In our article titled “The Changing Market For Deliveries”, we examined various new trends in the delivery service provider market and the impact these trends have had over the market. However, in this article, we will be examining in detail the ‘must ask’ questions when selecting a delivery service provider.
To begin with, whether as an end-user or a business outfit, selecting a delivery service provider out of the many available options, is a massive decision in today’s saturated logistics market. Choosing the delivery service company for your business is essential. It doesn’t matter how efficiently you’ve handled a client’s order or how marvellous your customer service has been. If the parcel is not delivered when and where promised, your efforts will have been in vain, and you’ve perhaps lost a client. Hence, choosing a delivery service company that doesn’t deliver your time-sensitive documents or items when due can place a strain on or diminish the level of trust in your life-long relationship.
You see from all of these that your eventual decision would impact the prompt or late delivery of your packet, postal, or parcel. That is why you should be deliberate and methodical in courier inquiry.
During your search, you’ll probably get answers to some of your questions online, majorly on the service provider’s platform like websites. However, it’s better and advisable to also speak with a past customer or an employee in the service company if at all you want precise, credible, and recent information. Indeed, that aspect of checking our real reviews is crucial and essential since some particular claims of service rendition and delivery, could at times be non-existent in reality.
Questions To Ask
First, let’s say you have a list wherein you’ve identified some potential delivery service providers. You are desirous of pruning them down to the one that provides the services you need at affordable prices. Questions when getting to know which one to go for may thus include:
• How Long Have You Been Handling Courier or Delivery Services?
It’s of utmost importance to be definite the courier you are considering possesses some terrible experience in the delivery service industry. With this information, you’d be able to decipher whether or not they are familiar with the business and how best to deliver the services promised. A delivery service that has a solid reputation for excellent customer service and fast deliveries would surely go a long way in ticking this checkbox.
You’ll often get this information from the employees of the service company or its website, but it is equally important to verify from third-parties. It’s a must-ask question when selecting a delivery service.
• What Sort of Training Program Have Your Drivers/Dispatchers Received?
Before going on to select a delivery service company, it is vital to learn about any or all of the training programs they put their drivers through. It matters because the knowledge that you entrust your sensitive items with is in the hands of a well-trained dispatcher not only puts your mind at ease but also leaves you confident of the driver’s ability to deliver your items safely and in good shape. Depending on the sensitivity of your article or document, it may also be paramount to request for the dispatcher’s other qualification so you can decide if they are capable of understanding the gravity and sensitivity of the item in their possession.
• What Is Your Responsiveness to Customer Requests/Needs?
Nobody wants to bite fingers in regret for dealing with a company that isn’t responsive to customer needs. So, whether you are a retailer wishing to deliver goods to the final consumer, or a vendor that urgently needs to convey some paperwork to a client, you should only deal with a company that is proven to be responsive to consumer needs. You can determine a prospective courier’s response time by asking questions about their customer service program. Once you encounter trouble receiving timely responses to these inquiries, it could be a red flag to back off from them. After all, if a business wouldn’t address queries of prospective customers who are bringing in new money, how can you be sure of the treatment meted out to current customers from whom they’ve already gotten their fees?
• What Technology Do You Adopt?
In our recent article, we examined the technological innovations that have and continue to adopt in the delivery service market. You should, therefore, speak to the delivery company about the type of technology they use in their day-to-day delivery operations.
For example, you should ask whether or not they offer a live tracking system for your deliveries or provision for a customer to speak with the dispatcher if any need to do so arises.
• What Delivery Options Do You Offer?
Another question to ask is the range of delivery options offered by the service provider. It is incredibly important as it makes you understand your options in case your preferred or chosen delivery option fails, probably due to natural occurrences.
For instance, ask whether the courier company offers same-day delivery for all items or specific ones? If a delivery service company’s offers list does not contain the options you need, or the backup plans aren’t what you can live by, now is the time to look elsewhere.
• How Does Your Pricing Compare to other Companies?
Today’s package delivery service industry has many companies trying to trip their competitors. The result lies in significantly lower pricing than those experienced before. So, when you are conducting your search, one of the questions you must find answers to, is the courier’s pricing package in comparison with alternative companies. Is it higher or lower? If the cost is on the upper side, then why so? What competitive advantage does their pricing have over others? Individually, examine the service being offered in addition to unique features of the service, if any, that may help justify the cost.
Another inquiry to make in this respect is whether pricing discounts based on large volumes are available.
• Why should I pick you over Your Competitors?
To earn your confidence, trust, and bucks, a service company should uniquely stand out from the competition. It could be because of their pricing structure, the way they handle deliveries, discount benefits, or probably the technology they have adopted in their operations. Importantly, it could be the way they treat customers or their focus on providing premium service. Speak to their personnel to get a feel of what indeed makes them different and preferable over their competitors.
• What are your working hours?
The parcel and package delivery don’t precisely fit into the regular 9-5 working hours schedule since parcel delivery requests can come at any time during the day. It is therefore essential to ask the prospective company of their operating hours, to be sure. If a company says it doesn’t open on weekends, then its high time you struck it off your list. Look for a courier service that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week – wondering how it matters? Imagine, a courier company can’t deliver a package because they close on the weekend. They notify you at the close of the day that delivery is thus postponed till the next week because they don’t offer services on weekends. How’d you feel, enraged, right? That’s why you need to ask this vital question.
• What type of packages do you deliver?
Another critical question to ask is the capabilities of the delivery company. Can they handle large parcel deliveries or they are limited to documents and other small parcels? Getting this information makes you decide whether or not they possess the requisite capability to cover your personal needs.
• Are you insured?
Most modern companies today have a corporate insurance policy to cover unfortunate circumstances. A professional courier company alike, should have and maintain an insurance policy that covers any loss or damage to goods. Check the amount to see if it includes the worth of your package.
• Are your Riders familiar with the local road networks?
As much as technologies, like satellite navigation, help at times, there are certain times that human input is just as needed, road misnaming, diversions due to constructions and many more. In this wise, the familiarity of the dispatcher with the local road network helps out in not making the deliveries take longer than is necessary. So, if you discover that they employ the services of part-time dispatchers with no adequate check on whether those dispatchers are conversant with the local road network, it’d be better to avoid such a company.
• What professional or trade affiliation do you have?
In general, when examining the reputation that a courier delivery company has and the weight it holds in the local courier services industry, you could ask the company questions to its involvement in any logistics association or trade group. A company that belongs to at least one showcases itself as one that is proud of its line of business and poised to become better at the services it renders. A courier company which isolates itself, perhaps with the excuse that maintenance of professional relationship among corporate competitors may encourage corporate espionage, is one that you should distance yourself. For this simple reason, frequently, the main reason they shy away from relating to competitors is that they know that the quality of their service rendition is quite low and below the standard of their competitors.
Notably, some of the above-stated questions may indeed work when selecting project delivery systems to be used in other industries like construction. In such a usage scenario, all the potential customer needs to do is tweak the above questions to allow the industry’s distinct elements and tools fit-in.
Having arrived at the best delivery service provider possible after such a company satisfactorily answers these must-ask questions, the next dilemma faced is often what type of delivery methods to choose. Well, we’ve done the groundwork for and on your behalf. Here are some tips for choosing the delivery method:
• Consider Your Pocket Size.
It is essential to pick the delivery method that best optimizes your financial standing and doesn’t make you break the bank. Whether it’s a home/office delivery or parcel locker delivery or central collection depot or postal service point, your pocket size is as crucial in helping you prune down your choices.
• Delivery Speed
Before you decide on which delivery method to choose, it’s essential to gain clarity as to its efficiency and speed. You’ll know this by checking up reviews from previous as well as current customers.
• Consider the Season
Holidays and festive seasons are usually one of the busiest for businesses – courier service providers inclusive. Friends and families increase gift spending during the latter period, and this is why it is essential to consider this as you try to choose a delivery method. You don’t want to choose home delivery during the Christmas season and then get the package delivery weeks way past Christmas, when you could easily have chosen a postal office delivery and gone there to pick it up quite quickly before Christmas.
• Consider their adoption of technology.
The higher a courier company adopts technology in its day-to-day activity, the more it can speedily meet up with all of its promised delivery methods. For instance, a courier company that combines the duo of real-time satellite navigation with skill sets of employees learned about the local road networks, makes the delivery process seamless and swift.
• The efficiency of Customer Service.
The timely response that the customer service of a courier company gives to your requests and demands may at times be a pointer to the efficiency or inefficiency of its delivery methods. If they’ve tried successfully to make the composition of their customer service team a top-notch and quite responsive one, then they’ll probably meet with whatever deadline you set, irrespective of your choice of delivery method.
• Consider the size of your parcel or package.
Naturally, smaller things tend to be moved and transported swiftly than other objects. In choosing a delivery method, therefore, try to consider this. For instance, it’ll be quite easy for a dispatcher to handle a home/office delivery of up to 5 customers within a neighbourhood on a single run if the packages are light and small, like say letters. On the other hand, up to five customers in close communities are due to accept home deliveries of refrigerators, and the courier company has just one dispatcher who has a small car into which only one refrigerator can fit in at a time. It’ll most likely be impossible in such a case for that courier company to speedily meet up with delivery requests within that period.
To sum it up, at ViaMe, we offer a wide range of outstanding courier and package delivery services. It includes delivery of documents, light parcels and packages, large deliveries and so much more, instantly.
Our well-equipped and trained staff identifies the most suitable solution for your situation by weighing all your alternatives and evaluating them against your needs. In this way, you guarantee speedy and successful delivery.
Above all, reach out to us today to learn more about our services and how we can effectively see to your evolving delivery needs.