U.S. consumers love deliveries. In fact, an estimated 165 billion packages are shipped in the United States annually. Even brick and mortar businesses support deliveries and special orders—not to mention that some new companies, like Blue Apron, are built on a delivery-based model. According to Boston Retail Partners research, 51% of retailers currently offer some form of same-day delivery, and within two years, 65% will. But this means that more businesses are facing the challenge of delivery management—a challenge that calls for a speedy communication method, like business texting.
The ultimate tool for managing deliveries, business SMS for dispatch and operations teams provides the speed and efficiency that keeps customers and in-field personnel up to date. Business SMS drastically simplifies the delivery process, especially when it comes to in-field coordination, when real-time communications are a must-have.
To help you streamline your delivery process, we’ve rounded up the top best practices for coordinating deliveries with both customers and in-field personnel.
Coordinating Deliveries with Customers via Business Texting
With the help of business SMS, deliveries will make your customers will feel like they have access to a VIP experience. Boasting an open rate of 98% and average response time of 90 seconds, business texts are one of the best ways to reach customers if you want to ensure they see your message, or when you need an answer, fast. Popular use cases for customer delivery coordination with business texting include:
Order confirmations. With business SMS, companies can send personalized order confirmations to customers directly after they make purchases. Sent quickly enough, these confirmations reassure customers that their orders went through, showing them that your business has their comfort top-of-mind and proactively solving customer queries.
Delivery status updates. Two thirds (63%) of online shoppers think that knowing the estimated delivery date of their orders is important. To ensure customers have a good handle on where their purchase is—and to prepare them for the upcoming delivery—businesses should send three notifications: a shipping confirmation, a guaranteed delivery notification, and a final delivery notice. With a business texting platform, your team can set up an automated text campaign that sends personalized confirmations to lists of customers on a specified schedule.
In-field delay notifications. Even the most savvy eCommerce business or delivery person will encounter an unexpected challenge or two in the field, whether it’s an incorrect address or roadblock that causes delays. With business texting, operations teams can quickly relay issues to HQ, ensuring that customers are well aware of any delays. Preemptive delay notifications help businesses proactively identify issues, provide solutions, and assure customers that their satisfaction is your ultimate goal.
Question and answer channel. When customers are expecting a delivery, they may encounter questions regarding rescheduling their delivery, changing their order, or making special requests. Business texting provides an excellent channel for receiving and replying to those questions. Messages arrive in a shared inbox that allows the entire customer service team to see each incoming message and assign it to the agent with the most expertise in that area.
Managing Deliveries with Field Personnel via Business Texting
While business texting is helpful for customers, it can also assist your delivery operations teams as well, including in-field staff. Most problems that in-field staff experience require fast responses, which agents can easily provide through business SMS. Popular use cases for customer delivery coordination through business texting include:
Delivery exception management. In-field staff often encounter problems while on their delivery routes. These can include everything from unexpectedly encountering a locked gate to running into construction. If in-field staff experience problems like these, they can text the operations team, which can quickly reply with instructions. If in-field staff need to report a delay, they can send a notification text to the operations team, then the operations team can relay the message to the customer.
Staff management. Operations teams can also send a one-to-many text to in-field personnel, which is critical for many team-related organizational efforts. For example, an operations manager can send a text asking every member of a list who is available for overtime. Each in-field staff member can respond individually, without seeing one another’s responses.
Training updates. Business texting also works well for training purposes. After initial training, in-field staff can text in questions regarding best practices or tips and receive fast responses to their managers at the office. Managers can send regular tips to new staff members all at once, and respond individually to any questions.
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