Businesses are adapting to troubling times by finding ways to provide delivery service to their loyal customers, with some creating their own delivery teams as a way of reallocating current funds and to keep their brand consistent across the board.
A well-executed delivery service strategy is important because this portion of the customer experience is also subject to criticism that affects brand reputation. In retail, it’s absolutely vital. Specifically, 98.1% of consumers said that shipping impacts brand loyalty.
To ensure efficient deliveries and satisfied customers, brands need to focus on three major aspects:
- Optimize for local shoppers
- Provide transparency into the delivery and packing process
- Get delivery feedback and improve the process
Optimize for Local Shoppers
Staying home means that people will heavily use online resources to find businesses near them, which means a priority in updating business information online. Providing accurate and up-to-date information, such as updated hours, current offerings, new processes enable customers to make informed decisions about their next purchase. It’s also another way to improve brand trust. Coalfire Pizza used its Instagram account to provide customers with a website and direct phone number as a way to promote its new delivery and curbside pickup services.
Taking the time to focus on search engine optimization is also beneficial to local listings in the long run. Specifically, optimizing for “unbranded keywords,” or general terms associated with the business offerings can increase online exposure. In Chatmeter’s grocery store report, it found that 81.7% of searches on listings are triggered by these keywords. In the case of the report, the most popular search term for the businesses mentioned is “grocery store” as opposed to their actual names.
Adding these keywords in listing and the brand website makes it easier for customers to find the most vital products and services near them. Providing such conveniences improves the customer experience and serves as an easy way to attract people to your brand.
Provide Transparency into the Delivery and Packing Process
Another way to foster consumer trust and satisfaction with deliveries is through transparency and communication. Keeping customers informed of their orders and providing context about the preparation, packing, and delivering process gives customers an idea of the work put into each product. This turns consumers into investors in your business’s success, which improves trust for future purchases.
There are many ways to communicate to customers before, during, and after delivery. Educational blog posts, community engagement via social media, real-time tracking (which is important to 88% of consumers), and personalized messages all help improve the relationship between the customer and the business. The type of trust can’t be bought, only earned.
A great example of this in action comes from Real Good Stuff Company, which showed video footage of the packaging process and how its staff are taking precautions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
View this post on Instagram
Behind the scenes of a busy juicing day: Thanks to our team we have been able to continue providing Chicago with real food that’s good and good for you. Plus, because of their hard work, we can continue to offer our juices and immunity tonics in our #RealGoodFarmBox. 🙌 #ThankYou
Coalfire Pizza also added some humor to its delivery transparency post on Instagram by showing Michael, a member of its delivery staff.
Get Delivery Service Feedback and Improve the Process
Whether it’s through private feedback or a public review it’s important that the voice of the customer is heard after delivery. Without it, businesses don’t know which aspects of the operation require improvement, which puts the team in a tough spot when it comes to dealing with consumer complaints. In fact, 46% of retailers highlighted the issue of addressing customer complaints efficiently and effectively as a “significant last-mile challenge.”
There are plenty of ways to ask for feedback with the most popular being surveys, which are used by 47% of retailers as evidenced by Chipotle’s personal request to a customer in the picture below.
It’s also important to consider consumer preferences. For instance, 41.9% use email as their preferred method for sharing their thoughts with the business.
In addition to private feedback, businesses should also encourage public reviews on major business listing sites like Google, Facebook, Yelp, and Tripadvisor. Positive reviews on these sites are the type of social proof needed to organically attract new customers to the brand.
It’s also worth taking time to respond to these reviews to show customers that you see their feedback and value their business. Unfortunately, grocery stores are severely lacking in this department. According to findings from Chatmeter, 9 out of the 10 brands in its grocery reputation management report had a 0% review response rate.
With a powerful review monitoring and response strategy, stakeholders can highlight rave reviews while also paying close attention to criticisms and quickly resolve complaints. Both ends of the review spectrum are required in order to create a satisfying delivery experience. After all, 84% of customers won’t use the same retailer again after one poor delivery experience.
Improving the Brand One Delivery at a Time
Deliveries might seem like just another part of any business operation, but it should be seen as an extension of the brand reputation. Finding ways to improve efficiency, professionalism, communication, and feedback can create a delivery strategy that brings a brand’s products on-time and pleases customers for a long time.