Shipping service became an essential part of customers’ life. The IBISWorld.com research shows that delivery industry experienced growth this year and to 2022, demand for courier and delivery services is expected to strengthen. Demand for high-end and time-sensitive goods will rise. Companies compete to have more customers. Consumers search for lower prices, convenient and seamless delivery, and simple procedure of receiving and returning products. They want a new look on traditional parcel delivery.

Another research "Adding Value to Parcel Delivery"* expects growth from 9 percent annually to more than $343 billion globally by 2020. The same survey predicts decline of mail volumes. Companies try to meet consumers demand and find ways to improve delivery service. Let’s focus on 10 ways how to do it. 

The Top Ten Means to Improve Shipping and Delivery Service

1. Reliable and well- equipped vehicle

First, the delivery should be conducted by highly-trained and well-equipped professionals with previous route driving experience and basic knowledge of truck maintenance. Leading shipping companies launch the latest and best technology to protect its on-road employees and the communities they serve.

Here is Ups video review of a training the company is going to provide for start training student delivery drivers to spot and identify road hazards using Virtual Reality headsets.

The vehicle itself should be serviceable. It should start each shipping fully loaded, be ready to deliver fragile items and keep them protected. In order to do it, a courier needs some moving blankets. Vehicle drivers should plan routes and take account of fuel availability. The most common means of shipping are trucks, vans, and cars. Air transport and railways can also be used. Every vehicle should have a tool kit, fire extinguisher, spare tires. You can also add some extra boxes, packing materials. To enhance process of delivery, use a GPS unit as a courier encounters lots of locations around town.

2. Advertising

Let people know about your service. Use all possible ways, both free and paid. Here are some ideas:

  • Online ads. You can post free ads about your company on websites like Craigslist, Backpage.com. 

  • Social networks. You can find prospective customers there. Write about the company, interact with your customers. According to GetAmbassador.com, 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. 

  • Web site, blog. Present your business, prices, and what differs you from other similar companies. It is good to write a press release about the company and share a success story. 

  • Сonduct promo campaigns. Prizes and discounts can bring more clients. Hand out custom notepads, magnetic signs, and pens to prospective and current customers and they will be the ambassadors of your company. Another way may be free shipping (on Birthdays, special events, or every 10 shipping is free).

  • Commercials and TV advertising. It is a challenge for a brand manager and an advertiser. The commercial should be memorable and catchy. Humor is the best tool here. FedEx presented funny commercials that can be good examples here. 

3. Scheduling method and SMS notifications

The key to success is to be organized. We can find fedex complaints connected with late delivery. It is a common problem for most delivery companies – no matter small or big ones. Provide good notification and scheduling services like guaranteed delivery date, email and SMS notifications. Not only the retailer but the carrier should send the customer an email.

4. Retain and grow your client base

Let’s focus on effective ways to retain and grow client base:

  • Understand your customers’ needs. Conduct questionnaires and surveys and get feedback. Consumers share their thoughts on web sites. And it is better to know what they think of the provided services beforehand. 

  • Monitor online. To improve delivery service, read what people think about your company. Be ready for bad reviews and to respond to comments. We can see fedex complaints on their Facebook page and read how they answer on bad ones. Some ideas how to manage negative social media comments you can find in this article.  

  • In case of item damage, offer refund.

  • Train your employees. Teach them to be polite. We can find fedex complaints on a rude, arrogant FedEx driver. Demand respect and consistent on-time delivery. Smile, saying "thank you" and "have a nice day" helps a company show appreciation and respect to customers.

  • Act extraordinary. Offer something special to your clients. Most well-known companies invented features which enhanced process and singled out them from others. As an example, FedEx invented a system that could track packages and provide real-time updates on package location (to help in finding lost packages). Many other companies copied this feature. 

5. Reputation

To build a brand, think of customer’s perception of your company. It includes:

  • Office.

  • Packaging design.

  • Website and content marketing.

  • Customer service.

  • Target audience.

  • Your logo.

Know the best companies in the segment. But don`t try to copy them. Reputation should be build among customers, thus it would be helpful to know what they like about your service and what are their most common delivery complaints.

6. A range of delivery time options

Streamline Processing.  Focus on giving consumers a range of delivery times and providing flexibility. For instance, UPS enhances process by overnight shipping which includes such features as early as 8:00 a.m., by 10:30 a.m., by 3:00 p.m.  The shipping should be fast. Follow these steps to improve delivery service and make it quicker:

  • Do the packing immediately when an order is placed.

  • Have different box sizes.

  • Employ easy-to-use packing materials, tape dispensers.

  • Use label-specific printers. 

7. Online Help Center (tracking information, rates calculator, FAQ)

  • An emergency contact phone and round-the-clock help center which includes online chats, emails.

  • Information about rates. We can find ups reviews and usps review with price misunderstandings. It is good to add online time and cost tools. Mentioned companies provide calculators for determining costs but inaccuracies still arise. It would be useful to include the information about extra fees.  

  • Information section which includes FAQ, "How-to" videos and articles. Try to be customer focused. Offer specific services with client’s account on your web site like creating labels for special shipping, scheduling a pick-up, adding users to account, etc. 

  • Tracking information. Consumers want to keep in control of how, when and where their parcels are delivered. Usps review shows that a customer is unsatisfied with tracking. He/she  writes that "tracking is not truthful when states package has been delivered and picked up by individual , but never was". Provide them with each detail.

    how to improve delivery service

8. Delivery options

There are many competitors in the delivery industry and choices broaden. Consumers want much more delivery options. The company should offer delivery performance improvement which includes a variety of pickup locations and lockers that enable a secure, continuous, round-the-clock, even anonymous delivery options.

9. Review your competitors

Do a quick survey of top delivery companies to see their policies, shipping choices, promotions, special features but don’t try to mimic them. Conduct a competitive analysis for delivery performance improvement: 

  • Categorize competitors. 

  • Identify your competitor’s positioning and marketing strategy. 

  • Compare prices for services, determine reasonable shipping costs.

  • Find as many reviews of your competitors as possible (read ups reviews and usps review).

  • Analyze the shipping process and customers’ expectations, the way they handle consumers’ complaints and provide customer service at all.

  • Determine your position in the market.

10. Manage your risk (insurance)

  • Carrier Insurance. It is very easy to obtain. In case of lost or stolen package you, as a carrier should require the shipper to prove the value of the item via supporting documentation, photos and/or a physical inspection of the damaged item and sometimes also a repair estimate. USPS, FedEx and UPS offer this insurance.

  • Self-Insurance. In this case the full responsibility for the package including refund is on the shipper. 

  • There is also Auto insurance for delivery drivers with specialty coverage. It depends on the vehicle owner - delivery driver or the employer. Non-owned vehicle liability insurance is a special addition to any personal auto policy where the vehicle owner is a primary in the event of an accident. A commercial auto insurance policy is taken out by the business instead of the delivery driver).

 

Consumers have many choices and options. But still, there is a niche for another delivery company which will focus on the consumers’ needs, desires and provide successful postal and parcel services.

Source: 

https://www.accenture.com/_acnmedia/Accenture/Conversion-Assets/DotCom/Documents/Global/PDF/Dualpub_23/Accenture-Adding-Value-to-Parcel-Delivery-V2.pdf#zoom=50

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While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal, medical, accounting, investment, or any other professional advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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