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Your Small Business Can Improve Its Deliveries Five Ways
Thursday, 3 May 2018 at 12:00
If you have a small business that delivers its own products with an in-house delivery service, it is essential that you stay on top of this service. Many businesses think of the delivery as the least important step in the process as it happens after the sale has occurred. But getting delivery wrong can result in either the demand of a refund or ruling out the possibility of repeat business from dissatisfied customers.
- Create a process for deliveries to prevent errors
The problem for many businesses is that their delivery service grows originally through necessity without anyone ever taking the time to set up a process or system to ensure that it runs as smoothly as it could. For a while this isn’t a problem, but as your operation begins to scale up it can become impossible to manage.
That means that you need to look into the possibility of implementing an actual system to track the progress of orders from the point that they are taken to fulfilment of delivery. Take a look at the way that your delivery system currently works and start to make plans to improve the way the whole thing functions. This includes carefully managing how orders are packaged, delivery routes and issues such as failed deliveries.
- Outsource if you need to
Many businesses struggle as they grow to match demand from their customers. This can mean that their delivery service becomes overstretched, and begins to fail to function effectively. Unfortunately small companies often try to manage the problem themselves, and the service continues to perform badly. If this is something you can relate to, it’s worth remembering that you could be losing business through the poor service.
Ultimately while you may not like to take a hit to your profit, it may be necessary to outsource to other delivery firms for a short period. This can allow you the time to regain control and improve the way your system works overall
- Offer GPS tracking to your customers
One of the first thing that it worth investing in for your delivery drivers is GPS tracking. This can be hugely beneficial for a wide variety of reasons. Firstly it can allow you to optimise the performance of the drivers, cutting down on fuel cost and monitor drivers’ routes. Additionally, it can be a huge help for providing a fantastic customer service.
You can give your customers tracking numbers so that they can follow the progress of drivers and even get an up-the-minute estimated time of arrival on their delivery. This is something that many customers would be very happy to have.
- Provide delivery drivers with customer service training
It is the case that many businesses think of the delivery drivers purely as drivers, but remember that they are also likely to interact with customers so they need to be thought of as customer service representatives as well. This means that your drivers need to be provided with customer service training in order to give the best possible impression.
This can make a huge difference to way your business is perceived by the customer. As poor experience with a rude delivery driver can leave a sour taste for an otherwise satisfied client. So don’t fall at the final hurdle, get the delivery service right and leave your customers feeling great about their purchase.
- Always get feedback
It is important for you to get regular feedback from customers about what they felt about your delivery service. Remember that the delivery is a key part of the service that you provide and if you are making any mistakes or falling below customers’ expectations here it can make a big difference to their experience of using you.
Send out regular surveys to get the opinions of your customers. This will allow to respond to actual issues that customers are experiencing rather than arbitrarily attempting to make improvements to the overall system.