A delivery company can only route plan by hand for so long, before they decide that keeping up with customer demands is too much. Afterall, logistics challenges are difficult to solve when you are juggling a variety of requests like: same-day, specific delivery times, vehicle restrictions, etc. So you need to change up your approach to keep up with demands and increase customer satisfaction.
Take a page from Amazon’s playbook to see how you can immediately make your customers happy by taking a look at how you are routing — and start seeing the benefits of a customer centric approach.
- Put your customer first (in terms of your delivering operations): Are you asking your customers when they want something delivered, telling them when you’ll be there, or are just surprising them with delivery? You’ll want to switch up your approach to become flexible and use your service commitment as your key differentiator. Kick it up a notch and give them transparency, provide accurate updates, and make your competition look bad.
- Give everyone access: When you are manually route planning, it might seem inefficient or impossible to serve customers who are outside a designated radius. But, when you can start to solve logistics challenges smarter you can see the if the impact is really all that great. Will adding a stop 10 miles away add a large cost, mileage, or time to your day? If they are and it’s impossible, then go ahead and say “no” to delivering — or say “yes” and extend your services. Work smarter…not harder!
- Price competitively: No brainer. Customers can pull up Google and make sure that your prices are on point with Amazon and local businesses. When you become more efficient and save dollars in other aspects of your business, you might be able to afford price cuts. Or take another approach, look at your plans and see where there might be slower days or time and work with your marketing department to launch promotions for delivery based on your capacity.
- Give the gift of convenience: Go all out – offer free delivery, same day, next day, or accept late orders. When you rely on routing automation software, you can react and plan quick and easy. You’re freeing up man hours and can rely on “smart route” technology to plan your day – allowing you to take a step back to think about your customers and how you can go above and beyond expectations.
If you haven’t thought about reconfiguring the way you plan your routes, now’s the time. Within a day you can improve your operations, make your drivers more productive, and as a result generate a positive experience for your customers.
When you put your customers’ needs first you can win the last mile race.