You’ve treated someone you love to a special gift: perhaps an item of clothing. It’s cost a pretty penny from an expensive brand.
You’d like to think it arrives on time, delivered by a cheerful, smart, courteous driver. It would also be great if it’s securely but attractively packaged, and that it generates a feeling of anticipation as your beloved delves through the layers of silky paper inside the attractive box before finally glimpsing the garment.
That’s the idea. How often is it lived up to in reality?
With so many of us buying online today, it is often the case that there is no human contact with our favourite retailer or brand until a parcel is delivered to our door; and yet – with recent cases of deliveries being left in bins or even on people’s roofs (!) – customers’ experiences can fall gravely short of the quality of service they experience in a high street store.
A late, non-uniformed, driver of a tatty van – who can’t wait to be moving on to the next customer because of his very over-optimistic scheduling – and who might not even ring your bell before dumping your parcel, is sometimes the only person we meet who represents a retailer or manufacturer. That’s disappointing.
And opening worn-looking polythene bags covered in mysterious stains, to reveal scrunched-up clothing inside, is hardly the same thing as opening a lovingly-wrapped present.
As customers, we want a good experience. Of course, items should be clearly labelled, carefully packed and stoutly boxed, but there needs to be something over and above that. Customers today are looking for better packaging design: opening them should be a little exciting.
And how often does your experience buying an item online match that of shopping in a smart store? Probably not often enough.
Retailers spend millions of pounds perfecting their stores, and leading brands commit huge resources to product design; yet all too often they are happy to trust their customer experience to the cheapest available carrier.
Today, however, an increasing number of brands and retailers are finally beginning to realise that their entire delivery experience has to be as good, or better, than the equivalent in-store experience. Web sites are growing ever-more enticing, appealing and easy to use. Attractive apps make buying on your mobile device smoother still. The actual purchasing experience is getting ever-more pleasant.
So that just leaves the final delivery! ParcelHero doesn’t partner with cut-price couriers, because we are as concerned as our clients are that their customers have a quality experience that reflects the values of their brand. Our partners, such as UPS and FedEx, spend a lot of time and energy on training staff and ensuring they are friendly and efficient and their vehicles look smart.
Is that the same with your organisation’s preferred carriers, or the company you habitually use for sending out eBay deliveries?
People vote with their feet, or mouse, and have less brand loyalty than ever before. Spend a little time ensuring your customer receives an attractive parcel, and make sure your products are delivered on time and as courteously as possible. Saving pennies by using the cheapest carriers could be a decision that loses you pounds in the long run!