Customer Experience in the Postal and Delivery Industry

Mary Evans
Last updated: 20 Apr 2022

Customer Experience in the Postal and Delivery Industry

Mary Evans
Last updated: 20 Apr 2022

 

Bad customer experience is a big problem for postal companies. The amount of complaints are growing to a new high. But how did this all start? And what we do to improve customer experience? These questions are answered in this article by discussing the importance, the issues, and the possible solutions.

The Importance of Customer Experience

In this day and age customer experience is an important aspect when it comes to delivery services. This has been proven time and time again through both experience and research.

There are three factors regarding customer experience that influence how the customer between the age of 18 and 30 perceives the quality of the service:

  • Contact with a postal operator (waiting time, knowledge etc.)
  • Having a multichannel strategy. This way they feel they can always contact the service provider. 
  • Ease of use. The ease of which customers can contact the operators and being able to manage their own postal deliveries is vital.

Through these components it is obvious that customer experience plays a big role in the reputation of the company. Thus it is essential to establish a good customer experience strategy.

The Issue with Customer Experience

The problem for Dutch postal services starts during the shipping and delivery. In 2020 the Consumentenbond (consumers association) got more than 13.000 complaints about package delivery. Increasing with 44% compared to the previous year. 

24% of the complaints were about packages not being delivered, indicating that many of the complaints were about their postal services. However, there were also many complaints about the customer service not being as helpful as they should have been. On a scale from one to ten the Consumentenbond’s panel scored the package delivery companies a five (out of ten) on average for customer service. 

In PostNL’s (the largest postal service in the Netherlands) customer value key performance indicators they state that only 34% of customers are highly satisfied with their service in 2021. This percentage is a decrease from the previous year, where it was 37%.

When it comes to the United States, these numbers are not any better. According to USPS one in three customers are not satisfied with the overall customer experience. This comes from a combination of factors including long waiting times when calling that average 13 minutes. 

Of the customers that do get through the waiting time more than half of the problems can’t be solved by the customer service agents. It is clear that the experience cannot be seen as low effort. 

The Origin of Bad Customer Experience

It is clear the customer experience and customer service are an issue and needs improving in the delivery service industry. But how did the issue come to be?

The main cause for this customer service issue is lack of resources.

USPS does not have enough customer service employees for the influx of calls. In 2017 there was an increase of 24% in calls when compared to the previous year which will continue to grow.

In the Netherlands there is another separate cause to the issue. There is no easy way to get in contact with the customer service by phone. This is often done on purpose by businesses to compulse customers to make use of  self service or a contact form. Customers have to search the whole website before finding a number to call. Additionally, when they do find the number, it often costs money to call. 

Solutions for Customer Experience

Prevent complaints from happening

The best solution to an unsatisfactory customer experience is to avoid the customers from needing to complain.

In order to do this the issues customers complain about should be prevented from developing in the first place. This can be done by giving the customer more control when it comes to delivery options. For instance via the website or app of the delivery service. 

PostNL has already started to implement this with their PostNL app. Their website had over a billion online visits in 2021, of which 90% mobile users. This shows a need for digital transformation and a solution to prevent many of the regular complaints. 

This digitalization can be done through our services, chatbots can be constructed and implemented where the customers can ask for their delivery options, and to track their letters and parcels.

Omnichannel customer service

Another solution to the problem of bad customer service is to tackle the channels, availability, and possibility of contact. For many companies there is only one phone number to call when customers need help. 

With the digitalization of the world one phone number is not enough. An omnichannel customer service needs to be set up to make the connection remarkably easier. 

By connecting the customer service to different channels, it is both easier to find, and simpler to handle. Many customers don’t want to call, but simply want to send a message instead. By giving them this option customer experience will undoubtedly improve.

Freeday can help with setting up an omnichannel experience. We have created digital employees that can be hired to resolve the repetitive complaints and answer frequently asked questions to free up the real employees’ time. The customer service teams can then spend their time focusing on more complex queries. 

Our digital employees can be integrated into many different channels, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, SMS, a chatbot on the company website, and even an Interactive Voice Response over the phone. 

Through all these channels we can implement an omnichannel strategy, creating easier use for the customers trying to contact the delivery service. And we can now organize this via one single service provider.

Conversational AI

Conversational AI can be programmed as customer service agents to lessen waiting times and improve usability.

As mentioned earlier there are not enough employees to handle the increase in complaints. Making use of Conversational AI via multiple channels is often an effective strategy to solve the problem that creates long wait times and difficulty of use. And can cut personnel costs by 50%.

Not only can conversational AI improve customer experience and result in cost savings, it also minimizes the labor shortage.

By introducing chatbots and voicebots the workload is decreased. This way employees are not as overworked and can focus on the more complex tasks and questions. 

The digital employees, whether they be chatbots or IVR, can take the heat off of the customer service employees. 

Conclusion

Clearly the customer experience strategies need to be transformed in the post and package delivery industry. In order to do this it is necessary to adapt to the influx of demand and digital transformation. 

Contact us or check out our digital employees’ pages for more information on how best to implement digital employees for your needed solution.

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