Scheduled deliveries are exactly what the name implies: the best estimate of when a customer’s order will be delivered. Scheduled deliveries are the norm. Consumers increasingly expect to have tracking numbers and updates so that they can follow their packages from your business to their home.
While FedEx and UPS provide tracking numbers, allowing your customers to track their scheduled deliveries, individual businesses design their own communication methods with their customers. Larger businesses, such as Amazon, purposefully integrate scheduled delivery tracking information into their websites to increase traffic and build brand loyalty.
Besides, with scheduled delivery, you might be able to influence buying decisions. For instance, consumers with a deadline could informedly decide if their order would arrive at their doorstep on time. Plus, potential consumers would know when is the latest to place an order to ensure delivery on a particular date.
This article will look at factors that can impact your scheduled delivery dates, how they can help build brand loyalty, and why you need to offer your customers scheduled delivery options.
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How Accurate are Scheduled Delivery Dates?
In the shipping business, there are no guarantees – scheduled delivery or not. UPS defines a scheduled delivery date is an approximation of when a package will arrive at its destination based on current information.
A package may have a scheduled delivery date/time listed in a UPS or FedEx details table. However, depending on the packaged item, its movement through the logistics network, and the accuracy of its tracking information, unforeseen changes may affect the delivery date to your customer.
When choosing external shipment services, keep in mind that each scheduled delivery date depends on:
- Shipment information: accuracy of the provided address and customer availability for signed packages
- Delivery options: UPS, FedEx, and USPS, offer different types of shipping services, each with its tiered rates and priorities. Depending on package shipping volumes and your service selection, your customers’ scheduled deliveries may be bumped down the priority list.
- Package items: Certain item attributes, including weight, size, and the inclusion of hazardous materials, can unexpectedly slow delivery due to logistics and fleet issues.
- Everything going as planned: A scheduled delivery date is Plan A. Punctuality is often about how a delivery service manages Plan B.
Communication is Key to Successful Scheduled Delivery Services
Whether you are shipping packages using third-party providers or your own delivery service, it’s more imperative than ever to provide customers with a scheduled delivery date and delivery updates. Why? In a recent study, 93% of online buyers want regular updates about their delivery status, and 98% said regular delivery notifications are a key component in feeling loyal to a brand.
More than anything else, consumers want to imagine their product getting closer to them. Plus, customer experience doesn’t end until your package arrives in the customer’s hands.
Provide Real-Time Package Updates When Possible
Figure out a way to provide real-time, or at least incremental, delivery updates to your customers. Updates may take many forms – SMS messages, emails, phone calls. If you want to keep the customer returning to your website, posting the updates on a dedicated website page is a great option. It’s imperative to offer consumers third-party tracking links (e.g., UPS, FedEx tracking numbers).
To increase customer satisfaction even more, particularly if you have your own delivery service, try to find excuses to send regular updates. The more detailed and frequently changing a delivery date/status is, the less the chances of your customers worrying about a package not arriving on time.
Even better, if a scheduled delivery winds up late because of some uncontrollable event, customers are likely to be more forgiving. If consumers feel there is an open communication line, they’re more likely to forgive a sudden turn for the worse in the delivery schedule than if the negative status update is the first update they receive.
Scheduled Delivery Depends on Communication
The details in your scheduled delivery updates don’t necessarily have to concern the delivery date, time, or the package itself. The goal is communication. Perhaps you don’t have any new information about a package’s specific delivery time. You can still provide information about the delivery process. The goal is consistent communication with your customers.
If you run your own delivery service, you might send an update listing the number of stops before the recipient’s delivery arrives. You might also provide a real-time map showing where the delivery truck is concerning the customer’s location. This allows the customer the illusion of watching their package come to them. Another option is to text or email customers with a brief message, including the delivery driver’s name routing the package to their doorstep.
The goal is to communicate so your customer feels informed.
Scheduled Delivery Options and Updates Increase Customer Satisfaction
If your business ships products using a third-party service, consider how you can increase brand loyalty through direct communication and delivery status updates to your customers. This is done via your business website or direct messaging.
If your company is a delivery service, there are several things you need to do. First, you need the right route planning software. It should be user-friendly, mobile, and flexible. You also need to develop an updated system so your customers can stay informed throughout the delivery process.