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Last-Mile Customer Service Can Make or Break a Customer’s Experience

last-mile customer service

Think about your last e-commerce purchase experience. What’s one of the first things you think of? If you said the delivery of the product, you’re not alone.

Regardless of the experience of the actual purchase, the perception of the business — rightly, or wrongly — is often shaped by the circumstances surrounding the delivery.

Enhanced expectations

It’s safe to say that consumers’ expectations for a purchase delivery have drastically changed over the past decade. Unfortunately, along with these great expectations has come a decrease in tolerance for anything less than fast and, oftentimes, free shipping.

The ubiquitous player in this game is, of course, Amazon. A main contributing factor in Amazon’s ability to deliver products so quickly and cheaply is its distribution center network. Amazon has distribution centers across the United States from which they are able to ship products from geographically close centers to their final destination. Of course, this isn’t always possible for smaller e-retailers. The problem is that customers usually don’t discern that other companies just don’t have the resources to do what Amazon can.

First impressions matter

A recent survey found that 40 percent of an e-commerce company’s feedback stemmed from the circumstances surrounding the product delivery. This underlines the fact that e-commerce sellers need to get the delivery right, especially the first time a customer orders. If the customer’s first order is flubbed by delivery, you can expect that person will switch to a competitor the next time they go to place a similar order.

A typical consumer complaint in regards to shipping is that the package was delivered late — or sometimes not at all. Many times rogue packages are, in fact, delivered, but the customer falls victim to porch piracy. Even though it is not the e-retailer’s fault that the package was stolen, the customer often blames the company or, at least, retains a negative association.


So how can you appease consumers by finding solutions to the last-mile problem? For starters, it can be something as simple as communication. By remaining in contact with the consumer and notifying them as each step in the fulfillment and delivery process is completed, you can take away the worry that goes along with the unknown.

Another potential solution to the last-mile issue is managed local customer pick-up centers. These sales centers can fulfill several needs for consumers. They can act as a safe drop-off space for packages, eliminating the potential for theft.

Additionally, they can allow customers to skip the shipping process all together by utilizing the click-and-collect method. Many times this allows for same-day pick-up.

And finally, a pick-up center allows the e-commerce business to add a final touch point in the consumer’s purchase process. Through friendly and helpful in-person service, this can help cement the businesses’ relationship with their customer.

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 solving last-mile delivery problems


Topics: customer service last-mile delivery solutions customer demands e-commerce shopping secure delivery customer pick-up center distribution strategy