Shoppers will spend two and a half hours sorting out a delivery problem this Christmas and it’ll cost them around £30 on average. That’s all because you didn’t do a very good job according to Citizens Advice.
According to Citizens Advice latest consumer advice trends report, people experienced 4.8 million delivery problems in 2015/16. Dealing with the consequences of items arriving damaged or going missing took 11.8 million hours and customers who didn’t manage to get compensation were left £148 million out of pocket – £30 per parcel – due to damaged/loss of goods, hours wasted and time away from work.
As many as 390 million parcels will be handled by parcel companies and Royal Mail between November and December this year so Citizens Advice are preparing for a rise in people seeking help for problems with deliveries. This time last year there was a 32% increase calls and a 60% spike in people getting online help on 18 December, as they try to track gifts down before Christmas.
Advice from Citizens Advice is to get in touch with the company you bought the item from if it doesn’t arrive when you expect it to – it’s their job to make sure the item is delivered to you. They should chase the parcel delivery company and find out where it is. If your item went missing after being delivered to a place you didn’t agree to, the retailer should replace it or refund you.
Most times it’ll be you that the customer is getting in touch with so what can you do to minimise the inconvenience and cost that will inevitably cause? It’s been said time and time again but offering a range of delivery options to allow the customer to choose the most convenient choice for them makes sense. Not everyone wants to go to their Royal Mail Delivery Office, some will live nearer a courier depot or Post Office, others will prefer to collect eBay packages from Argos or Amazon from a locker location.
Even small things like insisting on a signature when it’s not really required or allowing delivery to a neighbour makes a difference. Whilst some couriers give you the option to insist on these measures, if you would settle for just a delivery scan a deliver could take place first time instead of the consumer having to chase their parcel.
Ultimately the better the service and more choice you offer the customer, the less time and cost they incur and, from your point of view, the lower the strain on your customer service team that have to deal with irate customers.