Dear UPS, This Should Be Your Delivery Strategy!

No matter how hard I try I always seem a bummer when it comes to receiving packages at home, especially with UPS’ odd delivery acts. Here’s a journey map with a ‘mood meter’ to illustrate my purchase experience.

The Ups and Downs

UPS Customer Journey Map

I browsed a book I liked at a local bookstore and bought it on Amazon from the mobile app. I received an email that my package has been shipped with UPS with a tracking number and an approximate delivery date. I wait for the package to arrive on the same day but nothing happens. Surprisingly, UPS has stuck a note at the entrance (embarrassingly for the world to see) that I missed the package, and the reason provided was that the customer wasn’t available to receive the package!

The driver wouldn’t browse the apartment directory to get my buzz code. What’s most distressing the package won’t be delivered at a later date. That means I’ve to visit the UPS collection outlet when the package would be available the next day.

Here’s what I did to improve my chances of receiving my package flawlessly. I tracked the package deftly on the website and on the day of the delivery I’d call UPS customer support with the tracking number to hand over my buzz code which worked most of the times. I received the packages and I used the same technique with other package deliveries with some success.

Some online retailers do not emphasize on the customer experience such as Amazon who’ve always preferred UPS for me to maybe to keep the costs low. But if buying a product is a delightful few taps on the mobile then the delivery should be impeccable as well! If the post-sales engagement remains undefined the seller would have a lot to answer for the broken customer experience journey.

But here’s another story which I want to share that has impressed me. It’s the story of how DHL redefined the package delivery experience for me!

One day, out of the blue, I receive a text from DHL Express with a tracking number which I ignored as spam. A few days later someone tried my buzz code to get inside and I ignored that too since I hadn’t ordered anything online. Soon I receive a message from DHL stating “We attempted to deliver DHL EXPRESS <tracking no.> today.” and I was blown over! The text also provided a link where I could reschedule the delivery for the next available day which I thought was very creative. (Maybe UPS does that too for premium customers?) But to say the least, I received the package the next day without calling DHL’s customer support with my buzz code even once. They managed to find my name in the building directory!!

A few key strategic wins from this experience for every package delivery company out there:

  1. Don’t bother customers with tracking numbers and make the experience seamless.
  2. If the package isn’t delivered to the customer’s doorstep you haven’t done the job.
  3. Tracking of packages should be managed through texts along with the online tracking. It’s a ‘mobile-first approach.

Key Benefits

For the customers, a seamless package delivery experience means avoiding the hassle of coordinating with customer support over phone or of consistently tracking the package online. DHL drivers always take the extra trouble to find my buzz code. For the company the customer experience of delivering at the doorstep creates a unique brand value proposition. It also saves on customer support costs and streamline operational efficiency, from answering calls to note buzz codes the executives can divert attention to resolving more grievous customer calls.