New technology can be stressful. You must not only obtain buy-in from your team but from others outside of your company who will use the system, as well. For freight brokers adding Parade capacity management, the most effective use of the system relies on carriers making a Parade account and using it. Many brokerages and their carriers worry that using Parade will mean that the personal touch brokers offer their carriers will be obsolete when digital interaction is increased, but that’s not so.
Here are some tips we can offer for getting Parade buy-in from your carrier base while maintaining your personal touch based on real Parade customer experiences.
1. Prioritize Carrier Relationships, Even Before Rollout
The best time to start emphasizing stronger, more intentional carrier relationships is right now. Whether you’re planning to add a capacity management solution like Parade now, in the future, or capacity management isn’t even on your radar yet, carrier relationships are foundational to a freight brokerage’s success.
Many customers who see the most success from the Parade system are already prioritizing carrier relationships before they add capacity management. By leveraging a personal connection, it’s easier to convince carriers that are already invested in relationships with a brokerage to get signed up with Parade and make the small changes necessary in their processes to make the system more efficient.
2. Be Upfront with Your Carrier Base
People naturally fear the unknown. One way to help get your carrier base buy into Parade is to leave nothing to the imagination. Make sure there are no surprises on their end.
Take time to explain how they can sign up for a Parade account, what steps they’ll need to take to effectively use the system, how digital booking and quoting tools work, the types of outreach the system will be managing, and the level and type of personal contact the carrier can expect. Don’t try to sugarcoat the fact that some changes will need to take place to help the system work effectively, but do explain how those changes are beneficial for both the brokerage and the carrier, which leads us to our next tip.
3. Show Carriers How Parade Benefits Them
Carriers are more likely to get on board with Parade if they know exactly how the system helps them, not just the brokerage they’re hauling loads for. Be sure to explain how the system will help your brokerage give them more of the loads they really want and help build a stronger, more symbiotic relationship between broker and carrier.
Brokers can also show their carriers how easy it is to use the Parade platform. The system often saves the carriers’ time even as it saves carrier reps’ time. Digital booking and quoting tools mean carriers can scoop up ideal loads quickly and without a hassle, and carriers will receive fewer phone calls and emails about loads they can’t take.
Fun Parade fact: one of our customers calls us the match.com of the freight industry. This might be a great way to explain to carriers how the system serves them as well as the brokerage.
4. Don’t Give Up Your Personal Touch
Parade manages so much of the carrier outreach that if a broker chose, customers could opt out of most of the phone calls to carriers, but that’s not the best way to use the system. Those, “Do you have a truck available?” calls are almost obsolete when Parade is already pinpointing your carriers’ availability and conducting outreach on the brokerage’s behalf, leaving more time for those, “What can I do to serve you better?” calls. Ideally, you’ve already told your carriers the system won’t mean the end of the personal relationships built, but brokers must actively show their carriers that’s true by maintaining personal contact with carriers after rollout. Fewer phone calls benefit brokers, as well, leaving more time for revenue generating activities.
Even with Parade, every broker’s ideal level of personal contact with carriers will be different and may even vary from carrier to carrier based on the carrier’s preferences. Some of our customers follow up on each digital booking with a phone call, while others schedule a weekly or monthly call to discuss capacity, lane and load preferences, and just keep in touch with carriers. Regardless of methodology, these personal conversations have proven to be important to Parade customers and their carriers.
Parade helps brokerages hone their personal touch, and we highly suggest our customers take advantage of that. Use carrier profiles to keep track of personal information your carriers share as well as their load preferences and business needs. For example, one customer keeps track of birthdays in their carriers’ offices and families in carrier profiles to help reps keep up with carriers on a personal level.
Parade’s Customer Experience team uses a variety of strategies tailored to each brokerage’s needs to gain carrier buy-in. Interested in learning more about how our team can help your brokerage get carriers onboard with Parade? Reach out to our team to set up a demo.