Two's a Queue

Retail, eCommerce, usability, customer experience, service, technology...

Saturday, 14 January 2012

The final mile or how to choose a delivery partner - part 1

This post could be my shortest ever at three words "don't chose Yodel". I nearly just left it at that because I'm still in a grump about my missing Dyson (long rant - really you don't want to hear it), but in reality it probably wouldn't be fair if I did.

I certainly wouldn't be the only one writing that. Type 'Yodel' into Google and you'll be treated to a number of frustrated bloggers (here), twitterers (here), disappointed Amazon customers (here), and forum contributors (here). What's interesting about current coverage is that for one of the first times the delivery company is seen to be failing the retailer as well as the customer. People just don't moan and complain about carriers now, they petition the retailer to stop using them.

So I'm *successful online retailer of your choice*, I'm fed up with getting customer complaints, my customer service team is drowning in queries, my retention rate is falling, I'm losing sales (did I mention the Dyson?). I know I need to do something- what do I do? Change carrier?

Well to be fair to Yodel if you type any carrier name into Google you'll find frustrated anecdotes from customers who've had items left in bins, not turn up, turn up at 3am (yes this did happen)...this isn't something which is about a single carrier - it's about an outdated industry which needs to change with the times. I won't repeat it but Tom from Shutl sums this up brilliantly when saying that the internet has changed hugely since it's inception but delivery.....still the same.

Anyone who knows me knows a) I'm a logistics geek and b) I went through a long and painful vendor selection at the start of last year for delivery partners. Having seen every possible carrier I think I now understand the signs of a bad delivery partner and help you avoid getting this petition on your doorstep. Next time - my tips on how to choose a delivery partner...

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