Over a fifth of all retailers’ deliveries and home appointments are unsuccessful, wasting millions of pounds in inefficiencies, according to research commissioned by business SMS experts, Esendex.
The research included in-depth telephone interviews with logistics and customer service decision makers at UK retailers and found that each failed delivery or appointments costs £151, on average.
The £151 cost missed delivery/appointment is attributed to an associated increase in admin and business process costs (25%), a lack of capacity utilisation (16%), and call centre overburden (10%), among others. Due to the financial impact caused by inefficiencies, 32% of retailers are considering charging consumers for missed deliveries or appointments.
Retailers revealed customer communications to be a major issue, with 43% citing ‘lack of notification about delays’ and 35% highlighting ‘lack of communication about delivery times’ as complaints associated with missed appointments and deliveries.
When asked what they were planning to do in the next 12 months to address the causes of the problem, 68% said they would introduce or improve on SMS communications. Interestingly, only 18% of companies are looking to social media in 2013/14 to improve customer communications.
Commenting on the survey, Julian Hucker, CEO and co-founder of Esendex, said, “The latest ONS figures highlight that the weekly online spend is £601 million per week, up 20% on last year, so the impact of communications and supply chain inefficiencies will be keenly felt by those who ignore the problem.
“We are seeing a shift in preference among companies who are moving towards text messaging in an effort to more easily reach customers at critical times during the transaction process. Most of us have had to wait in for a supermarket or furniture delivery at some point. We all have mobile phones, so texting is able to take that headache away and give businesses and customers a simple and reliable way to solve this issue. It’s not a new technology, but it’s the most widely available and therefore the most convenient for customers.”
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