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A study conducted by Convey, Inc. found that out of 1,500 shoppers, 98% said that delivery impacts brand loyalty, and 84% stated they wouldn’t shop with a business again after one bad experience. A great delivery experience is vital to customers, but how do you offer it?
What’s the Difference Between Great and Average Delivery?
Any company that delivers products within the week or does the bare minimum to ship their products on time could be considered an “average” delivery company. For delivery service to be considered “great,” the company has to go above and beyond for the customer by offering:
Whether you’re working with a same-day delivery courier or shipping products internationally, you need to keep your promises to the customer. Your customers are more than willing to wait for products if that’s the expectation you set, but they’ll feel lied to if you don’t come through.
Shipping delays make your customers lose trust in your employees/couriers, your brand, and your products. When this happens, your customers are less likely to buy from you again and more likely to leave a negative review online, which damages your reputation further.
Your customers want to know when their products will be arriving, but you can’t suddenly leave them in the dark once your products leave the warehouse. Proactive transparency starts when the order is placed and finishes when the order is completed. Anything less isn’t acceptable.
Although transparency requires a lot of technology and upfront costs, your customers will appreciate that you care about their free time. If a package is urgent, they won’t want to wait around all day for it to arrive, but if they know the time of delivery, they can do other things.
Sometimes it’s out of your control whether or not your products reach their destination in one piece, but damaged products still reflect poorly on your brand. That’s why it’s vital to vet your couriers before partnering with them to make sure the product isn’t damaged during shipment.
Remember that damaged products will be returned, costing you in the short term. However, your reputation will also take a hit, which will hurt your profits in the long term. Investing in trusted employees, safe packaging, and quality trucks will save your business a lot of money.
How to Provide the Best Delivery Experience for Customers
We already know what separates average delivery and great delivery, but how can you offer on-time delivery, transparency, undamaged products, and an overall better experience?
1. Self-Deliver or Hire a Trusted Third-Party Courier
Self-delivering your products is the best way to ensure your customer’s delivery experience is top-notch. However, if you can’t afford to do this right away, hire a trusted third-party courier. Avoid larger carriers, like UPS or FedEx, as you have less control over the delivery process.
Smaller companies tend to offer a better customer experience in order to compete, so consider local couriers like DropOff, who offer same-day delivery, HIPAA compliance, and much more.
2. Offer Contactless and Same-Day Delivery
Same-day delivery and contactless delivery are big money-makers for your business. In fact, 82% of customers want contactless delivery to stay after the pandemic. Contactless delivery is great for your business, too, as you don’t need to wait for the customer to answer the door.
3. Pack Smart and Use Temperature-Controlled Trucks
Proper handling, secure packaging, and safe storage ensure your items are delivered intact. When packing goods, make sure you fill-up the box completely or wrap your products to prevent breakage. Next, find a way to secure the box so it’s less likely to move around the vehicle.
Use temperature-controlled trucks for goods that could expire and try to only deliver these items locally. Since these items are time-sensitive, they’ll need to be delivered quickly and safely.
4. Use Route Optimization Software
Route optimization software automatically plans delivery routes by accounting for the number of items in your truck and address proximity. Route optimization software can help you deliver your products quicker, reduces driver stress, and offers flexibility if a current route is inaccessible.
5. Track Packages and Offer Updates
Proactive transparency is essential, but you can’t provide this service without real-time order tracking software. You can connect this software to your customer’s email and phone numbers so they receive a message when their items are shipped and when they’re about to arrive.
Real-time order tracking software can also reduce theft since the customer knows exactly when the product is delivered. Plus, they can use this software to delay shipment if necessary.
6. Provide Proof of Delivery (POD)
There’s nothing more stressful for your customer than a missing package, but if you provide proof of delivery, both you and the customer will know if the package is late, stolen, or delivered. No matter what happens, your customers won’t have to wonder what happened to their items.