Brian Culley looks at the impact deliveries have on your ability to provide excellent customer care.
“Do our deliveries negatively impact our business?” Is a question every business owner or manager should be asking, daily.
Why? Because the answer can be a simple but easily overlooked, “Yes.” Because delivery drivers are often the last contact a customer has with your business. A bad delivery experience can often keep customers from returning to your business despite everything else going exceptionally well.
For example I had a customer that frequently came to me for home furnishings, and we had a great relationship built on mutual trust and respect. I had sold Paul his personal furniture as well as furniture for multiple rental properties that he owned.
He was a valued client to say the least. He referred his friends and colleagues to me without hesitation. Paul came in at least once a month to furnish a new property. On one occasion he made a small purchase, a queen size mattress and box set for $399.00 to be delivered the next day. After wards, the delivery driver told me everything went well and I gave it no further thought.
After several months of not seeing one of my best customers I ran into him at Sam’s Club and asked Paul when he was coming in again. He said “Never! That mattress was ripped, your driver was two hours late and he had an attitude to top it off! The kind of money I spend with you and this is the best I can expect.” Man was I embarrassed. Here I was thinking of my next sale and it hadn’t even occurred to me that there could be a problem.
Paul was upset. He had forgotten about all the times everything had gone right, he was focused on that one bad delivery. “What can I do to make this right?.” I asked. “Look Paul let me make this up to you I’ll bring you out a new mattress no charge and I’ll even give you free delivery on your next purchase.”
“You’ll bring me?” He asked. What could I say? What would you say? “Yes,” I said, “I’ll deliver it personally.” This appeased Paul, and when I dropped off the mattress, he had another order waiting for me.
But, what if I hadn’t run into Paul? What if we didn’t already have a good relationship? I would have lost a valuable customer and I would probably have never learned a valuable lesson. Unfortunately, given a bad experience a delivery driver or helper will often be the last people your customers will see.
I believe that it is up to us as business owners and managers to hire and properly train our employees to do the best possible job and insure our company’s future.
We often overlook our warehouse and delivery personnel as less important than our sales staff because they don’t bring in revenue. Having a great delivery team can definitely increase your sales. Sometimes it is as simple as being on-time, being courteous and investing the extra effort it takes to provide great service.
About the Author
With over 25 years in Transportation industry, Brian A. Culley provides warehousing, delivery and inventory solutions.