When Will Delivery Companies Respect the Needs of Customers Again?

In today’s world of business, the customer is everything. They decide when and where they want their products. But when dealing with parcel delivery services, it feels the opposite way. With significant developments in parcel delivery innovations, there is a distinct possibility for delivery companies to make the customer feel like a king again.

People are usually frustrated knowing that their parcel has not arrived on time. Due to working hours and being unable to be at home – they end up receiving a delivery notice card saying that it can be picked up from the parcel station. The problem is well-known but no major carrier seems to care.

Hence, the customer service sure feels different as delivery companies cannot meet customer’s needs.

Precise delivery time window is an expensive solution. Delivery routes will have to be cut into smaller fractions, leading to an increase of vehicles needed and the distance covered. Despite increase in costs, this seems to be the emerging trend as more and more companies are introducing real-time solutions.

One of the top most global courier companies introduced a service where customers can receive a one-hour delivery window and reschedule the parcel while the delivery is on the move. Real-time tracking follows the delivery with a 15 minute countdown. This innovation was made possible through the GPS satellite tracking systems.

Every parcel today has its own tracking number. So, when the parcel reaches the last delivery hub, smart systems may enhance the notification mail by a simple web interface including a date picker. Some larger companies are just about to implement this methodology.

Connected communication is the key to improve customer satisfaction

For example, if a person chooses the delivery date in the next two days, the company can identify the parcel by its tracking number and just keep it inside the storage. Scheduling the delivery to a day chosen by the customer will improve their satisfaction significantly and will also save costs. And some of the larger companies are just starting to roll out such services.

Now the next step towards customer satisfaction is just to offer an evening delivery. It does not need to be an expensive 20 min time window. Sometime between 19:00h and 22:00h would be well suited for most working people.

And to make this complete, the delivery portfolio needs to be upgraded by some kind of same-day and Sunday deliveries. Customers expect faster deliveries and in the near future that will mean not only on the same day but for an exact hour. The customer needs of fast, time-specific and same-day deliveries could be satisfied by using a mix of improved ordering, picking and GPS technology.

The technology is available but the question that remains is: which company is the first to make it happen that the customer feels like a king again?

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Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.

What Does the Delivery Service of the Future Look Like?

As our world is getting more and more complicated, we are enjoying the simple things. We are consumers and we order the goods that we want with one click online. New mobility concepts and technological developments make a change in delivery concepts possible – and necessary.

Currently the big parcel companies don’t have their focus on making me as consumer happy but to offer the best prices so their service is getting booked. For that reason, they plan the delivery routes in the way they are done today: with the straight focus on cost rather than service.

They don’t really care if I am at home on a weekday. But do I really have to organize my routines around the schedule of the deliverer – or should it be the other way around? I believe that this is the underlying nuisance that is driving the market to look for new delivery concepts.

To put it plainly: The delivery service of the future will be entirely adjusted to the customer’s wants and needs – true to the well-known motto “the customer is king”. The customer will be able to specify where and when he wants to receive his delivery and his individual wish will be taken care of.

What the concept of future delivery services should look like

For sure there will be a considerable increase of on-time and same day delivery services. A future delivery concept could act like a personal messenger. They will contact me once my parcel is in town and bring it to me, where- and whenever I want.  This means comfort, flexibility & punctuality.

And in case my plans change: No problem, I just pass a note to the delivery service and they will reschedule at no extra cost. Sounds unrealistic? There are startups out there that do this job already.

I have this vision of a future service that will largely reduce the number of cars and traffic in urban areas and that will save the environment and a lot of time. For a monthly fee, the delivery service will do every local delivery for you. And the consumer is left with one simple question: Do I really want to go there – to the store – myself? If yes, I use modern mobility services such as car-sharing. If no, I order online, instruct the delivery service to do the job and use my time for something I enjoy better.

Will there be a “delivery revolution”?

Other advances in mobility such as electrification could – or should – gain currency in the delivery industry as well. In 2011 the European commission issued the white paper on transport, demanding metropolitan transport to be CO2-free by 2030. It is our responsibility as commercial carriers to switch to electric vehicles as soon as possible. All we need is a van that lasts one day of delivery work.

However, with all changes that may come, I do not believe in an “all-delivery society”. We will still go to the supermarket in the future – simply because we enjoy walking through the aisles, checking what’s new and what’s on sale and getting some inspiration on what to cook.

Personally, I would not be surprised if this revolution of the delivery system will turn out to be rather a moderate adjustment of the industry. It all comes down to the question stated before: Do I want to go there? And most of the time spending money is fun, so I want to do it myself.

Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.