These days, excellent customer service is essential when it comes to reaching and maintaining a competitive advantage. The good news is that efficient delivery routing enhances customer service. That’s because the software finds the best way to balance customer delivery demands with routing efficiency. Perhaps more importantly, it improves customer service by creating precise routes that allow drivers to consistently hit delivery ETAs—and meet rising customer expectations.
But there’s another way in which advanced delivery route planning software improves customer service performance—greater visibility. And therefore, the ability to address areas of concern quickly and with pinpoint accuracy.
Constant, active monitoring of customer service KPIs—and the regular, detailed reports needed to do so—has become critical for many businesses. Advanced route scheduling software is a powerful tool for identifying opportunities and showing results when it comes to customer service performance.
From our experience, customers want three things when it comes to delivery tracking:
Most users of Aptean Routing & Scheduling software tell us their customers demand more precise delivery times. Advanced delivery route planning software allows you to give customers an ETA expressed in minutes rather than the standard “between 6 and 11 Tuesday morning.”
It also offers valuable updates. Let’s face it: customers waiting for a delivery are less likely to be upset if they’re warned it’s going to be late. If you integrate your vehicle tracking system with your routing software, or deploy our proof of delivery system, you’ll know exactly where your driver is in real time and how that compares to the plan.
Being able to give customers timely updates on delivery progress is great, but there’s also a significant benefit to being able to keep a close eye on it yourself. That way, if customer complaints do come in, you’re not completely blindsided. You can quickly respond and, in many cases, proactively address problems before a complaint comes in.
If you choose to deploy advanced electronic proof of delivery software, you’ll find it includes smart, intuitive customer communication functionality out of the box. That way, your ETA updates are super-accurate because they are based on real-time data from the field.
Automating customer communication ensures customers receive the information they need to manage their day while also significantly reducing inbound calls to customer service. Updates can be sent to customers via SMS and/or email. Again, those same status updates can work for you—the increased flow of information means your customer service team can get a constantly updated, current view of where customer service levels are and act accordingly.
The functionality of an electronic proof of delivery (ePOD) system means data comes from the driver, not just the vehicle. That gives you opportunities to capture deeper, more valuable customer service information. This could include photographs of damaged packaging or in-depth reports on any problems that occurred during delivery. You can determine a great deal about what happened during the delivery process, not simply that your driver was there.
Advanced ePOD systems also allow you to create bespoke customer feedback forms which can be filled out at the point of delivery, asking questions about whether service was satisfactory and what could be improved. These inputs can be collated allowing you to identify areas of concern—and opportunities for improvement.
These benefits of visibility become even more compelling if you are running delivery operations from multiple depots. Many routing software solutions are designed to treat each distribution center (DC) as a separate entity when planning routes and delivering orders. But advanced delivery route planning software, with multi-depot routing functionalities or modules, allows your team to plan and report across an entire region as a single environment.
Not only can planners be confident they are assigning orders to the DC that gives them the most efficient, achievable route—they’re also certain to satisfy customer demands. The advantage of this technology means you can generate a comprehensive, detailed view of where there might be problem areas when it comes to customer service performance—far quicker than with more basic software.
This advanced routing technology enables you to fine-tune your reporting to meet the different needs of different customers. What constitutes a late delivery for one customer might be very different for another. With advanced delivery route planning software, you can focus reporting on the customers where the time window is narrow and crucial.
With mountains of data available about where every vehicle is every minute of the day, it’s essential to be able to filter the information to give you the delivery performance information you need. The software is designed so you can operate via exception management, making it easier to monitor where customer service levels are dipping below an acceptable point.
Advanced route planning software puts powerful computing at your fingertips so you can easily handle increasingly complex delivery operations. Implementing this software will certainly save you money with an estimated 10-30% reduction in fleet operating costs. But it will also boost not only your actual performance out in the field; it gives you powerful tools to monitor and manage customer service performance closely, too.
Ready to optimize your operational efficiency and boost your visibility and control of customer service performance? Aptean Routing & Scheduling can help. Find out how, now.
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