The transport industry of today is always-on, data-intensive, and service-driven. Time is money, and cost reduction is always beneficial. Customers expect fast and efficient deliveries, relevant and personal support, and they want to be in the loop- about their order- and delivery status. And they expect businesses to inform them proactively. Failing to meet these expectations on crucial touchpoints may negatively affect the customer experience.
So what touchpoints are there in the delivery journey? And how can you add value to these customer interactions? Let's follow the customer journey of James -your very own imaginary customer- step-by-step.
Add Value When Placing an Order
The first step of every delivery journey is, of course, the order. Ordering might seem like a simple process, but it has a lot of essential touchpoints that can influence the customer experience.
Let's say that James wants to buy a new bike. His delivery journey starts on your website, even before his order is complete. Is your website user-friendly? What are your delivery fees and do you offer next-day delivery? Even what payment methods you offer - or don't offer- matters. Customers prefer to pay with the payment methods they are familiar with, which can differ per target audience. Not offering the right payment methods may cause people to reconsider a purchase. Our James prefers Apple Pay as a payment method, and it will thus positively impact his experience if it is one of the available payment method options.
Confirming orders is also a key touchpoint in the delivery journey. It informs the customer about the delivery process and - as the name implies- confirms that the order went through smoothly. Receiving an order confirmation per email puts James at ease because he is now informed of the next steps in his customer journey.
Keep Customers Proactively Informed During Shipping
The best time to engage with customers is before they feel the need to contact you. Send proactive messages - via WhatsApp or SMS- to waiting customers to manage expectations and prevent them from worrying about the delivery. Let James know what to expect and when to expect it.
Hello James, your order from Bikeshop will be delivered on 02-02-2023 between 11:00 and 12:00 AM.
Even when things don't go as planned, keeping your customers proactively informed will ease the stress on your support team - and more importantly, the customer. When customers know what to expect, they are less likely to start calling.
Oh no, the delivery runs late! Your order will arrive a day later on 03-02-2023 between 10:00-11:00 AM. Does that not work for you? Let's schedule a new date! Sorry for any inconvenience.
Also, don't forget to ask for feedback! Send your customers a message after delivery to ask for their experience and use it to optimize your service.
Hello James, How did we do? Are you satisfied with your order?
Optimize Your Customer Service
Order delivered, case closed, and done? Not at all! Your customers may seek help with the product they've received.
James needs help with assembling his new bike. Have a chatbot on your website help him by giving instructions or troubleshooting. It can even help James create a return or exchange form for the helmet he bought a size too small.
Returns are also an important part of the delivery journey. Because orders aren't just delivered, they can also be recollected. Recollections and returns -just like the shipping flow- will benefit from keeping the customer proactively informed.
In James' case, he was able to fill in a return form via the chatbot on the website, and he selected the date and time to pick up the return.
Hi James, tomorrow we are coming to pick up your return, between 11:00 and 12:00. See you then, thanks!
Grow Durable Customer Relations
James is happy with his new bike - and with the overall experience with your business. He was able to pay via his preferred payment method, was proactively informed of all the steps of the delivery process and his return went smoothly. And happy customer James may become a returning customer - and perhaps even a brand ambassador.
James was proactively engaged at the right moment and time. That’s how you add value to the customer experience of the delivery journey and build durable relations with your customers.
Intrigued by how all these channels, touchpoints, and moments come together? Download our infographic and/or whitepaper to learn more about adding value to your customer experience. Start engaging with your customers today!