How Delivery is Challenging Service for the Customer Experience Crown
Brands have traditionally invested heavily in customer service as a central component of the customer experience. However, new research from project44 suggests that may be changing.
The apps that power our lives, and specifically those that power our purchases, have continued to evolve, reshaping the customer experience. As a result, delivery, which was once a peripheral component of purchases, has become a decisive factor.
What started with companies like Amazon.com offering faster shipping quickly grew through the popularity of delivery apps and services like Grubhub, Postmates, and Instacart. These trends have led to the emergence of the "delivery economy" — the pervasive sentiment in which customers expect low-cost, fast and highly transparent delivery of goods.
Consumers have demonstrated that the customer experience starts when a purchase is made, and continues through until the customer has the product in hand. Nearly three-fourths of consumers (71 percent) say on-demand delivery apps are reshaping their expectations for how they want all of their online purchases delivered.
For brands to remain competitive in this evolving consumer landscape, they need to let the emergence of new technology rewrite the rules.
The Shift Away From Customer Service
Our research shows that brands still see customer service as a key component to the customer experience, with 65 percent of marketing executives saying they believe customer service is one of the most important factors in their customers’ purchase experience. But when asked the same question, consumers told a different story. Only 25 percent of consumers said that customer service was important to their purchase experience. While there may be several reasons for this, the popularity of delivery apps and resulting growth of the delivery economy have reset what consumers expect from their purchase experience.
Moreover, the sizable gap between marketers and consumers on the role of customer service demonstrates that brands aren’t fully recognizing the shift in their customers’ expectations. Customer service is no longer mission critical because consumers expect to have delivery ETAs and updated tracking details always available at their fingertips. Research from McKinsey found that 70 percent of customers stated they now expect self-service for handling complaints, questions or issues via their smartphones. The connecting thread between the two is that on-demand self-service is the expectation.
Delivery Coming Into Focus
So what are marketers starting to pay attention to as it relates to the growing role of delivery?
Our survey showed awareness among marketers that their customers have a new set of expectations around delivery, primarily related to the speed and cost of delivery, as well as transparency in the delivery process.
Perhaps more importantly, marketers recognize that delivery is impacting the customer experience. We found that 85 percent of marketers now say that delivery is moderately to very important to their brand and customer experience. Even more telling is the fact that marketers cite delivery companies (56 percent) and shipping departments (47 percent) among the top three stakeholders — inside or outside the company — to deliver the best customer experience.
Delivering on the Delivery Economy
As the delivery economy continues to grow, brands will have to focus their investment on meeting the demands for increased deliver speed, visibility and transparency. They’ll also need to evaluate how they can leverage the on-demand experience throughout the customer lifecycle.
Meeting this demand will mean incorporating the delivery economy into their marketing and customer experience strategies. Increasingly, they’ll have to work closely with operational groups responsible for driving the delivery experience. A brand’s ability to align efforts with logistics, transportation and supply chain stakeholders will determine whether it can deliver on delivery, and ultimately remain competitive in this evolving consumer landscape.
Andrew Grygiel is the chief marketing officer at project44, the world’s leading advanced visibility platform for shippers and logistics service providers powering some of the world’s leading supply chains, including Amazon, PepsiCo, Unilever, rxBar, Tractor Supply Chain, and Walgreens.
Andrew Grygiel is the chief marketing officer at project44, the world’s leading Advanced Visibility Platform for shippers and logistics service providers powering some of the world’s leading supply chains including Amazon, PepsiCo, Unilever, rxBar, Tractor Supply Chain, and Walgreens.
Grygiel is leading the company's global integrated marketing, demand generation, product marketing, brand strategy, and corporate communications efforts. Grygiel has decades of experience in enterprise software with deep expertise in SaaS, cloud, data integration, and data management. Grygiel was formerly the senior vice president of marketing at Uptake, a leader in industrial IoT and analytics, where he successfully led the company's global marketing strategies. Previously, Grygiel was the chief strategist at Informatica, led global marketing for one of Oracle's top Global Business Units, and held senior marketing and product strategy roles at EMC and Hewlett Packard.