• mthexpress

Consumer perceptions of the transport industry

Updated: Jul 17

Among the challenges ahead for the transport industry is developing the processes by which we urgently need to engage with customers in a campaign to minimise negative posts online. You may be forgiven for thinking that the parcel and delivery industry are setting new standards and everything is rosy in the garden, if recent news articles are to be believed. It is true that business is booming for the ecommerce delivery sector, with everything from food to parcels to furniture being ordered online and requiring collection/delivery, but at what eventual cost? Customer orders are not slowing, supply chains are stretched and there is a severe lack of professional drivers and talent pool to choose from. Therefore we shall find that customers will eventually inevitably receive a long lead time, late delivery or a sub standard service at some point with all too many willing to voice their opinions online with potentially damaging effects for both the companies involved or indeed the individuals such as delivery drivers for whom the buck tends to stop.

Covid19 + lockdown = record online sales! “Some retail operators who also require home delivery drivers are putting profit before people in many cases during these uncertain times. Would a customer be happy with a two-man crew entering their property to deliver items such as furniture when that particular crew may have already passed through several other residential premises of differing cleanliness on that particular day alone? - Its a dilemma for that sector, if they care to look at it at all”

Speaking to a client operating from within retail, we begin to understand the way in which the savvy salesperson makes the modern review work for the company. Retail companies may request a review from a customer at the point of sale where they have had excellent service from a salesperson, yet when their delivery turns up sometimes weeks later, the delivery crew may encounter issues if said items will not fit into the property or if there are damages. Ergo the company has already received their much coveted appraisal online, whilst the customer may be wholly dissatisfied and the delivery crew left picking up the pieces as the 'face' of their respective company, quite often receiving a complaint themselves when it is not their fault.

We operate in a world where consumer reviews and online 'word-of-mouth' count for so much. We routinely see parcel companies scoring low marks compared to retail on independent review sites such as Trustpilot, but why? Is the public opinion of the transport industry at an all time low? Part of the problem aside from the aforementioned sales tactics' that customers awaiting a parcel delivery will more often than not post a review once their package has arrived, hence any intervening problems will be highlighted. Another reason why delivery companies fair unreasonably high in the detrimental remarks column is purely down to the age that we live in. More people than ever are exercising their right to comment with some even feeling the need to vent online! Delving into the figures for a short overview from Trustpilot alone we see that of twelve carrier companies, only three are rated as excellent whereas seven are rated bad or poor! Price is not a determining factor either as some of the more expensive carriers to use are being hammered! This has to change for the future, standards must be improved across the board which may well signal increases in carrier charges. The transport industry as a whole cannot sustain offering the cheapest possible prices for services yet expect top class performance from their drivers and five star reviews from customers, particularly in the current climate of many workers on low pay and the demand for immediate results and overnight delivery.

Not all delivery drivers are the same. “There is a marked difference in quality between the intelligence and motivation of a driver at the top of their game compared to many of the others”. Having spoken to clients currently employed within the delivery sector it is clear that the driver can make the difference to customer satisfaction in many cases. As key workers and the face of the company to many, a good driver with experience and intelligence can be the difference between keeping or losing customers and in some cases gaining new business. But all too often we see negative comments about drivers as if 'anyone can drive' being the general consensus. This is an unfair assumption and a downright misconception. A major part of a professional driver's working life is spent anticipating what everyone else is going to do whilst on the road and dealing with important clients face to face. Many of the online complaints are of drivers with a downtrodden attitude under huge pressure and unable to fulfill the necessary. Smart drivers will make it happen and deal with customers in a professional manner, particularly experienced drivers having been through the training courses both legally binding such as CPC, those provided by employers and also those that can be sourced externally to improve their mindset and safety.

In conclusion, customer satisfaction and confidence is paramount to success and every delivery firm wants to be hailed as the best. But with current demand for deliveries to be executed as soon as possible and with the pandemic adding to the online orders/workload, companies are turning to those that may not be up to the job. A combination of a vast workload, over pressurised untrained & poorly treated staff, subsequently reflecting a poor consumer view of the industry. It is our mission at MTH Express to alter and correct these standards and attitudes for the better for all. If you have any positive feedback regarding transport workers please email us and we shall endeavour to share via our socials.

Thanks for reading! Stay positive, stay motivated!

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