The Cost Implications of Choosing the Right Delivery Service for your Small Business

Sun, Sep 25, 2016

Budgeting, Financial Advice

When was the last time you assessed your current delivery service? Whatever type of business you run, if you rely heavily upon sending physical goods via the post, it’s vital you deal with a reliable and speedy courier. The delivery service of your company can actually make a huge difference to your reputation. It can also make the difference between a return and a lost customer!

This is particularly true in the current climate, where the ability to control delivery costs while driving efficiency and a high quality service to customers can have a huge impact on your bottom line. Remember, margins are being squeezed against the backdrop of a volatile economy, especially with the Brexit fall-out being treated as an opportunity to correct fundamental flaws with social, economic and political systems across the globe.

The Key Considerations when selecting your Delivery Service Providers

These factors make the selection of a delivery model and accompanying service provider increasingly important, particularly for smaller business ventures. With this in mind, here are the key considerations to keep in mind before making a decision: –

Making a lasting impression

Whilst you may not realise it, the courier company you choose is often the last association the customer has with your company. Therefore, how and when their parcel is delivered will determine their lasting impression of your brand, and determine whether or not customer’s spend money with you in the future.

If they’re greeted by an unfriendly, unprofessional driver, they’re going to be reluctant to order from you again! So, you need to ensure you’re employing a delivery service with a reputation for being friendly, professional and helpful, otherwise you are placing sustainable profit margins at risk!

Are your parcels covered?

Even the most reliable courier service can make a mistake. Will your parcels be insured if something does go wrong? Reading up on the courier’s insurance policy is highly recommended. Be sure to read the small print too as you may discover a lot of damage or missing parcels may not be covered, especially during transit. The failure to ensure that you have haulage or similar insurance coverage can cost your business huge amounts of money, both in terms of covering losses and future orders.

Returns and tracking – are they covered?

Another thing that customers expect these days is the ability to track and return parcels if required. This again, will need to be done quickly so a delivery service that’s renowned for its speed is essential. Some couriers only offer either a returns service without tracking abilities, or a tracking service with expensive returns options. There are some however, who specialise in affordable, speedy returns and last mile tracking services such as TNT.

Make no mistake, this can help to underpin customer loyalty and drive the type of long-term gains that make your business sustainable.

 

The dangers of opting for lifestyle couriers

A popular option for small businesses is lifestyle couriers. These tend to offer the cheapest prices and they hire self-employed drivers to make deliveries. The trouble is, many of these companies pay their driver’s pretty poorly, resulting in poor customer service. This can quickly damage your reputation and lose you a lot of customers! So you should always beware of opting for the cheapest possible delivery service.  Instead, focus on value for money and choose an option that is cost-effective and capable of providing an improved proposition to customers.

As you can see, there’s plenty you need to be aware of when choosing the right courier service for your company. Many businesses underestimate the importance of their delivery experience and find out the hard way that it can have a significant impact on profits.

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