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When delivering and shipping goes wrong

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Do you remember a time when you had problems with your delivery service or package?

Even though shipping packages between countries and sending or delivering goods to consumers has been possible for many decades, companies do not manage to provide the best customer service. In the recent past, I have been a victim of exactly that: bad customer and delivery service.
Here’s what happened to me. Last week I decided to order a desk online because I could not carry it on my own from the store. With the company giving me the options to choose specific times and dates for the delivery, I chose the most convenient time for me on a Sunday afternoon. After waiting for a long time, I tried to track my order online. To my surprise, that was not possible. I had to call the company to find out why no-one had delivered the desk. After spending TWO hours on hold, I finally got to speak to someone, who instantly terminated the call. Eventually, I got through to someone but they could not tell me where the desk was and why it has not arrived. Obviously, I was not satisfied with the lack of communication between departments and tried to speak to a manager. Instead of being connected to senior management, the person hung up on me again. That made me even more annoyed!

The next day, I called again to find out what has happened and it turned out that the desk never left the shop. The customer service person rescheduled the delivery time for later that day. And guess what? The desk did not arrive on day two either. I called again and was on hold for ages with no solution or proper answer as to why the desk has not been delivered. On day three, I just called to cancel my order and request a refund. After passing several layers of communication, I eventually found out that the desk “went missing” between the warehouse and the delivery van on the first day. How? I have no idea.

But this was not the only time I have faced such a bad experience. Only a few weeks before this happened, I had a package sent to me from another country. Even though I was able to track the package online, the database was not updating the information properly. So my package was out for delivery but I was not there to pick it up because according to the system, it was not in the UK. The company rescheduled the delivery but did not deliver it when they said they would. This situation also involved long hours on the phone and employees hanging up on me when asking to speak to a manager. You can imagine my frustration with these two companies.

These two experiences got me thinking. Imagine if both companies had a way of tracking their assets in real time. If they knew exactly where each package was, this could be relayed to both staff and customers. Location technology is a solution that can provide this. For example, when an order leaves the store or a package is shipped, I would have received a message on my mobile app, informing me that a delivery is pending. The mobile app would allow me to track the package at any point and know when it would arrive at my house. This would save me time waiting on my sofa, wondering where the delivery is. And I would not have to call customer service and be on hold for ages.

Please do not let your customers suffer like me. The biggest mistake that you can make as a business is to offer a service that you cannot deliver. The great news is that the technology is there for companies to transform their delivery and shipping services to not only meet customer expectations, but to exceed them.