The role of customer service in the delivery experience.
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.
Late deliveries, missing parcels and organising collections can be stressful for customers - swift support and resolution is expected. However, effective customer service in delivery throws up many challenges with constantly changing locations and busy driver schedules.
In this piece, we will explore the current downfalls of customer service within the top delivery providers to see where businesses can uncover new opportunities and pull ahead of the competition. With 28% of customer comments from top delivery providers' reviews pertaining to themes around Customer Service, this is an important topic that companies cannot afford to ignore.
As we will see, delivery providers can differentiate themselves from the competition by investing in their customer service. It is possible to improve the customer experience by being more available to customers who have queries; building up reliable communication between customer service and drivers; and shortening wait times.
Where’s my money?
When customers talk about refunds from top delivery providers, there is a common theme of having to chase the customer service team multiple times. This can result in waiting months for a refund. Here is one example from a Hermes customer:
Online chat support
When used well by a customer service team, online chat support is recognised as a useful tool:
However, the success of online chat to resolve issues can be highly dependent on those using it. Yodel customer service employees are well-known for ending a customer conversation long before the customer is satisfied with the outcome:
One expected advantage of using online chat support is that customers can avoid long hold times on phones. At Hermes, this is not always true as customers using the online chat can experience long waits before speaking to someone:
Customers still appreciate being able to ring up customer service teams for a more personal approach to their problem. At DPD, staff have been praised for their attitude in dealing with problems:
At Hermes and DHL Parcel, customers have complained about the difficulties of reaching a person to talk to on the phone; reporting various automated messages and being redirected to websites, leading to obvious frustration:
One barrier to good customer service is the lack of information available to customer service personnel:
One potential reason for this lack of knowledge among staff is the gap in communication between customer service teams, and couriers. This is where couriers are also necessary for good customer service, and responsiveness to queries is key:
When deliveries go awry, it can be difficult for customers to get the right help from delivery providers. By addressing the above points, delivery providers can pull ahead of the competition to provide a truly customer-obsessed service, anticipating customer needs and thereby cultivating much-needed brand loyalty.
Look out for our next blog post, where we'll be exploring how much the performance of a delivery provider can contribute to a retail brand's customer satisfaction and why.