Delivering Customer Satisfaction
About this white paper
This white paper has been created off the back of Post&Parcel Live: Delivering Customer Satisfaction. We canvassed expert opinion on how to deliver greater customer satisfaction in logistics and published their thoughts in this white paper. The Post&Parcel Live Seminars are intimate, one-day content and discussion led events for professionals involved in the post and parcel industry. The seminars feature keynote presentations from prominent experts, case studies from successful operators and open discussions with the audience and speakers. Find out more at www.postandparcel.live
Introduction to the white paper
“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” This aphorism, which has been variously adapted and attributed over the years, sums up the challenge of meeting the delivery expectations of today’s online shoppers.
There will be no “one-size suits all” answer to this challenge. Different customers will have their own particular expectations and priorities.
There are the impatient impulse-shoppers who want their goods packed and dispatched as soon as they click the “Buy Now” button. Some of them will even be prepared to pay a premium for this service. At the other end of the market, we have the canny bargain-hunters who are happy to wait if it means they can get a free delivery.
But you can’t just divide customers into the Fast or the Free camps. Customers’ delivery needs – and their willingness to pay for those needs – will also change according to the type of goods involved.
Hungry app-users ordering a lunch-time meal will want their feast delivered still-hot and within the hour. Wine connoisseurs selecting a fine vintage to lay down in their cellars will not want their crates rushed – indeed, waiting is very much a part of the wine-collecting game.
Meeting customers’ expectations is like 3D puzzling. You have to find the sweet spots that connect the right customer with the right service, for the right product – and at the right price.
Just to add an extra layer of complexity, you also have to factor in the time dimension. We have already mentioned how some deliveries can be keenly clock-related: meals-to-go will cluster around the lunch-hour and dinner-time; full-time workers will want their home deliveries in the evening. Delivery expectations are also influenced by the seasons. At Christmas time, the delivery industry has to cope with a surge of online parcels that grows bigger every year – and these parcels have a rigid deadline: 24 December.
The UK is now a nation of online shoppers – and the delivery industry has built up a range of service options to suit their changing expectations and lifestyles.
We have on-demand, same-day and next-day delivery for those must-have-now items. Customers can also schedule evening deliveries and specify time-slots to minimize the time they spend waiting for the courier’s knock at the door. They can even cut the waiting time to zero by using parcel stores and lockers. They can pay for fast, or wait for free. They can even get a quasi “fast and free” service by signing up for a membership scheme like Prime.
But while offering customers more choice is a good starting point, retailers and their carrier partners then have to deliver on these promises. They need the delivery muscle to meet the customers’ daily needs, and strength in reserve to cope with the peak-time surges.
Furthermore, they must communicate with the customers, keeping them informed about the progress of their deliveries and, where necessary, managing expectations and finding alternative solutions when plans go awry. As the comments from our panel of experts attest, clear communication is not just a handy add-on; it is now an integral part of the delivery service.
We may never have a definitive answer to the question: “What do customers want?” But we do know what they don’t want: a failed delivery, with no prior warning or subsequent explanation of what went wrong, and no effort made to fix the problem. Everyone in the industry wants to avoid this scenario – and we hope that this paper will play some part in reducing its likelihood.
About Post&Parcel Live
The Post&Parcel Live Seminars are intimate, one-day content and discussion led events for professionals involved in the post and parcel industry. The seminars feature keynote presentations from prominent experts, case studies from successful operators and open discussions with the audience and speakers.