For last-mile customer experience, communication is key
Both active and passive communication are key to improving last-mile customer experience, the benefits of which include increased customer lifetime value and decreased overhead.
Shifting consumer expectations are reshaping last-mile delivery across industries.
The pandemic accelerated preexisting trends toward faster, more transparent, and more efficient delivery in nearly every sector, and retailers are feeling the pressure to perform.
But what exactly do customer expectations for last-mile delivery look like, and how can you meet — or better yet, exceed — those expectations?
How customer demands are reshaping last-mile delivery
With so much business happening at the doorstep, the delivery experience is increasingly becoming the most important and memorable part of the total customer experience.
Unfortunately, that means a bad delivery translates to a bad experience overall.
Silicon Valley giants like Uber and Doordash have shown consumers that clear visibility into the last mile is perfectly possible. With features like real-time vehicle tracking, two-way communication, and easy feedback — all within one seamless app environment — customers have gotten used to being looped in.
Now, businesses in other sectors — even those who handle their own last-mile fulfillment — must meet these expectations, or risk losing customers.
Whether you’re offering same-day delivery from a retail location, dropping off rental equipment, or delivering large shipments of supplies, customers want to be informed about their order status every step of the way.
Creating a positive last-mile customer experience with communication
If you want to improve the last-mile customer experience, communication before, during, and after delivery is absolutely critical. Here are a few key ways to enhance your customers’ experience throughout the process:
- At the time of purchase: Allow customers to communicate their preferences for delivery date/time, contactless delivery, notifications, and more.
- Before delivery: Automate delivery reminders, and send them via a customer’s preferred channel (e.g. app notification, SMS, or email).
- During delivery: Provide real-time tracking of the delivery vehicle, up-to-date ETAs, and two-way communication with the driver, if possible.
- After delivery: Offer customers the chance to provide feedback, and follow-up on negative comments to resolve issues.
Remember, communication isn’t one-way. Customers should have the option to change delivery times and contact their driver with important information without having to phone a dispatch center and wait on hold.
Benefits of a better last-mile customer experience
Improving the last-mile customer experience produces several benefits, including:
- Increased revenue: Research shows that customers will choose organisations that provide transparent last-mile options over ones that don’t.
- Increased customer lifetime value: Because last-mile delivery is so important to brand loyalty, great last-mile experiences produce loyal customers. In addition, enabling easy feedback lets you address any bad experiences early and win customers back.
- Improved reputation: Happy customers are more likely to leave positive reviews and refer you to their network via word-of-mouth and social media.
- Decreased overhead: Fewer calls to dispatch and customer service centers for ETAs means reduced costs on the back end, and better communication means fewer delays for drivers.
Enhance the last-mile experience
Implementing better communication in the last mile doesn’t need to mean a major software project. Let Localz show you how our configurable customer engagement platform can improve your day-of-delivery interactions and enhance that crucial last-mile experience.