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Savvy, demanding and incredibly forgetful - why your customers miss deliveries
by Tom Jenkins

Your customers’ lives are unpredictable. You would think that once a person has purchased your products or services the rest of the transaction would be easy, but getting into their home can prove the most challenging part of the sale.

Thirty-five per cent of people in the UK admitted that in the past 12 months they have had to reschedule a delivery because they missed the first one. It’s easily done. You might wake up that morning with the best of intentions, but life gets in the way and before you know it you’re on the phone to a call centre agent negotiating a redelivery time.

Customers miss deliveries for all sorts of reasons. The most common ones are forgetfulness, not knowing about the appointment, not hearing the doorbell, and work commitments. Becoming aware of these reasons will help you begin to cater for your shoppers’ hectic lives, but these are only the tip of the iceberg.

In which age group would you guess that “being asleep” ranked as the third most popular reason? Eighteen to 24 year olds are twice as likely to miss a parcel due to being asleep as they are due to being at work. And this reason didn’t even rank among the 65+ group.

Unpredictability comes in many forms. We found that one in 10 shoppers have missed deliveries because they were on the toilet. Perhaps with a little more notification, the costs incurred by bad timing could be eradicated.

Unspecific delivery time frames are another common complaint. Unsurprisingly, people are unable or unwilling to devote the best part of a day to a delivery or installation, especially when there are so many errands to run or things to do out of the house.

The list of reasons blamed in our research goes on; family emergencies, traffic, school runs, poor communication from companies and doctors appointments are all featured. People even miss deliveries because they were busy dealing with other deliveries. How can anyone plan for all that unpredictability?

Using a customer experience platform that can reach shoppers at work, in bed, or even while they’re in the bathroom, can help you reduce the amount of redeliveries and incoming complaints to your call centre.

You can’t control your customers, but by understanding their priorities and needs you can tailor your service to meet the demands of their different lifestyles. Unpredictability is a fact of life, but there are ways that you can use it to stay ahead of the competition.

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