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Creating Loyalty in Last-Mile Delivery

Traditional methods of building customer loyalty were designed with a brick-and-mortar physical store in mind. For this reason, online retailers and companies providing Last-Mile Delivery (LMD) have had to rewrite the rules, and utilize new ways to increase customer satisfaction and build loyalty. There is no single right way to create customer loyalty, and the methods you choose will vary based on what is applicable to your company. However, there are some common things to consider when creating a plan to build loyalty among your customers, and ignoring these factors can cause a lack of customer satisfaction and a loss of repeat business.

1) Customer Service Makes Loyal Customers

Customers will spend their money with companies that make them happy, and reduce (as much as possible) the frustrations of shopping. How you provide this customer service will depend on what product or service you are offering, and what your customers expect of you. Fast delivery, or delivery which can be accurately tracked, are common preferences of many customers in today's market and many retailers are beginning to offer better shipping and delivery to provide customers with a better experience than their competitors. Some retailers include coupons or samples within their online orders to offer a bonus to customers. Improving customer service is essential to creating customer loyalty, and increasing customer spending. According to a 2017 report by Capgemini's Digital Transformation Institute, 81% of customers indicated a willingness to spend more with a company with better customer service.

2) Put a Face to a Name

Brick-and-mortar retailers have a physical retail location which can be carefully controlled and is often filled with people who act as a face for the company. Online retailers and LMD companies lack this face-time with customers and must work hard to create a brand image with the limited time they do receive. Delivery vehicles are often branded for this reason, but many companies fail to have branding worn by the drivers or delivery personnel. This additional branding helps to ensure customers feel a real connection to your company, instead of dealing with a faceless organization. Another important consideration is training drivers or delivery personnel in customer service (as one would train employees within a physical store) as they provide most of the daily interaction with customers. This can help to improve customer satisfaction with each interaction and increase customer loyalty.

3) Customers are Talking, You Should be Listening

A common complaint in today's market is that companies claim to be customer-centric but are ignoring valid complaints and criticisms from customers, leaving their customers feeling frustrated and invalidated in their concerns. Now more than ever, the business which listens to its customers has the greatest advantage in building customer loyalty. How companies choose to listen to their customers varies by company and by organization type. Some companies find surveys, feedback forms, or order reviews to be helpful in understanding customer concerns. Other organizations utilize social media to understand and address customer concerns, and provide customers with a personalized response when the opportunity arises. However you choose to meet your customers, it is essential that you take their concerns into consideration when establishing and building their loyalty. Customers who feel heard and supported are much more likely to return and to recommend your business to their friends.

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