3 Reasons Why Real-Time Communication is A Must For Delivery & Fulfillment
Oct 9, 2023
7 mins read
Imagine you stay in a world where you are only given 30 seconds to communicate an important message that can save a person’s life. Every second matters at this moment and a moment lost would seem like an eternity.
Welcome all to the new world of delivery and fulfillment where timing isn’t just everything; it’s the only thing that matters. As the supply chain is becoming more complex and quicker, businesses need to adopt real-time communication to stay ahead of the curve. Apart from this, let’s find out why businesses in the delivery and fulfillment landscape must invest in real-time communication.
1. Strengthen Brand Reputation
Say that John is a dispatcher. He is getting into the office to manage the package dispatch for the day. Suddenly, he is shocked to see a huge pile of orders being undelivered. Before seeing into this issue, he receives WISMO (Where Is My Order) calls on the undelivered parcels.
John finds out that there is a 70% increase in WISMO calls. This has reduced the number of orders that his company dispatches daily in a month. Also, the likelihood of customers recommending their company for delivery services fell drastically. Why did this happen?
After several meetings with teams and reading through the delivery performance reports, John found something the team missed. There was a lot of traffic, so drivers were unable to reach the customer destinations at the planned time. When they were supposed to inform customers about the delay, the real-time tracking failures and delays in providing updates made things worse. This led to a huge stack of undelivered orders.
Real-time communication is critical to ensure customers are happy and satisfied. Only when a business sets the right expectations with customers in terms of Service Level Agreement (SLA) and deliverables and fulfills it, can customers be happy.
A business must provide timely notifications about the deliveries and a real-time tracking page on the order’s progress. Additionally, it must provide customers with the contact or chat details of drivers or delivery agents. This builds trust in customers that they can reach out to someone if the order is not delivered on time.
Customer feedback is another critical factor for proper end-to-end communication. Customer feedback on delivery services allows businesses to identify opportunities and areas of improvement. This helps them resolve service delivery issues in real-time.
How can we provide timely alerts to customers on orders and get their feedback? The best way to improve real-time communication in delivery fulfillment is by investing in a real-time fleet tracking solution.
This real-time fleet tracking software can provide timely alerts through messages or email. It helps the business to proactively inform customers if there is any likelihood of delays or delivery exceptions. Also, it collects feedback from customers on the delivery attempts of drivers that can guide your business’s strategic efforts in delivery management.
2. Improve Unit Economics in the Last Mile
When a business does not invest in real-time communication, the delivery ends up in the wrong customer destination. This can create a bunch of problems for even the strongest brand. Beyond dealing with unhappy customers, your business incurs the cost of replacing the product. Logistics and supply chain experts mention that a reattempted delivery can multiply the delivery costs by 4x.
Unit economics is the profitability of per unit delivery of a business. The fewer the reattempted deliveries, the higher the unit economics will be. But how do we improve the unit economics in the last mile? The answer lies in real-time communication.
By ensuring real-time communication, businesses can improve their First Attempted Delivery Rates (FADR). Say that a customer orders some items to be gifted to her daughter. She has special delivery instructions like the delivery agent should knock on the door twice and not use the doorbell. Also, it has instructions on the time windows like 9:30 a.m. after her daughter leaves for school. Most importantly, the customer asks the delivery business to place the gift package in a parcel box after knocking on the door.
When the delivery business caters to these special instructions, it can improve the chances of items being delivered on the first attempt. Any miscommunication in these instructions can lead to a failed delivery attempt. So, businesses must ensure that there is real-time communication between the customers, delivery drivers, and dispatchers.
3. Elevate the Productivity of Employees
When a business invests in a real-time communication system, it can build and maintain a good relationship across teams involved in the delivery. It enables cross-functional teams to find out where they are lacking and where the opportunities lie. Most importantly, it enables delivery businesses to manage challenging scenarios like last-minute deliveries without any hassles.
Say that a delivery business needs to dispatch some orders at the last minute. It looks out in the system for the availability of drivers and vehicles to deliver those orders on an ad-hoc basis. It isn’t clear whether the drivers are driving, taking breaks, leaving after Hours of Service (HoS), or staying a longer time at the hub to unload and load packages. This shows that there is no real-time communication between drivers and dispatchers.
If this kind of poor communication persists during peak times, it increases delivery costs. When a business communicates the standards, best practices, strategies, and priorities for every touchpoint of delivery, it can maximize the potential of delivery performance. It helps them make the best use of the resources involved in delivery fulfillment.
Analytical insights play a critical role in improving the productivity of the employees. When on-ground teams, customer service teams, stakeholders, and the management team get timely alerts on delivery performance, it can help them make informed decisions needed to maximize the revenue from deliveries. This can reduce the frequency of delayed or missed deliveries, improve FADR, minimize vehicle downtimes, and eliminate underutilization of fleet capacities.
Real-time Communication: The Backbone Of Predictability in Deliveries
Can we elevate the customer experience by securing profits?
The undertone of this question is how businesses can balance customer experience and costs. The primary component that enables businesses to improve their customer experience and minimize costs is real-time communication.
Ask a customer why they prefer a particular delivery service, e-commerce site, courier business, or 3PL company for getting their orders delivered. At the outset, it may feel like it’s the speed of delivery that makes them opt for it. But what makes them stay with the delivery business is the trust in that business that’s called predictability.
Predictability is the believability or the trust factor that customers have in a delivery service that they will get their products delivered on time. If any unforeseen circumstances cause delays, the business will quickly inform the customer about it. It allows the customer to reschedule the order or cancel and refund their money. The belief of customers that they will get their deliveries on time
This belief that customers need not worry or feel anxious about deliveries reaching them on time is predictability. The foundation for building this predictability is by investing in a technology that facilitates this real-time communication internally and externally.
A platform that facilitates real-time communication in deliveries is Locus’ dispatch management platform. Locus’ branded tracking link enables customers to easily track delivery progress, driver location, and Expected Time of Arrival (ETA). Its timely alerts on order progress through the web, mobile, and email keep customers in the communication loop. Also, it lets customers reschedule deliveries, share special delivery instructions, or provide delivery feedback in real-time. This keeps stakeholders informed on critical delivery updates and minimizes delivery failures.
Looking for a platform that can improve your real-time communication?
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3 Reasons Why Real-Time Communication is A Must For Delivery & Fulfillment
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