02 March 2017
When delivery goes bad – how to prevent parcel fails
We’ve all seen the stories go viral on social media: people
with packages stuck on their roof, footage of delivery drivers carelessly
throwing fragile items around – it doesn’t create a good image for the
industry. Nowadays, it’s all too easy for customers who’ve had a poor delivery
service to name and shame the companies involved online, so ensuring the
service you provide is up to scratch has never been more important.
We look at what happens when deliveries go bad and what to
do to ensure your company isn’t hitting the headlines for all the wrong
Poor deliveries are a big issue for consumers
When we talk about bad deliveries, we’re not just talking
about a few irregular complaints. The lateststatistics from Which? show just how often customers receive a less than
satisfactory service from delivery companies. Almost a third (32 per cent) of
shoppers have had a package delivered later than promised and 11 per cent have
received items which are damaged. A further 11 per cent claim to have ordered
items which have never turned up at all – though this may not always be the
delivery firm’s fault.
These delivery fails have altered the way people shop online
as a result. Around half of those surveyed by Which? said they choose to ‘click
and collect’ rather than get the item delivered to their front door. In the
long run, this could cost delivery firms business. Providing a service which delivers,
is therefore paramount.
The consequences of bad deliveries
It’s not uncommon for a complaint about a company to end up
in the media, particularly if it’s seen as a shocking or amusing story. A perfect
example is thiscustomer, whose item ended up on the roof. No explanation is made by the
delivery driver as to why they decided the roof met the company’s safe location
policy, and the customer is left with a potentially-damaged product they can’t
access. This tweet received more than 11,000 retweets and was shared on the
Daily Mail and Mirror websites.
While the retailer was not named, the delivery company was,
and a spokesperson was forced to make an apologetic statement. If the retailer
had received poor press for using this delivery company, they may have ceased
business with them and have gone with a rival company instead. After all, the
retailer want its customers to be happy with all aspects of its service. If
they aren’t, customers will likely decide to shop elsewhere. A good delivery
service is valuable.
Where are delivery firms going wrong?
Many of the stories you see online regarding bad deliveries
have the same thing in common: there’s no proof of delivery system in place.
All drivers have to do is leave a calling card, which doesn’t include enough
information to satisfy the recipient’s, or indeed the retailer’s, needs.
No delivery driver would have been able to leave a package
on someone’s roof if such a system was in place. Our electronic proof of
delivery (EPOD) system can provide all parties with proof of delivery
photographs and signature capture, so the delivery firm and retailer can prove
the package was delivered to the right person, to the right place, with the
right level of care.
Not only does this provide retailers with peace of mind that
the delivery service they provide meets their standards, it also ensures
customers cannot claim a package they did receive never arrived. The value of
this knowledge is proven in a recent news story, in which a woman made a complaint about a package that never
arrived, despite being told she had signed for it. She could not find evidence
of the package anywhere, until she discovered her beloved greyhound had eaten
it and hidden the chewed up remains underneath a pillow.
A photograph of the item being delivered would have shown
the item arriving at not only the right address, but who signed for the
package. This could help prevent situations like this one, as well as those
where customers make false claims about lost packages to receive a refund or
There’s no hiding from poor deliveries – customers will
complain and some may even catch drivers behaving badly on camera.
That’s not something you want to end up on YouTube, especially when you’re
trying to win business. If you want to ensure you’re providing a service which
customers can trust, it’s well worth investing in an EPOD system.