8 strategies for perfecting the last-mile delivery customer experience
Customers won't stand for waiting for deliveries anymore. Here, we explore some best practices that will help you improve your last-mile customer experience, including implementing features like self-service, real-time maps, automated notifications, feedback prompts, last-mile carrier tracking, and more.
Life is busy enough — don’t make your customers wait around for deliveries.
Companies like Amazon, Uber, and Deliveroo have raised the bar for the last-mile delivery customer experience, and now, customers expect nothing less than the transparency and control that come with features like self-service, real-time tracking, automated notifications, and proof of delivery.
In fact, 71% of customers cite physical and emotional disturbance around delivery and service appointments, with 40% saying they specifically experience stress and anxiety while waiting for delivery drivers. And 56% of customers worldwide actively track their deliveries to avoid waiting or leaving parcels unattended.
If you’re not working to solve the last-mile delivery problem and alleviate the unease that plagues customers, you should start perfecting your customer engagement processes now.
Let’s dig into the eight strategies for perfecting your last-mile customer experience.
Why does the last-mile delivery customer experience matter?
The last-mile delivery customer experience is important because it creates a better overall experience for your customers, leading to increased transparency, trust, and customer satisfaction — not to mention, reduced costs.
Research shows that customers expect clear, relevant, and personalised communication throughout the last-mile process, along with visibility into and control over their experience.
Prioritizing these demands makes smart business sense: Implementing last-mile delivery solutions like real-time tracking, two-way communication, and proof of delivery is proven to reduce the likelihood of stolen parcels, decrease call volume to customer service centres, and reduce the chance of a missed delivery by up to 20%.
Strategies for improving the last-mile experience
When you offer an enhanced last-mile delivery customer experience, you can meet your bottom line and boost your reputation. But how do you get there?
It all starts with a focus on customer engagement. Here are eight best practices for improving your last-mile experience.
- Show real-time maps, not just estimates. Last-mile carrier tracking needs to be provided in real time if you want to demonstrate to customers that you care about their need for transparency and visibility. Live tracking also helps ensure customers are home to receive the delivery or to open secured gates, increasing first-time access rates and customer satisfaction.
- Make it mobile-friendly. Allow customers to access the information they need, when they need it, by making it easy to check on the status of their delivery from their phone’s browser — and without forcing them to download an app.
- Create opportunities for self-service. Via a self-service portal, customers can easily access all the tracking and delivery details they need in one place, which helps reduce the call centre volume of “Where’s my driver?” chase calls or follow-ups. Not only does this streamline the last-mile process for customers; it also frees up your customer service representatives to use their expertise to solve more complex issues.
- Automate as much of the process as possible. Your drivers should be free to focus on their job — making efficient, timely, and safe deliveries — not on messaging customers, updating ETAs, or collecting feedback. Automate notifications from first to last mile. Use geofencing to send out live tracking information and ETA updates when drivers are on their way, then automate feedback requests immediately upon closure of the delivery.
- Capture feedback. You can’t track trends and see areas for improvement if you don’t ask for feedback. Customers want to feel heard, and sending feedback requests gives them an opportunity to tell you where you went wrong — or right — as well as a chance for you to address issues before it’s too late.
- Include transparent data with proof of delivery. Proof of delivery, which is also known as POD or proof of completion, is an acknowledgement that a parcel or service has been successfully delivered to its intended recipient or destination. It should be sent immediately upon delivery and include information like a customer signature, photos (such as of the parcel on a doorstep), and notes (e.g. “package left with reception”) — all ideally time-stamped and geo-tagged. This both offers customers transparency and provides your business with a backup should there be a delivery dispute.
- Immediately notify customers upon completion. When you have a system that promptly updates customers, they can easily and quickly pick up their package and get the information they need, quelling their anxiety over the last-mile delivery process.
- Offer contactless options. These days, this is the standard quo, so if you’re not offering customers contactless delivery, you’re not keeping up with the competition. In fact, 87% of customers believe businesses should continue to offer options that limit the need for in-person visits.
How Localz can help with perfecting last-mile customer engagement
Localz is a last-mile customer engagement solution that can help you optimise your last-mile delivery customer experience. With solutions that can be tailored to your business needs and that integrate with the tools you already have, Localz supports innovation leaders in paving the way for a better last-mile experience.
Features like Track My Delivery last-mile delivery tracking software fill in the gaps of the customer journey, providing real-time maps and automated notifications that empower customers to take control of their experience. Via a self-service portal, clients have streamlined access to all their last-mile carrier tracking, delivery, and proof of delivery details, and they can opt in to automated notifications that are geo-location triggered.
Rate My Experience, meanwhile, allows you to prompt and receive feedback in real-time that can help you enhance your last-mile experience. Automate requests for feedback that send upon proof of delivery, and capture honest, immediate feedback before customers forget about their experience. Then, take action to correct any issues to show clients that you really do want to hear from them.
Last-mile customer engagement solutions are vital for standing out among the crowd and meeting ever-growing customer expectations. When you implement best practices for perfecting the last-mile delivery customer experience, you’ll see increased driver, employee, and customer satisfaction — and a boost to your bottom line.