How your choice of delivery partner may impact your customer service reputation

Thumbs up for customer service

Thumbs up for customer service

I’ve written about this topic in a previous post, “What makes good customer service?” It’s clearly important to people, as this is one of our most popular posts.

Today, I’m writing this post from the customer side of good or bad customer service. This time I was the person receiving the delivery. This is what happened. My parcel didn’t turn up as expected. I checked the tracking website to discover that the driver reported a failed attempt to deliver and that I was expected to take my collection card to a local depot to pick up my parcel myself. I looked for a collection card. There wasn’t one. I checked the date and time of the reported delivery attempt. I was definitely at home all that day. I reviewed the footage recorded by our video door phone. While I saw plenty of activity, there was no sign of a delivery driver attempting to deliver my parcel or leaving a collection card for me to take to the depot.

I’m sure you’ll understand that I wasn’t at all happy about this. Knowing that the  driver chose to lie rather than do the job he was paid to do upset me the most. While I was aware that it was a single person’s behaviour at fault here, I considered that the delivery company (a national institution) and the online retailer (a large company) were responsible for getting my parcel to me safely and quickly. After all, that was part of the service I paid to receive when I ordered. I contacted them both to complain about the non-delivery of my purchase.

Without going into the details of the various communications that ensured, via email, phone and social media, the delivery company, while slow to respond, forwarded my complaint on to the local depot for action. The online retailer, after a false start, escalated my complaint to the delivery company on my behalf. I had to collect my parcel from the depot myself but I have it now.

While this is a personal anecdote, it illustrates the importance of choosing the right delivery partner for your business. In this case, despite the fact that the online retailer supported my complaint, I’m unlikely to buy from them again. Why? Because:

  1. I had to go out of my way to collect my parcel from the depot which removed the convenience of buying from the online retailer (the product I bought is available in most retail pharmacies);
  2. The online retailer chooses to use delivery partner that only makes one attempt to deliver a parcel which increases the likelihood that I may have to go to the depot to pick up my purchase; and
  3. The delivery company’s Facebook page indicated that other customers are experiencing the same problem that I had, which reduces my trust that the product will be delivered to my door.

At QPS Importers, we choose delivery partners who give our customers the option of rescheduling their delivery if they aren’t there to accept it on the first attempt or of coming to the depot to collect it themselves. We believe that’s a better service for all concerned. What do you think?