Accurate, on-time delivery plays a big role in the customer experience for online shoppers and brick and mortar buyers alike. Surveys consistently show that consumers are unlikely to patronize the same brand after experiencing a poor last mile delivery service. This means that shipping accuracy is paramount.
Beyond improving customer satisfaction, shipping accuracy is also necessary for gaining more repeat customers and achieving business growth. And how can you work to improve their shipping accuracy (and thereby their odds of success)? You can start by powering up your last mile delivery management with truck management software.
Understanding Shipping Accuracy
Shipping accuracy is about the consistency between what the customer received and what he or she ordered. Basically, this means that customers must receive the exact product they ordered at the correct delivery address at the promised delivery window.
It's fairly easy to measure shipping accuracy. One simply needs to divide the total number of timely and accurate delivered orders by the overall number of orders delivered within a specified period. Large-scale businesses may never achieve 100 percent accuracy, but every enterprise needs to aim high if they’re going to compete in the modern marketplace.
Why Accurate Shipping Matters
Accurate shipping is important for achieving higher customer loyalty and lower operating costs. Keep in mind that inaccurate deliveries can impact your relationships with customers and hurt profitability. Below are some of the issues that can be caused by inaccurate shipping.
Higher Fuel Consumption and Driver Payroll
Failed delivery is often a result of poor delivery transparency, driver errors, and missed delivery windows. Unfortunately, failed deliveries require drivers to return on another day and time (to say nothing of the costs of driving the product back to the warehouse—more on that below), which in turn increases drivers' working hours and fuel costs. These are unnecessary expenses and often make a huge dent in a company's bottom line in the absence of a robust truck dispatching app.
Added Operational Costs
Sending the wrong products to customers not only annoys them but also results in unnecessary operational costs. Returned goods, after all, will have to be received and stored again in warehouses or hubs. Employees have to start much of the process of packaging and shipping the right product all over again. All this repeat work eats up serious person-hours.
Loss of Customers
As mentioned above, a huge percentage of customers say that they are unlikely to do business again with the same company that gave them a bad delivery experience. This means businesses that constantly make mistakes with deliveries are likely losing customers to competitors.
Why Inaccurate Shipping Happens
Orders go through various stages in the supply chain before they are delivered to the customers' doorstep. Order fulfillment is complex and it is easy for businesses to make mistakes in packing, routing, shipping, etc.
Many businesses still rely on manual processes in the order fulfillment process. Unfortunately, conventional ways are prone to human errors. For example, businesses that are using spreadsheets or navigational apps for route planning can hardly provide customers with accurate expected times of arrival (ETAs). This lack of automation in route planning causes delivery drivers to miss their delivery windows. Likewise, drivers have a hard time finding drop-off locations when they rely on printed delivery assignments.
The same logic holds true for keeping customers looped in on the day of delivery: companies that perform delivery notifications one at a time by phone simply can’t provide real-time information in bulk. In all these examples, something’s gotta give. Modern businesses need to find ways to automate their processes and tailor them to the specific hurdles that come with trucking in the 21st century. In other words, they need to implement the right trucking software.
Improving Shipping Accuracy with Truck Management Software
The key to improving shipping accuracy is to invest in reliable truck management software. Here's how the right software helps:
Providing accurate ETAs to customers is a must these days—especially given the fact that shoppers place such a high value on the delivery experience. And delivering on time based on your ETA is possible with the right truck management solution.
Software with robust route optimization capabilities can help you find the shortest, most cost-effective routes by taking into consideration various factors such as vehicle capacity, delivery time windows, driver breaks, and real-world road conditions. From there, a connected driver mobile app can help drivers remain on track with the most optimal routes.
When your software enables you to offer flexible delivery options—including allowing customers to choose their delivery windows or even select same-day and next-day options—you can more easily satisfy customers’ delivery needs. By offering customers flexibility in this way, you can significantly cut down the number of failed deliveries.
It's not enough to have carefully planned routes. It’s just as important to know what’s happening along those routes on the day of delivery. That’s why the right last mile software offers dispatchers and fleet managers real-time visibility into driver locations and statuses to give them a clear picture of how each delivery is unfolding. When you can immediately spot delivery exceptions via real-time data integration, you can be proactive about resolving them in a way that keeps customers happy.
Real-time order tracking
Order tracking is another feature that helps cut down failed deliveries. If your solution provides customers with the ability to track their packages and offers them real-time updates regarding deliveries, they’ll be informed of any delays and can prepare to receive their orders when the driver is nearby.
No matter how robust your software, the last mile will remain complex and resource intensive. That’s why the right software provides executives and managers actionable data allowing them to spot trends and problem areas in the order fulfillment process so they can be addressed immediately.
The first step in providing a great customer experience is to ensure shipping accuracy. This means delivering the right goods to the customers at the promised delivery time. If you can get this right, you can develop a strong brand following and ultimately drive increased revenue. Fortunately, the right truck management software can help you improve shipping accuracy and boost last mile delivery logistics.