The Last Mile: Customer Service from Start to Finish
The frequency with which customers purchase products online, including basic household items to high-end luxury goods, has significantly impacted the e-commerce and logistic industries.
As it becomes easier and more desirable to shop online, the online marketplace becomes crowded with competition; thus those retailers in the e-commerce space are competing simultaneously with many businesses that offer the same product. As a result, the need for differentiation by outstanding customer service is paramount now more than ever: impeccable shipping and customer service can be the deciding factor in a repeat customer.
Logistical solutions for large items have been around for a while; however with the increasing variety in products bought online, from food to clothing and everything in between, online purchases created new dynamics in the supply chain, and placed a tremendous value on the last mile of the delivery process. Loop relations, where everything starts and ends with the recipient of the package is what drives loyalty, repeated business and baseline revenue growth.
What consumers buy and their increased emotional expectations for deliveries created a set of challenges tightened to the last mile. More than 50% of adults used a sick day to wait at home for a delivery. More than 25% of people surveyed lost wages while waiting for a delivery. People become more stressed by the uncertainty and, depending on personality, more vulnerable to stress induced by waiting.
From Food Logistics Magazine:
Last-mile delivery is the big unanswered question for food e-commerce. Wal-Mart is trying to compete with Amazon’s AmazonFresh delivery which offers delivery within one day and is available in a limited number of big cities. According to Fortune, Amazon, which charges $299 per year for its grocery delivery service, has learned that it cannot manage grocery delivery from its headquarters since each market has to be managed as an individual business unit.
e-Commerce fulfillment has proven to be more challenging than most people in the food industry realized. Meeting this challenge will drive a lot of innovation in supply chain technology.
Clearly the opportunity to wow the customer with an outstanding last mile experience is there. Beyond price, which is important but may not the most important factor, there are several areas that need to be evaluated when partnering with a company that will be in charge of the transit management of your shipments:
- Dedicated team of Customer Resolution Specialists;
- 24/7 monitoring of shipments;
- Communications protocols that proactively address transit events to include everything from weather to customer’s error and everything in between; and
- Pre and post-sales support to include proactive invoice adjustments, reporting, claim management and more at no extra charge beyond the negotiated shipping rates.
- Research, Production and Deployment of new technology aimed on enhancing the customer experience
It is critical for companies in the online marketplace to combine great products with great customer service, including white glove management of the shipment that differentiates itself against its competitors and develops customer loyalty. PeriShip is a subject matter expert in perishable shipping and e-commerce solutions; we can provide insight and ideas into how to present your business in the e-commerce marketplace, and how to make your business strong right to the very last mile. Contact us today to start your journey!
 Survey by TOA Technology
 Richard Wurtman neuropharmacologist and Professor Emeritus at MIT