In Greek Mythology, Hermes is one of the 12 Olympian Gods. He is the son of Zeus and Maia and is often depicted with a pair of winged sandals. While nowadays Hermes is no more than a logo on the side of a courier van, in Ancient Greece, Hermes was the God of trade, eloquence and the messenger of Gods.
The reason why he’s such a good role model for a delivery service company is that he was renowned for his agility and ability to move freely and quickly to deliver messages between the gods and the mortals. Admittedly, it’s fair to say that today’s Hermes is more likely to bring a cardboard box contained the latest food mixer you’ve ordered online – not so much of a divine messenger anymore. But the idea of speed, efficiency and clear messaging – the three characteristics of the Greek God – remains expected by the audience.
However, there are other facts about Hermes that ring worryingly accurate in comparison to today’s delivery services. Indeed, Hermes was often portrayed as the protector of thieves and a trickster, who would sometimes outwit the gods for his own benefit or one of the people. When too many customers continue to complain about their delivery guy, it’s fair to say that Hermes is also – maybe – the modern god of deliveries.
What is wrong with delivery services, you ask. There are recurring issues that could be tackled in the future to serve drivers and customers best. Ultimately, human beings have been delivering goods and messages for thousands of years. It’s time to make it right for everyone.
Waiting all day long for a delivery
When was the last time the delivery guy actually arrived when he said he would? More often than not, you receive a notification by email or text message that the delivery is planned for the day. And that marks the beginning of a roller coaster of emotions. There’s a natural form of excitement that takes over your mind and body. Today you’re going to receive the thing you’ve ordered! Of course, you’re excited to try it, see it, touch it, in a word have it. However, the excitement phase doesn’t last long as it is followed by the anticipation of figuring out how everything is going to fit in your life. Did you really order the proper size? Are there more reviews and tutorials available about your items – in other words, you are looking for ways to kill time until the parcel reaches you. But when the parcel fails to arrive as quickly as expected, you enter in a never-ending refresh process on the courier website. You’re desperate to figure out where your parcel is and why the delivery guy needs so long to get to you. You grow impatient, if not a little nervous. The more you wait, the more your stress turns into frustration.
Does that sound familiar? It’s the typical emotional journey of a customer waiting for their delivery.
My delivery has been damaged during transport
Aside from waiting far too long to receive your precious item, not all boxes arrive in the same condition. Some items can be damaged during transport – or even during the packing process. As a customer, when you’ve waited a long time to receive your order, the last thing you want is to send it back before it’s broken. It should be easy, in theory. But, unfortunately, not all customer service teams know how to best tackle delivery damages. Some customer service centres require photos as evidence of the damage and can take a long time to deal with the issue in-house. From a customer’s perspective, failing to address the problem rapidly and effectively is the sure way of discouraging any further order. If you want to keep your customers coming back, you need to make sure that you’re equipped to manage deliveries issues rapidly – whether you’ve accidentally sent the wrong item or whether the parcel was damaged, it’s important to make sure that the customer doesn’t have to wait for a replacement.
Drivers can lead to road safety issues
Delivery trucks can be large and heavy, that’s why drivers are specially trained to handle these. But imagine the following scenario: Your car that was parked in front of your house was damaged by the delivery guy as they brought your parcel. How do you handle the situation, and most importantly, who do you ask for help? For negligent truck drivers cases, it’s not something you can manage with the customer service team. You need legal representation to ensure that your rights are protected. Indeed, the customer service centre is trained to manage issues related to orders, payments and faulty items. Anything that relates to on-road liability is the matter for the company’s lawyer or legal representation. Consequently, you need to work with a professional to make sure that accidents caused by delivery van drivers are handled responsibly and fairly.
The fake delivery that never happened
Can you trust the delivery guy to deliver your parcel? It’s the question that Amazon decided to tackle by introducing fake parcels to their delivery rounds. These dummy parcels are designed to test the integrity and honesty of the driver. Leaving the driver with three options: report the parcel, return it or steal it – although the last option is never spelled out that obviously, it remains a possibility as the parcel is deemed untraceable –, Amazon can ensure that harmful drivers are removed from the delivery rounds as soon as possible. Consequently, this simple program ensures that customers can rely on the delivery service to be performant at all times. No more disappearing parcels!
The delivery guy left no info
Ah, the blank card. Don’t you hate it when that happens? Some delivery guys choose to leave a blank card when they first attempted to deliver. However, the card contains no information for customers to get in touch. In fact, with the increase in freelance couriers, it’s easy to understand why blank cards are so frequent – the delivery guy is trying to add a second round to their schedule. Sometimes, the blank card is nothing but a sign of laziness from the driver. They expect customers to find the necessary information to retrieve their parcels. More and more customers are trying to sort out the issues through social media, but not all are successful. Ultimately, when the delivery guy fails you, you are entitled to make a formal complaint about it to the supplier – who’s responsible for organizing the delivery services.
Can we remove the human factor?
As a result of constant frictions and frustration, more and more customers are asking about the possibility of creating a driverless delivery truck. In fact, you’ll be pleased to know that the technology for driverless vehicles is already available. Companies such as Embark, Daimler, and Uber have already developed self-driving trucks. While most trials have been successful, it’s important to note that these trucks are not without danger. A pedestrian was killed was an unmanned Uber vehicle in March 2018, stopping the testing program instantly. The question, for now, is not whether it’s possible to organize a driverless delivery round. But whether it is legal to set one up – the answer, for now, remains a big, fat no.
Are people too impatient?
Why do we buy online? The popularity of the click to buy button and other similar technologies has demonstrated that most buyers are impatient. They choose to buy online because they want to save time. When it takes less than a minute to buy the item you need, why should you still go to the shops? The main issue, though, is that buying rapidly doesn’t imply that you will receive your order quickly. Unfortunately, the era of digital technologies has made us impatient. We hate waiting.
How much for delivery?!
Planning delivery services don’t come for free. It’s something that you probably know when you’re trying to send your Christmas parcels. For businesses, the challenges are the same. While there is an abundance of choices in terms of delivery providers, it’s tricky to find the most cost-effective courier service. While postal services can be useful for small parcels – and they let you track important documents – the costs can increase significantly for heavy and bulky deliveries. Most couriers offer a diversity of options, categorized by weight, dimensions, and destinations. From a business perspective, it’s crucial to review your customer base before deciding of the best solution.
Cutting costs on staff: A bad idea if you don’t get involved
For anybody who enjoys driving and is looking for a side hustle career to make ends meet, becoming a self-employed courier can be a profitable solution. However, being a courier involves carrying parcels in your vehicle – a.k.a. you need to have a reliable and spacious vehicle – on time and to their destination. Companies relying on freelancers have to provide their contractors with the assistance they need to make it work. Don’t assume that you can save on time and money without affecting your customers.
The bottom line is that there could be a million of things that are ‘wrong’ with the delivery guy. From negligent drivers to overworked freelancers, customers have to rely on companies to look after each step of the delivery process. Thankfully, you can find legal assistance for issues that the company fails to address.