We all know that customer demands are increasing. But, with a crowd of competitors all clamouring for a slice of the pie and transport costs continuing to increase, how do you sustainably deliver the service your customers are expecting?
The service you and your drivers deliver in the final mile is a critical part of the customer experience. Investing in an ePOD system is one way to ensure you are providing consistent delivery experiences that not only meet, but exceed the expectations of your customers.
And best of all, because implementing an ePOD system provides operational efficiency improvements, such as increased workforce productivity, removal of delivery paperwork and enhanced real-time visibility, it can help you deliver better service for less.
Providing accurate updates to your customers throughout the delivery process gives them more confidence that you are able to deliver on the promises you made during the ordering process. Implementing an ePOD system enables you to automate both SMS and email notifications and tailor them to meet the expectations of the customers in your industry.
For example, a convenience store manager would likely value a time-slot reminder on the day of delivery so they can plan staff breaks for the day. Whereas, a consumer receiving an unattended delivery from a retailer may only require confirmation when the delivery is completed.
Real-time communication of delivery ETAs is fast becoming a must-have for customers with recent research by Retail Week and Sorted showing that 53% of online shoppers ‘want to know where their parcel is in real-time’. Advanced ePOD systems can provide a consumer-facing delivery tracking portal enabling you to satisfy increasing customer demands without creating extra administrative processes for your staff.
While the take-up of real-time delivery tracking has so far been dominated by consumer goods retailers and parcel carriers, its ability to transform the customer experience is just as significant in other industries. For example, for a patient waiting for a mobile nurse or a restaurant owner waiting for a peak period delivery, real-time tracking can satisfy the need for visibility and provide a better delivery experience, without inundating your customer services staff with inbound WISMO ‘where is my order’ calls.
When it comes to on-site service, customer expectations are usually quite simple – complete the necessary tasks in the quickest and most professional manner possible. However, actually enforcing this consistently across all of your drivers and depots can be a tall order. Implementing an ePOD system replaces delivery paperwork with streamlined electronic processes allowing your drivers to provide a professional service while increasing the speed and accuracy of data capture.
The step-by-step formatting of advanced ePOD applications forces process compliance across your workforce, helping you deliver a consistent customer service experience every time. In addition, central management of processes means you can apply the same procedures across multiple depots or all of your drivers, allowing you to create a consistent brand experience especially when using subcontractors.
Achieving excellent levels of service when the customer is not present at the point of delivery can be challenging. These customers often require a little more detailed communication throughout the delivery journey, particularly regarding where their delivery has been left. The research conducted by Retail Week and Sorted found that 40% of online shoppers want ‘confidence their items will be delivered safely’ and 37% report ‘carriers leaving packages in unsecure places’.
Implementing an ePOD system can help you provide this confidence by transmitting special delivery instructions to the driver. In addition, you can then supply evidence, such as photographs and precise locations, to give your customers peace of mind that their delivery has been made to the specified safe place. While this functionality lends itself to consumer goods deliveries, it can also be valuable in other industries. For example, for commercial customers with large sites where multiple drop off locations are available.
With paper-based proof of delivery systems, updates from the field are slow, meaning your service teams cannot respond proactively to customer service issues and are often only aware of them when a customer gets in touch. However, the real-time visibility available with an ePOD system enables your service staff to proactively manage customer service issues; either by having all of the necessary details on hand when dealing with inbound queries or by directly contacting customers when a problem arises.
In addition, real-time visibility of all mobile activity, can often alert staff to a potential customer service issue before it happens. For example, if a driver has been delayed earlier in the day, office-based staff will have immediate visibility of how this will affect subsequent deliveries and take steps to ensure that customer service is not affected by reassigning deliveries to different drivers or contacting the customer.
Implementing an ePOD system can help you ensure fundamental customer expectations, like efficient on-site service and valuable communication, become the norm. It can also help you identify and respond to changing demands and help you stay ahead of the competition with a delivery service that truly differentiates your brand.
To find out more about how an electronic proof of delivery system could improve customer service for your operation, get in touch with one of our experienced team to discuss your requirements. Alternatively, you can download the fleXipod datasheet for more information.
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