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Opinion: Knowing your customer is key to delivering a seamless experience


Knowing your customer is key to delivering a seamless experience says Mike Cooper, CEO of Yodel, so how well do you know yours?
When your customer buys a gift online – whether it’s for Mother’s Day, a birthday or ‘just because’, you want the experience of receiving that gift, either by the purchaser or their loved one, to be flawless. The last step in the journey is the doorstep experience, and very often it’s the only human interaction in the whole transaction. It should be positive and uplifting. So, when buying an important gift, shoppers gravitate towards retailers they know and trust to deliver that all-important experience: brands renowned for the consistency of their customer care.

A seamless experience

But providing this seamless experience from purchase to delivery at scale is no mean feat. It requires meticulous planning, underpinned by a deep understanding of what your customers want. Only by truly understanding your customers’ needs, can you develop the service and the level of care required for such an emotive purchase to be assured.

From the retailer’s perspective, it’s about finding fulfilment partners who understand, and believe in your brand values as much as you do. Carriers who will build a collaborative relationship with you, to deliver the perfect end-to-end experience, one that’s tailored to you and your customers.

Our research has shown that 94%* of retailers want a parcel carrier who has a strong focus on the consumer, and does more than simply deliver the goods. I am a strong believer that this can only be achieved by obtaining an intimate knowledge of consumers. This is why we survey 4,000 shoppers every day to build an accurate profile, against which we can map our innovations and tailor our solutions to individual retailers.

We’ve been working with clients to develop a more collaborative, insight-led approach, focused on consumer data so that we can develop tailored services that meet shoppers’ needs. The results have been striking, with a significant 18-point increase in our Net Promoter Score from consumers, and an even higher 30 point increase from our clients**. We’ve recognised that consumers’ needs are changing, online shopping is evolving and so are we.

A successful relationship between a delivery company and a retailer is built on the common goal of delivering a great customer experience, which is why we believe your delivery partner should be able to provide this insight and be in the room when you’re planning your marketing, and vice versa. Only by keeping the customer as your central focus throughout the process, can you deliver a truly great end-to-end experience, whether you’re planning for a surge in shopper demand during peak periods or simply managing the day to day.

Consumer engagement is required

Knowing your customer is achieved through genuine consumer engagement. It’s key in supporting growth strategies. A retailer without customer insight will struggle to develop a strategy without that focal point.

This insight is especially important when preparing for peaks. It’s now an absolute necessity that delivery companies can flex and grow at peak times, delivering the consistent care that consumers expect. Carriers and retailers need to work together closely and ensure that we all think more like the consumer, and that our decisions are based on insight, not just intuition. Collaboration and the use of genuine customer insight will lead both retailers and carriers to exceed customer expectations. And that’s a good place to be.

*Yodel client experience research, June 2016

**Yodel consumer and client experience research, NPS comparison based on 24-month period 2015 – 2017

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