Friday, October 8, 2010

Being a good customer

One of the rules I try to live by is be a good customer.  A lot of that is simple: be polite, only hold people responsible for things they can control, treat people as I would want to be treated.  Those rules apply to working with your freight vendors, but a few more can help your relationship (and save money too).

I'm that customer who knows a lot about a forwarder's business.  I've been known to call a forwarder and ask for a cubic meter on a specific flight, or a specific sailing.  But I know the airline schedules, and I know in general how to look up sailing schedules.  I've been booking trucking for seven years now.  If you don't have that experience, the key to being a good customer is to give your vendor as much information as you can.  If you have a hard deadline, tell them.  If you don't have a deadline and are trying to do the move on the cheap, tell them that.

At the same time, don't set arbitrary deadlines.  Don't tell them it's urgent and then change your mind (or apologize and explain if the situation changes).  You need to trust each other in the relationship.

Finally, pay your bills on time (just like any other vendor).  

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