Musician Dave Caroll along with his band Sons of Maxwell came up with a trio of hilarious protest songs under the name United Breaks Guitars after he received a broken guitar after flying with United Airlines in 2008. His guitar while in United Airlines’ custody was roughly handled by the baggage handlers who threw his guitar on the ramp at Chicago O’Hare International Aiport during a layover on his flight. He arrived at the destination only to find that his $3500 Taylor guitar was brutally damaged. He had applied for compensation from the aviation company but was ineligible since he failed to claim within the 24-hour timeframe. He also underwent fruitless negotiation for about nine months. In his song, he sang how the employees of United Airlines turned a deaf ear to the manhandling. The song became an immediate hit on YouTube and iTunes upon its release in July 2009 and a public-relations embarrassment for the airline. And soon a sarcastic dig on United Airlines became synonymous with an aviation company that breaks guitars.
When people pay for expensive flight tickets they expect their belongings to be handled with care and in return, if they do not deliver as expected tends to erode their reputation. Similarly, in any logistics business, the smooth handling of shipments and parcels is integral to its success. But, for Delhivery- an Indian delivery and e-commerce logistics company rough handling of the goods seems to have resulted in harsh customer reviews. According to Trustpilot- an online customer review platform, it found 93 percent of the customer reviews are negative about the rough handling of goods. On other customer review platforms Mouthshut.com and TrackingMore, customers have expressed their harsh reviews about receiving no response and updates from the company regarding the shipment and delayed deliveries. Some people have complained about its WhatsApp chatbot that does not solve issues with its automated replies. According to NewVoiceMedia’s report, poor customer service in a business costs losses worth $75 billion annually. In addition to this, a survey from Voxware finds that 69 percent of consumers are unlikely to shop from e-commerce retailers again if an item they purchased is not delivered within two days of the date promised. This speaks of huge losses and high consumer acquisition costs for e-commerce and D2C retailers which will be about 5 to 25 times more than retaining an existing customer.
According to NewVoiceMedia’s report, poor customer service in a business costs losses worth $75 billion annually.
How can Delhivery improve its operations?
Implement Cargo Trackers and monitoring: Logistics business is an execution game. If a significant percentage of the cargo or shipment gets damaged due to rough handling one cannot know since, the managers and business owners are not on the field to monitor and review the handling and have no information in case someone has mishandled it, which is a challenge. Therefore, the challenge can be overcome by employing an advanced, real-time cargo tracking and monitoring service.
Minimise Delays: Delivery delays in the logistics business are an existing problem that further worsened with restrictions in the pandemic. To minimise late deliveries the business must have diversified supply bases and alternate shipping routes as contingency plans for when troubles arise. To minimise delivery delays, businesses should look forward to adopting micro-fulfillment centres, and cross-docking. Let us peek a little deeper into what do the above ones mean-
a. Microfulfillment centres: Micro-fulfillment refers to small-scale distribution centers positioned closer to the end-consumer.
b. Cross-docking: in a cross-docking facility, the main function of the distribution center is as a place where goods quickly move through to the next stage of the shipping process. Storage space is minimal, and everything must be carefully organised according to inbound and outbound shipments.
Prevent tampering of goods: while goods are in transit they change several hands and pass through several different partners, employees, therefore one cannot figure out if the package has been tampered with. Tracking tampered packages or parcels becomes a challenge, where blockchain integration comes to the rescue. Blockchain integration is backed with real-time sensor data that ensures the integrity of the supply chain and prevents any unauthorized manipulation of cargo.
Chatbots are not enough: Several consumers have complained about Delhivery’s WhatsApp chatbot giving out replies for solutions for predictable problems. In chatbots the solutions offered to the problems are mechanised, and when there is an occurrence of complex or technical questions, consumers would like to speak with a live agent. As per NewVoiceMedia’s survey, 86 percent of customers feel that an emotional connection with a customer service agent is likely that customers will continue to do business.
Seamless warehouse management: Seamless warehouse management is the need of the hour for every logistic business. There have been common instances where customers are found complaining that the goods have reached a wrong destination, no updates, incomplete orders, etc., these are errors which if not regulated can be costly. These can be avoided with the help of effective and updated warehouse management systems. Implementing new warehouse technologies such as mobile apps for picking, automated picking and packing systems, voice picking, develops a system of checks throughout the process that can reduce errors and streamline processes. Assuring that warehouse staff is well-trained and that policies clearly state where and how the product is to be handled reduces the risk of error.
Therefore, the key takeaways are that the logistics business should not lose sight of human connection. There should be a balance of both technology and human interaction. Nonetheless, technology will certainly aid the business to simplify, speed up and enhance customer services but people will never forget how in their time of need you made them feel. The art of regularly communicating and sending updates to the consumers will further increase their loyalty to the business.