The last mile of delivery is the shortest part of a product’s journey, but often accounts for over 25% of the overall spend. But getting it wrong can come at an even higher cost.
In our recent survey, we found that 7 in 10 shoppers consider a retailer’s delivery partner as an important factor in their buying decision, and 77% said they would not buy from a company again after a bad delivery experience.
So what are the main frustrations of last mile delivery for customers?
#1: Lack of Visibility
Having inconsistent or unreliable updates on shipment status is perhaps the biggest pet peeve of customers. This happens most often when customer notifications lack tracking numbers, delivery dates, notifications, or messaging. Sometimes, they are unaware the packages were even delivered!
Best Practice: When it comes to providing information on the last mile of delivery, more is definitely more. Retailers can put customers at ease by creating a single ‘source of truth’, or working with a 3rd party logistics company (3PL) that can provide one.
This avoids the chance of having multiple reference codes, contradictory delivery dates or incorrect phone numbers that misdirect customers and waste their time.
#2: Lack of Control
Customers value knowing the location of their packages but need that information delivered in an actionable manner. For businesses using 3PLs, there is often a lack of clear communication channels that provide clear and timely information on delivery problems to customer service agents.
Best Practice: Establish personal alerts that enable customers to choose what information they receive. Also, offer self-service delivery options, allowing the customer to determine when deliveries can be made on their schedule and what type of handover option is best for their needs.
For example, some may want a package left outside their door with a touchless experience. Others value the personal confirmation of a package being handed to them by the driver. Empower your customers by providing them with these kind of choices.
#3: Lack of Accountability
Mistakes happen. Customers get that. What they don’t appreciate is a lack of owning mistakes and making amends when they occur. A survey from Convey found 87% of customers expect brands to make some type of amends when they miss a delivery date.
Even if the problem occurs with the 3PL, customers blame the brand. However, great communication goes a long way to make up for such delays, often leading to fewer brand loyalty risks.
Best Practice: Get ahead of any issue, make it right, and make it better the next time. Take responsibility for any delivery not made on time. No matter the problem or delay, communicate it upfront and keep the customer in the loop throughout the experience.
Take prompt responsibility for that delay. Communicate what you are doing specifically to get the package to the customer. If appropriate, you can also offer a discount on the next order to ensure the customer you value their business.
Customers recognize problems happen, but with the right information, actionable options and a clear definition of responsibility, brands can become the hero rather than the villain in the process.
Implementing change in last mile delivery doesn’t have to be an extensive process or time consuming. Yet, it can comprehensively change the way customers view brands when these three pain points improve.
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