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Delivering a great customer experience, as well as great furniture

Industry views | 16 March 2017

Wincanton delivery driver and customer completing questionnaire

We deliver on promises. It’s what we do, and a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to ensure it happens each and every time.

When moving large items such as sofas and beds via our two-man home delivery our customers need an efficient and effective service that keeps the ‘cost-to-serve’ competitive. But it’s not just about cost; as we’re going into people’s homes it’s also about the customer experience and the brand promise that we are part of.

This is now a key strength for us.

Consumers demand that retailers work around them and offer greater flexibility when it comes to delivery. Gone are the days when people would be willing to wait in all day with no idea of a delivery time. And while these offers of faster and more flexible delivery options help retailers make huge strides in meeting new customer expectations, the logistics process behind the scenes has been reinvented to respond. For retailers and their delivery partners, getting this process right is key to retaining customers.

We recently worked closely with one particular customer to overhaul and improve their delivery process from start to finish. Following this review, delivery postponements were reduced by 34% through the introduction of a two-hour delivery window, and the number of flawless deliveries was improved by 28% through driver training.

In addition, through proactive customer communications we reduced service centre calls for our customer by 45%. This has freed up valuable time and resource so they can concentrate on exploring new sales opportunities and working proactively to ensure the retail experience is as positive as it can be.

A new ‘Will it fit?’ guide, also helped us reduce rejections by 27%. This offers tips and advice on choosing a new piece of furniture and explains to potential customers the dimensions they should be aware of to ensure any new arrival into the home goes smoothly. For example, if a sofa needs to be carried through a hallway where there is no space to turn, the recommendation is to make sure the sofa is 10cm narrower than the doorway’s height and width.

In summary, we looked at each element of the home delivery process and made it better. In this way, we were able improve customer satisfaction from 92.8% to 95.1% – confirmed through our customer survey. We’ve also seen some great results on review site Trustpilot, helping one of our furniture retailer’s achieve 9.6 stars out of 10.

We know that excellent customer experience is achieved through close analysis of the entire supply chain. However, we also know that as with life, things won’t always go to plan. In these cases, what is important is the way we, as a business and as a partner, respond. We focus on acting quickly to resolve issues and we understand that regular communication with customers is key. Needless to say, we always look to learn from these situations and improve both the way we work as well as the customer experience.

Now more than ever, there is a strategic imperative to shift goods quickly and efficiently. And the stakes are high – with competition for each and every pound spent getting fiercer every year, retailers can ill afford to let the side down when it comes to fulfilling orders. As a strategic partner, this is where Wincanton can step in to boost your customer experience to new highs.

From our position at the centre of the supply chain we work in close collaboration with our partners, whether major retailers or new start-up’s, to provide the best possible customer experience from warehouse to inside the home.