The last mile is the last impression – make it count

Serious time, effort, and resources goes into crafting engaging communication and acquiring new customers. So why risk having this great experience crumble at the final hurdle: delivery?

So why risk having this great experience crumble at the final hurdle: delivery? This last mile service is the final impression you have the chance to make on your end customers. So, there’s a lot to be gained from ensuring it’s a top-quality one. 

For one thing, meeting your end customers’ high demands for convenient, trackable delivery experiences is key to building and maintaining their loyalty to your brand. (Re)taking control of the quality of your deliveries also enables you to create an end-to-end positive customer experience. Rather, that is, than outsourcing to a delivery provider and just hoping for the best. Direct access to your end customers’ feedback on their delivery experience also enables you to consistently evolve and improve it. You can take ownership of the insights this data gives you and leverage them to elevate your full-circle customer relationships. 

Here, we’ll explore the whys and hows of making these aspects of your last mile impression really count. 

Make or break: Your customers have high expectations for last mile delivery 

Consumers expect (as they should!) great delivery service from the brands they trust. This applies across both tracking notifications and delivery punctuality. Really, the data speaks for itself here: 

  • Research has shown that 93% of customers want updates throughout the delivery process, up until arrival day
  • Over 50% of customers want a real-time view of their order status
  • 47% of customers won’t reorder from brands with a lack of delivery visibility
  • 48% of customers are unlikely to buy again from companies with late package deliveries

To meet these high consumer expectations, clear communication is key. Put simply, accurate ETAs are game-changing for your end customers. They avoid confusion and frustration and enable the delivery experience to be as convenient as possible. 

To respond to this need, look for delivery software that lets you send your customers accurate ETAs, plus other delivery-tracking notifications. Ideally, these will be easy to edit and customise from your software admin environment. This environment should also smoothly coordinate with your drivers on the ground, as well as the tracking interface that your end customers see. 

When one of your drivers updates an order status, for example, this could trigger tailored SMS notifications to the end customer:

  • Communicating the day and time their delivery’s scheduled
  • When the driver has started their route
  • When the driver’s ETA is 15 minutes
  • And so on, to suit your brand’s interaction preferences

Top software can also enable customising the sender phone number with your brand name. Firstly, this cements trustworthiness. Secondly, it avoids your end customers missing key notifications as they seem like spam. 

In addition, opting for a delivery platform with linked admin-driver interfaces can also enable your support team to view your drivers’ status in real time. With all the information they need at their fingertips, they’d be able to respond quickly and informatively to your end customers’ delivery queries. 

For true trust and quality, customer experience needs to be end-to-end

Handing over deliveries to a third party can mean you lose influence over the quality of this experience for your end customers. Unfortunately, this has real potential to hurt your brand’s reputation. Your end customers will often associate a late or inconvenient delivery directly with you as the seller, rather than with your third-party delivery provider. In fact, research has shown that delivery is a key part of brand loyalty for 98% of consumers. As a result, it’s vital to make sure your delivery service aligns with the final impression you want your end customers to have of your brand. 

Thankfully, there’s a simple fix: taking back control of the quality of your deliveries. With the right software in place, you’ll own your communication with your end customers right through to when their package arrives at their door. That way, you can ensure you create the high-quality experience your clients expect from you, end to end. 

A vital part of this is being able to intuitively manage communications with the end customers receiving your deliveries. So it’s helpful to work with delivery software that lets you easily customise your delivery tracking and notifications with your brand’s unique look and feel (even if you’re working with separate third-party delivery and software providers). With your trusted logo, colour scheme, fonts and tone of voice implemented, you can ensure the last impression your delivery leaves does your brand justice. 

Constant improvement drives great delivery experience

Gathering feedback from your end customers is the fastest way to elevate the quality of your delivery experiences. What was the last impression it made on them? Did the delivery align with the quality they’d experienced from your brand up until that moment? Did it make them want to buy from you again? 

Usually, brands are great at requesting product feedback. Not so much delivery-centric feedback, however. Yet with direct insight into what your end customers think and feel about your deliveries, you can start painting a full picture of their experience of your brand. 

Features as simple as star ratings and review fields, for example, let your end customers send feedback on deliveries right away. However, this is a rare find when it comes to third-party delivery providers. Usually, you won’t be able to easily get hold of any end customer feedback. Why? It’ll be tied to the third party’s internal delivery logs and tech. 

By contrast, seeing updated, daily star ratings and reviews on your delivery software would prime you to learn from your end customers. Ideally, your delivery platform will also let you analyse this feedback. Which of your drivers are performing well? Why is that? How can you adapt and improve upcoming delivery schedules and driver routes? Only by understanding customer experience at this final touchpoint on the purchasing journey can you ensure satisfaction from A to Z, evolving and improving to surpass their expectations.  

Ready to make your last impression count? 

For your end customers, reliable, predictable and well-organised delivery experiences are truly valuable. We’ve seen the difference it makes ourselves, including for brands who’ve already been delivering for years. After their first delivery with Gordon, even their long-standing end customers get in touch to comment on how great it is to be able to track their packages and have them arrive right on schedule.  

To find out more about how Gordon can evolve your deliveries, reach out to our team here

Rasmus Hallgren Sánchez

Rasmus Hallgren Sánchez

Marketing Manager at Gordon Tech. Rasmus is passionate about all things marketing, e-commerce, and digitalisation. Has an almost incurable predilection for hockey and tacos.

Gordon is a cloud-based platform that empowers retailers to manage, track, and optimise their last mile deliveries.