeping you at the forefront of their minds.


WHAT THIS MEANS FOR RIGHTSHIP

As organisations, we need to take ownership of how we serve our customers, whilst thinking creatively of how to empower and uplift them.

At RightShip we believe that a successful voyage is one that is safe, sustainable, supports the welfare of the seafarers and is also commercially successful. Customers are looking to us at RightShip to play a leadership role in how we can collectively make our industry safer and more sustainable. They are coming to us to provide solutions for existing pain points in the industry. With our unrivalled combination of years of experience in the sector, vast access to data and analytics, leading digital platforms, deep maritime expertise and strategic industry collaborations, we are in a unique position to build these solutions. Our Safety Score and GHG Rating come together to benchmark operational performances, also by highlighting best practices in safety and efficiency. We have also developed solutions that provide customers’ insights into their operational emissions via the Carbon Accounting tool and the Maritime Emissions Portal.

RightShip’s main purpose is zero harm in the maritime ecosystem and given the complexity of the industry and merging opportunities with data, technology, and collaborations, it is a tall order that we are meeting together with our customers. Working towards a zero-emissions future, RightShips’s future growth aspirations mean that as we scale to meet customer needs, we are consistently listening to the industry and creating value together.

In developing an in-depth understanding of our customers’ and different segments’ needs, we also develop a keener appreciation of our customers’ purpose in their field and industries – which then gives us at RightShip the opportunity to serve them better.

This creates a virtuous circle in which we can perform our purpose in a more focused manner, and in working with our customers, we can build sharper and more relevant products for the industry. This in turn allows us to broaden our reach to more members in the maritime industry and spread and develop the RightShip value proposition of zero harm, via safety and sustainability solutions.

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