Managing the delivery experience not only makes buyers happier, it can also reveal inefficiencies that impact the bottom line. If you are not yet familiar with the concept of Delivery Experience Management (DEM), I will summarize the story for you. Managing the delivery experience is the art of proactively ensuring that your customers receive their orders as and when they expect. This is done both by smart actions that aim to correct any problems and continuous communication that keeps the promises made before the purchase.
Competition heats up in the last mile
There is no secret that Amazon and other giants of the market are turning the last mile ( last-mile ) on a real battlefield.
It seems like 10 years ago that consumers were thrilled to press a button and, the next week, to receive their goods – “how much convenience!”, They thought. After that, shipments came in two days. So, those same orders started to have free shipping. Subsequently, to be delivered on the same day. Today, one to two-hour deliveries are common for certain items in major metropolitan areas in countries like the United States. Consumers have become over-demanding – but retailers cannot just ignore this fact.
Frankly, Amazon delivery can often be cheap and fast, but the giant does not always meet expectations when it comes to quality or premium personal touches. When was the last time you managed to find a human to talk to? How often do you seek advice from Amazon experts on which running shoes to buy?
This means that “ordinary” e-commerce still has a number of differentiators in hand to create e-commerce engagement and incredible last-mile experiences. Some categories do not require speed or free delivery. When we talk about high-value items, such as jewelry and appliances, what consumers want is to receive great service. Often, they also prioritize safety and security. When it comes to consumable goods, buyers are satisfied with the free and predictable. What they really want, in the end, is a delivery tailored to their unique situations and needs. This means providing self-service options regarding delivery methods and schedules. In addition, you need to be transparent about where and how the delivery will arrive and offer a friendly, competent, and quick resolution when (and if) a problem occurs.
Personalized delivery experiences do not have to be expensive – brands should not rely on increased sales just to compete. Companies that have used delivery experience management strategies to orchestrate positive results can enjoy significant advantages, ranging from cost containment, through customer retention to revenue growth.
What is last-mile
The last-mile represents the final stage of the delivery journey. A logistical process consists of many touch points, but the moment when the package leaves the last distribution center for the customer’s home is called the last-mile.
During the last mile, e-commerce can show the full potential of your service and concern for the customer. At this stage, consumers are most concerned and anxious, waiting for their purchases to arrive.
Why delivery experience management is a competitive advantage in the last-mile
Gartner has named the customer experience as a competitive battleground, and the last-mile is sometimes the final point of contact at this very important stage. Brands that have already discovered this, now reap the rewards of their work.
But we are still in the early days of proactive delivery management. Many companies we talk to about experience management believe that “It is very difficult to be proactive when we have millions of shipments” or “Partner carriers would never collaborate on this endeavor, other than having the necessary resources”. This organizational inertia is precisely the type of attitude that caused many famous brands to stumble in retail – only to find themselves behind more agile companies that immediately recognized how investing in the customer experience pays ten times more.
As retail continues to mature and more brands come to understand the value of managing the delivery experience, those who start now will take the lead. The creation of a greater lifetime customer value (CLTV) starts with an efficient organizational capacity that allows having insights based on data related to shipping. From that point on, if it is possible to automate actions that will improve delivery results, you will be able actually to reduce costs while making your customers more satisfied.
What do consumers expect when delivering their orders?
For consumers, good service includes reliable and flexible delivery. They want to know exactly where the order is at that moment and when the delivery will take place. Although most are currently satisfied with the level of information offered, parcel services will no longer be able to avoid real-time tracking of package delivery and notifications by email or SMS.
The need for flexibility is reflected in the demand for the customer’s definition of an alternative delivery location at the time of delivery. These approaches are very popular with respondents when it comes to assessing future delivery models. On the other hand, it appears that deliveries that violate consumer privacy – for example, deliveries originating from the trunk of an anonymous car or home deliveries when they are absent have little acceptance.
Money, money, money
Consumers generally expect delivery and return of orders to be free. However, there is a willingness to pay for extra services, such as deliveries outside business hours and holidays. The reasons are certainly many and varied and are only observed at this point. The causes can be lack of mobility of the client, inflexibility of the schedule, or absence from home during the week.
With years of experience in after-sales and hundreds of brands committed to customer experience, aftersale has developed the “event radar” that automates delivery occurrence notifications, notifying service teams and allowing for a much more efficient deal before that the customer needs to call angry.