Exploring how communication before delivery influences customers.
We need it. We choose it. We buy it. And then we… wait for it to be delivered.
It’s no wonder customer expectations are increasing to rise for the delivery experience; everything else happens so quickly – why can’t our purchases be here now? With Amazon Prime offering unlimited free delivery on same-day/next-day deliveries, customers expect purchases to arrive faster and faster.
In this series of blog posts, we explore customer reviews to understand how the top delivery companies such as DPD, Hermes, DHL and Yodel are meeting these challenging customer expectations.
Using state-of-the-art Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques, Senti (our AI-analyst) has read over 300,000 customer reviews; understanding the topics that are important to us, and how we feel about them. From these insights, we can explore the delivery topics we care about the most, what irritates us, and what actions make us loyal to a company.
Speed of delivery is important. But what about before we receive our parcel? We want the reassurance that it’s safe, and on its way. Parcel tracking with regular updates are expected as standard. In this piece, we’ll explore how communication from delivery providers affects customers.
Is communication in delivery important to customers?
Yes. Pre-delivery experiences account for around 21% of the overall customer satisfaction for delivery. When we explore further, three themes come out as important to customers: 1. the accuracy of parcel tracking, 2. delivery notifications, and 3. the usability of delivery apps and websites.
Transparency is key
Parcel tracking is important to customers; it’s about knowing where your parcel is, and trusting it’s on its way. Customers still run into issues with tracking, leading to frustration with their delivery provider.
This is largely due to drivers mis-using tracking apps, such as logging attempted deliveries, even though customers know they were not attempted:
Tracking apps can also lack important details. For example, where a parcel was successfully delivered to:
When customers know where their parcel is as well as the driver’s itinerary, waiting for a purchase becomes easier. Yodel does this well with customers praising their detailed tracking:
If delivery companies are transparent about the location of a customer’s purchase, pre-delivery customer satisfaction is likely to be higher.
Regular updates and specific time slots = reassurance for customers
For delivery notifications, customers are happy when they are kept regularly updated, whether that is via email, text or app notifications. However, top delivery companies still perform poorly. As with parcel tracking, customers are affected by drivers’ misuse of logging deliveries.
DPD lead the way with delivery notifications. Customers praise their regular updates and hour time slots given:
To achieve trust with customers, regular updates about their parcel and specific delivery time slots are needed.
High usability expected as standard
Changing dates, leaving delivery instructions, having up-to-date information and a high level of usability. These qualities are all expected by customers who use websites and apps to manage their deliveries.
Hermes have a good level of customer satisfaction for website usability due to it being easy when booking in and tracking deliveries:
Takeaway: communication in delivery is important too
The pressures to provide the quickest and cheapest delivery are increasing. However, delivery companies must not dismiss the role that transparent, regular and accurate communication can have in customer satisfaction. Investing in real-time location tracking and training drivers to use tracking apps appropriately are 2 clear steps companies can take towards happier, more loyal customers.
In our next blog, we’ll be focusing on more industry performance trends at the delivery stage: what is most important to customers - driver attitude or delivery punctuality? And how do delivery companies perform against these expectations?