Common last-mile delivery complaints and how to prevent them

Whether your company offers home delivery as a primary service or as an added value for your customers, the quality of your delivery service will affect your bottom line. Meeting or exceeding your customers’ last-mile delivery expectations will keep them coming back and, ideally, prompt them to leave positive reviews that encourage new customers to give your business a try. On the other hand, a negative delivery experience can cost you the receiving customer’s business and that of their family and friends.
In this article, you’ll discover four of the top delivery dislikes that can drive your customers away and the steps you can take to keep your delivery customers happy.
Emin Younan

Emin Younan

November 26, 2020

How to avoid the most common last-mile delivery customer complaints and deliver superior customer experiences

Success in the modern marketplace hinges on delivering a positive customer experience. Consumers now have access to a broad selection of sellers both locally and online and plenty of choices when it comes to deciding who they’ll purchase from. Local businesses and online stores are no longer competing just on product availability and price. Instead, today’s consumer weighs several factors when making their purchase decisions. Customer experience has become a key differentiator for every business.

From the ease of finding the items they want to purchase to the quality of the customer service they receive, every touchpoint matters. For many customers, their delivery experience is one of those critical touchpoints.

The impact of delivery experience on purchasing decisions

  • 74% of customers who are happy with their delivery experience are likely to increase the amount they spend with that brand

  • 82% of customers who are satisfied with their delivery experience will tell family and friends1

The delivery options a shop offers and the quality of the delivery services it provides influence whether a customer will make a first purchase, and whether they’ll become a repeat customer. Your customers' delivery experience can have a significant impact on your business’s profitability.

Avoid customer delivery complaints and deliver a better experience by meeting and exceeding your customers’ expectations

Meeting customers’ expectations in today’s marketplace requires more than delivering the goods they’ve ordered. An increase in online purchasing choices and consumers’ familiarity with their options, plus Amazon’s drive to speed up consumer delivery cycles has altered the last-mile delivery landscape. Affordable or free shipping is a baseline requirement, but it is not enough to impress customers. Providing minimal delivery services don’t surprise or delight. To retain existing customers and win new business, your delivery service has to offer more.

What can you do to meet these rising customer expectations?

Whether you offer independent last-mile delivery services or are a merchant that offers delivery as a purchase incentive, your customers expect convenience and reliability. They want transparency and flexibility. Customers are willing to pay more for their purchases and shop more often with businesses that meet or exceed their delivery expectations at the expense of those businesses that don’t.

Now, here’s a look at what customers don’t like about last-mile delivery.

What troubles customers about last-mile delivery

  • Uncertain delivery times -- Consumers don’t want to have to wait around all day for a delivery or worry that their items will arrive on a day when they aren’t available to receive it. Asked to choose their top three last-mile delivery desires, 48% of consumers said they wanted a choice of delivery slots--making this feature the number one survey pick.2

  • Long waits for goods to arrive -- Once a customer has made a purchase, they don’t want to wait too long to receive their item. A survey of U.S. consumers revealed that 40% expect local stores to offer same-day delivery for household goods.3 In a separate survey, 55% of consumers said they would switch to a competing business if it offered faster delivery options.4

  • Inaccurate delivery information -- Very few people like uncertainty, especially when it involves the status of something they’ve already paid for. Did the order go through correctly? Is the package lost? How much longer do I have to wait for it to arrive? When a delivery driver is running late or a problem arises with their shipment, they want to know what is happening, how and how soon the problem will be solved. Unanswered questions add unwanted stress to your customer’s experience.

  • Missing or stolen packages -- Deliveries to the wrong address. Lost packages. Porch pirate thievery. These situations don’t make delivery customers happy. Delivery customers are keenly aware of and worried about package theft and want to know what you’ll do to prevent it. According to a 2019 report on package theft, 36% of U.S. shoppers have lost at least one package to theft, and 56% knew someone who had experienced porch piracy. Half of the shoppers surveyed said they address the risk of theft by staying home when they are expecting a delivery.5

When your delivery service addresses the issues that your customers care about the most both you and the customer win.

Route management technology helps you avoid problems and deliver customer satisfaction

Our list of top consumer delivery complaints reveals your path to minimizing problems and exceeding your customers’ expectations, and the right technology can help you do it.

Consumers want to have more control over when their deliveries arrive and more transparency throughout the process. They want flexibility and transparency. You can give them what they want with the help of route management technology.

So how can you use a route management application to deliver a superior delivery experience?

1. 🚚 Offer your customers a greater choice of delivery times with a route management tool that can accommodate different delivery windows for different customers.

Trying to adjust for different delivery times manually takes up too much time, and the results are often less than satisfactory for you or the customer.

With the help of a route management tool, instead of telling your customers that their package will arrive sometime on Friday or sometime next week, you can delight your customers by allowing them to schedule their delivery for a specific time block on the day of their choice.

2. 🚚 Use route optimization technology to meet your customers’ need for speed.

Traditional methods of route planning don’t always deliver the fastest, most cost-effect results. Inefficient routes cost you time and labor and reduce the number of same-day deliveries you can offer your customers.

By planning your routes to maximize the capacity and reach of each vehicle in your fleet, you also maximize the number of customers you can serve while keeping delivery costs low. That’s a win for you and your delivery customers.

3. 🚚 Calculating the effects of an extra package pickup or drop off, traffic delays or other factors can be difficult if not impossible when you are relying on traditional map and spreadsheet route planning methods.

A single disruption in a driver’s route can mean packages are delivered outside their scheduled times and customers are left wondering what happened. Remember how delivery customers dislike uncertainty?

A route management tool that allows you to identify traffic delays and other problems and make adjustments in real-time helps you minimize the impact that delivery disruptions have on your customers.

4. 🚚 Minimizing disruptions isn’t enough to keep today’s consumers completely satisfied with their delivery experience.

You also need to communicate with your customers when there is news about their package and its delivery time. Provide your customers with self-service options such as a dedicated status page for tracking their packages’ progress. Then, keep them updated with email or SMS alerts if there’s a change of plans for their delivery.

Delivery customers expect to be kept in the know

  • 66.5% of consumers say merchants should provide a delivery tracking page for an optimal customer experience

  • 98.8% of shoppers prefer to receive a notification if there is a problem with their delivery6

5. 🚚 Leverage route management solutions to help solve the problem of missing or stolen packages as well.

Consumers don’t want to spend their day at home waiting for their package to arrive. The less time your customers have to spend waiting and watching, the better their delivery experience will be. Providing a choice of delivery windows, real-time package tracking, and delivery notifications gives your customers the tools they need to prevent thefts.

6. 🚚 Theft by porch pirates isn’t the only reason a package might go missing.

What about deliveries to the wrong address? A route optimization application that integrates with accurate maps and allows your drivers to check-in as they make their deliveries can help you eliminate mis-deliveries and track down missing packages if something does go wrong.

7. 🚚 What about those situations where your driver isn’t the one responsible for a missing package?

Use a route management tool that gives you the option to allow your drivers to collect signatures and even add photos along with timestamps and coordinates as proof of delivery.

A comprehensive route management solution enables you to provide your customers with more choices and better communication. Plus, it gives you the data and tools you need to improve your services and operate at maximum efficiency.

Deliver a customer experience that sets you apart from the competition with a comprehensive route management solution

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