When someone says delivery, you probably picture a mailman at your door with a parcel.
But even if what you sell isn’t shippable – like advertisements, networks or energy – delivery still matters to your business.
Because delivery is about unfailingly delivering on the products and services you promised your customers. It’s removing friction from your buying journey to give your customers the best experience possible.
After all, brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than laggards. But these kinds of results are only possible with faultless delivery.
By focusing on getting your delivery right, you’ll be saving customers’ time, giving them more control over the purchase experience, and delivering exactly what you sold.
So how exactly do you get your delivery spot on?
Technology has changed expectations and the way you deliver
Let’s start by digging into what customers actually expect from you.
One of the consequences of rapidly changing technology is that expectations have changed too.
67% of customers say their standards for good experiences are higher than ever.
When people engage with any business that does things faster, slicker or smarter, they see what’s possible. It’s not long before they won’t accept anything less.
And with automation, AI and the abundance of available data, transparent, low-touch experiences are fast becoming the norm.
Once you’ve ordered your Deliveroo, you get real-time updates on your order status. Now customers want the same transparency and visibility when ordering their broadband or energy bundle.
When you step out of your Uber, you’ve already paid for the journey. And, again, this effortless delivery sets the bar.
Even the delivery of our day-to-day communications has shifted expectations. Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger let you know your message has been sent and read – all in real time.
Expectations around delivery are no different for your business customers.
82% of business buyers want the same experience as when they’re buying for themselves.
This means it’s harder than ever to deliver the type of experiences that your customers love. Particularly when you’re dealing with complex subscriptions…
How have smarter subscriptions changed the way you deliver?
Similar to advancements in technology, the availability of increasingly flexible subscriptions have shaken up your customers’ expectations.
Again, this is forcing you to change how you deliver your products and services.
Customers want things now, in the most convenient way possible. And, done right, flexible subscriptions offer this hassle-free buying journey.
But for ongoing services that require changes over time, delivery is more complex than your average buying experience. What’s more, your customers expect any changes to be reflected in real-time, across channels.
The slim margin for error in your cx means manual processes and disconnected systems won’t cut it anymore.
You need accurately automated and connected business processes for everything from payments and updates to emails and amendments.
By joining up your sales and delivery with flexible systems, you can manage the naturally evolving nature of today’s ongoing customer relationship.
Here are a few vital steps that will help your business deliver on your customer promise.
Get visibility of customer & commercial data
Smooth customer journeys rely on visibility across your business – covering product, pricing and customer data.
Clear inventory visibility is essential to a truly effective and successful order fulfillment operation.
If you have a clear view, you can spot and eradicate customer pain points before they spoil your cx. You’ll be able to allocate resources more accurately and streamline processes for a frictionless end-to-end journey.
As well as clearly visible, your data needs to be actionable, accessible and organized. That way, your customer service agents have the knowledge they need to deliver.
You also need coherent data to inform your AI and automation.
Data is the lifeblood of AI. It makes it function accurately and reliably. So having a single source of truth is a top priority to unlock next-level ongoing experiences for your customers through AI.
Manage the end-to-end customer journey
You can’t achieve full visibility or control with legacy systems that aren’t built to cope with real-time inventory changes flowing from multiple sources.
You need a purpose built Order Management System (OMS).
Order management is key to efficiently track and fulfill sales orders.
From order entry, inventory management, fulfillment and after-sales service – with the right OMS you can manage the end-to-end customer journey.
You’ll have more control over orders and full visibility of the entire customer lifecycle.
On top of having a full view of everything in your business, you can use jeopardy management to flag orders that haven’t completed certain steps in the right time.
A fast automated order management system fulfills orders faultlessly for a better cx.
What’s more, an OMS can help guide the frictionless delivery of an upsell, cross-sell or any promised move – a crucial step to maximizing your customer lifetime value.
With the right OMS, you’ll gain automation, visibility and insight that empowers your people to deliver for your customers.
Give customers control and save them time
Delivery is about saving your customers’ time and eliminating friction.
Having the right delivery in place means your customers get time back in their day.
By letting customers take care of themselves with digital self-service, you empower them to find solutions to their questions, or complete parts of their customer journey more quickly and easily.
From personalizing their own mobile bundles and checking an order’s status, to allowing them to make post-purchase amendments – you and your customers will benefit.
Especially when 39% of online shoppers say speed is the largest factor when choosing to purchase online.
Prioritize proactive communication to provide security and reassurance
Your customers are your biggest assets. You need them to trust you.
By delivering security and reassurance to your customers you can build on your customer relationships, establish a good reputation and create brand loyalty.
So how do you add these essential elements into your delivery?
Keep in contact with your customers from the very moment they make an order.
Send order confirmations, update them on their order status, provide tracking information and full refunds & exchanges.
- 93% of shoppers emphasised the importance of receiving an email confirmation to confirm their order.
- 82% of customers said it is important that retailers proactively communication every delivery stage.
- 88% say they track the status of their online order.
Investing in transparent communications with your customers is essential for convenient delivery that will build customer loyalty.
So, even if your products aren’t always physically shipped to your customers door, the principle of delivery matters.
In fact, with your customers placing so much emphasis on experience, for ongoing services delivery is fundamental to building customer loyalty.
An order or sale is just the beginning.
You have to deliver on your customer promise unfailingly.