Last Mile: Dropping Off The Parcel

Posted by Kirsty Pinner on Jan 26, 2019, 6:19:59 PM

Exploring what makes a good delivery...

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.

 

maarten-van-den-heuvel-246398-unsplash

 

As we saw in our last blog post, drivers are an integral part of the customer experience before the actual delivery even takes place. In this second blog post of the series, we will understand the impact of drivers and their role in ensuring the best customer outcome when leaving parcels with customers.

 

Factors impacting delivery satisfaction

The last mile, where the delivery driver drops off our parcel, is unsurprisingly the most talked about by customers and contributes, on average, 42% to the overall customer satisfaction score of a delivery company.

The following themes come up as important for customers at this stage: 1. driver attitude, 2. delivery punctuality, 3. calling card not left, 4. delivered to safe place and 5. delivered to neighbour.

delivery themes

 

Is my delivery on time?

By the time customers place an order, there is usually an estimate for how long our delivery will take. As long as delivery companies stick to this estimated time slot, customers are happy with a service they can rely on:

review comment 21

However, Hermes customer satisfaction is damaged when customers pay for next day or nominated day delivery and their parcel arrives late:

review comment 22

 

The face of the company

review comment 23-1

DPD performs well when customers mention their drivers; describing them as kind, helpful and punctual.

Drivers are an important topic for a customer’s experience. Delivery providers must focus on problems caused by drivers to achieve long-lasting positive change in customer satisfaction. For example, many comment on drivers not attempting to drop off parcels from scheduled deliveries:

review comment 24

 

Sorry we missed you

One of the main grievances customers have across all delivery companies is when drivers say they have left a calling card as evidence that they attempted delivery but no card can be found.

At Yodel, this is a popular problem for customers. Tracking messages state a card was left, however customers often never find the calling card:

review comment 25

 

Safe places and neighbours

Deliveries often happen when customers are out of the house and can’t receive the parcel personally. When this happens, customers expect drivers to deliver packages in a safe manner; away from view or delivered to a neighbour, with a calling card describing where to find their parcel.

In practice, when faced with busy schedules, drivers may not pay as much attention to the care of the package as they should:

review comment 26

When delivering to neighbours, customer opinion is mixed. For some, leaving parcels with neighbours is appreciated. However, for others, delivering parcels to neighbours is unwanted:

review comment 27

Due to these differing customer needs, deliveries can often go wrong in the eyes of the customer. When companies make it easy to leave specific instructions for drivers, and drivers adhere to these instructions, deliveries are likely to become more positive experiences.

 

Drivers are the centre of the delivery experience

When drivers miss deliveries and leave parcels in plain sight, the delivery experience has been damaged for a customer. Delivery providers now have an opportunity to work more with drivers and driver instructions to achieve the best possible delivery outcome for each order.

 

In our next blog, we’ll be looking into how the different delivery companies respond to customers when something goes wrong. Are delivery providers and their customer service staff well-equipped to deal with missing parcels and late deliveries?

Topics: nlp, customer experience, customer journey, logistics

Subscribe Here!