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7 tips for better deliveries to customers

1st Sep 2015
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Any company that wholly or partially relies upon a delivery service understands just how integral a part of trading it can be; from representing a significant, ongoing cost to the business right through to directly affecting the levels of customer satisfaction that a company enjoys (or, conversely, dissatisfaction!). With this is mind, here are seven ways in which companies can improve  delivery service for their customers.

1.    Consider providing free shipping

You may think that free delivery means added cost, however setting a delivery charge may come at the expense of losing sales.  Statistics released this year by Kissmetrics suggest that up to 28% of shoppers are abandoning online shopping carts when presented with unexpected shipping costs.  In essence, free shipping can actually serve to increase conversion rate, which will in turn generate more revenue and reduce abandoned cart rate. You can even compensate for this expense with slight price increases to your products, or  by placing a minimum order for free delivery to encourage a more profitable average basket value.

2.     Get the packaging right

Your packaging provides for a tangible part of the relationship between your company and your customer and can even act as an influencer in a company’s sales. It is important to invest in good quality packaging that effectively communicates your brand to the consumer – becoming just as recognisable as the product itself.

3.    Provide a range of delivery options

Customers love choice throughout the consumer journey, particularly when it comes to practical elements such as delivery.  In order to enhance the delivery experience further, be sure to offer delivery options that cater for every eventuality; from those in a rush and willing to pay for next day delivery, through to those who aren't under time constraints but are budget focused.

4.     Overhaul your own delivery service

Managing your own deliveries should be an element within your business that you continually review and aim to improve. Software should be utilised to automatically calculate the right routes for your fleet that cut down delivery time, carbon footprints and, of course, costs to the business.

It is also important to provide sat navs that always report traffic issues so that your drivers can avoid any delays.

Further to this, it is important to continually review the way in which your delivery areas are split, due to fluctuation and change in business demands. Where workloads were once equally split, it may be the case today that Van A has to cover double the number of deliveries as Van B, which previously, may not have been the case.

5.     Review your courier contracts

It is advisable not to become too comfortable with one courier or delivery service. By putting in place a regular contract review process, current suppliers will be kept on their toes, always striving to deliver great service. And of course, cutting the cost of delivery and passing this onto your customers will always earn you some customer satisfaction - brownie points!

6.     Look after your drivers well

Are your drivers happy? Or are they stressed to the hilt, which is in turn creating a negative atmosphere in the workplace? Listening to your drivers is key to maintaining productive staff that deliver with a smile. This light-hearted test aims to assess just how well your delivery workforce are faring.  

7.    Provide  a seamless return service

No business likes dealing with returns.  Not only can they represent non-profitable activity, but they can  be of a relatively significant cost to your business. However returns are also, in the majority of delivery realms, entirely unavoidable therefore it is worthwhile to make the process as painless for the customer as possible in order to encourage repeat custom.

 It is advisable to include pre-paid return postage and packaging, as well as joining one of the many initiatives which allow customers to take their package to a local shop where their return will be processed. .


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