We’ve written before about the value of using a courier service over click & collect, but of course offering the courier option does come with it’s own list of risks; one of the biggest being failed or late deliveries. Whilst these can’t be prevented 100% of the time, it’s important to keep them to a minimum and prevent against them as much as possible, as customers who don’t receive their goods through no fault of their own will naturally form a negative opinion about their overall customer service. This can further impact your company, especially if they use avenues such as review sites or social media to air their complaints (and it most likely means they won’t be a returning customer, either).
Taking Steps to Prevent Delivery Problems
Well the first step is always going to be working with a reliable courier who offers a consistent service; our tips for this can be found here: https://gofers.co.uk/couriering-documents/what-to-look-for-in-a-good-courier-service/ but there are also checks as a company you can undertake to make sure the courier themselves don’t run into any problems.
Double check details
If a customer places an order and the delivery details aren’t clear (such as missing info or an unusual street/town name) and you’re not sure, contact the customer to double check before you book the delivery.
Specific delivery instructions
Give customers the option to give specific delivery instructions, ideally without a character limit in the box they fill in. Some people do live in hard to find addresses so may give specific instructions to make finding them easier.
Good customer service
If you know there will be a delay with the delivery, let the customer know ASAP. Don’t wait until they contact you chasing their goods. Keep on top of the courier as well, so you know whether there’s a problem or not. If the problem lies in something you can’t control, like bad weather, then customers may be more understanding but still appreciative of updates.
If the courier you’re working with offers tracking and delivery confirmation options then make sure you use them and that your customer can also access them. it puts their mind at ease if they have a rough timescale for the delivery, or if a package is delivered to a different address and they can trace it.
If your courier is willing, ask them to photograph the package if they have to leave it in a safe place without handing it to a person. This gives an additional element of proof if the delivery is then queried.
Good internal organisation
Make sure your internal organisation is good; don’t tell a customer their item has been dispatched if you haven’t even booked the courier yet. As above, if there is going to be a delay, let the customer know. Even if they choose then to cancel, it saves you the negative reputation and hassle a late delivery is going to cause.
If you’re shipping overseas, know your duties and costs in relation to customs before you offer this as a service or send the package. The last thing you want is to have delays down to incorrect handling and, worse, potentially pass customs costs onto the customer (unless this is clearly stated at time of purchase)