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Does the UK delivery network really deliver a great customer experience?

“The postman had seen a relative who lives near me at my house a few times. Today, he had a parcel for them and brought it all the way back to my house when he found they were not in rather than leave it to get wet outside. He had already delivered my post so had gone out of his way to do this […] Very impressive.”

Less than half of customers completely satisfied!

Whilst online shopping has become more popular in recent years, so have complaints about third party delivery companies. Earlier in the year fast food giant, KFC, had to shut around 600 of their outlets due to a mix up between delivery companies. With lots of us having felt frustration like this, we asked our team of Mystery Customers to tell us about their recent experiences.

Overall, customers told us they were completely satisfied with the service in just 43.8% of visits. But what is the reason behind over half of consumers feeling less than completely satisfied?

Amazon and Royal Mail top customer satisfaction league

Our Mystery Customers rated Amazon Logistics top of the satisfaction table, with 75.0% ranking them 9 or 10 out of 10. Interestingly many businesses are still choosing to send / receive mail by our trusted posties, and it’s not hard to see why. Whilst satisfaction sits at 8.7, it’s their friendliness score of 9.1 that’s making a difference.

Overall Satisfaction and Friendliness

Yodel sit some way behind their competitors in the satisfaction rankings, with 25.0% of our Mystery Customers ranking the company at 0. With some deliveries over one month late, it’s no surprise that this, along with a lack of communication is driving poor satisfaction levels.

Late deliveries frustrate, but lack of communication infuriates

For customers receiving a late delivery, 57.9% said this negatively impacted the impression of the service.

Third Party Delivery Early (%) On Time (%) Late (%)
Amazon Logistics 6.3% 93.8% 0.0%
Royal Mail 33.3% 51.1% 15.5%
DPD 8.3% 83.3% 8.3%
Hermes 38.1% 42.9% 19.0%
Yodel 8.3% 50.0% 41.7%

“I placed my order Sunday 18th, and delivery time was 3-5 days. When I went out on the Tuesday morning, I was not expecting delivery attempt one! This is always annoying when you expect it all week, but it comes earlier (however impressively quick this is). As I had missed it, I was unsure what to do […]”

One customer commented on their late delivery, ‘Absolutely woeful. They lied and stated the delivery was rejected at the door […] could not get in touch to ask for redelivery or give better address instructions if needed.’ Whilst another said their parcel, ‘Arrived a week later than estimated. It was only some printed photos that could be sent as a normal letter in the post’.

However, whilst customers were happy to receive their items early or on time, it seems there’s still work to be done with communication and managing expectations. Of the deliveries made early, 18.5% of customers scored only 6 or 7 for satisfaction, with missing the delivery a large contributing factor.

1 in 10 customers unhappy with where parcel is left

Retailers using 3rd party delivery companies rely on the purchase reaching the customer safely and securely, but our Mystery Customers identified a recurring theme across each delivery company, with items being placed in vulnerable places. One customer said that whilst the parcel had been well placed, their back gate was left open. Others commented that their parcels had been left in plain sight rather than taking the time to find somewhere secure and leaving a note.

When things don’t go to plan, keep the customer up to date

A key element running through the research is how well-informed customers felt about their experience. Of the 75% of customers rating satisfaction between 8 and 10, over 23% specifically mentioned receiving good communication. The more multi-channelled updates received by the customer, the better the experience. Managing the customer expectations, through regular, accurate updated delivery times meant customers were still completely satisfied with the service, even when delivery times were late.

3rd party delivery providers need to offer a seamless extension of each retailer’s business

In Retail, businesses succeed when they readily adapt to the fast-paced changing landscape of consumer needs. The law of the jungle - the ‘survival of the fittest’ is perhaps better viewed as ‘survival of the most relevant’, and offering a successful online experience is paramount. Businesses know that their online offer needs to be fully integrated into their customer experience and rely on 3rd party delivery companies to provide a seamless consumer experience that fits with their brand. When businesses are let down by the delivery service, the retailer’s brand image is impacted, and they need to work even harder to regain customer’s trust and loyalty.

To find out more about this project, and our expertise in building CEX measurement programmes that deliver a better customer experience, please get in touch with ABa via the details below.

Danielle Sones
Experience Director
danielle@aba.co.uk / 0161 431 1221

Megan Walker
Experience Champion
megan@aba.co.uk / 0161 431 1236

(Source: ABa Pulse Delivery Project, 1st Feb – 31st March 2018, n= 122)


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