Businesses should be working hard to improve customer experience by exploring new products and services that utilise the latest technology.
Businesses all over the UK, whatever their size, should be working hard to improve the customer experience by exploring exciting new products and services that utilise the latest technology.
I recently read with interest a report published by Cornell University, the World Intellectual Property Organization and INSEAD that ranked Switzerland as the most innovative country in the world for the fourth year in a row. It was fantastic to see that the UK was ranked number two, sitting proudly above our Scandinavian cousins, Sweden and Finland. The Netherlands completed the top five, with the US dropping down a place to sixth.
From George Stephenson’s railways to Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone, the UK has always been at the forefront of innovation. Therefore, it comes as no surprise to see that we continue to be ranked so highly against our international counterparts. It is of course the Brit, Tim Berners-Lee, who we have to thank for the birth of the internet, and therefore changing the face of retail forever.
The retail sector is one of the most innovative in the world, fully embracing the digital revolution as it seeks to enhance the overall online shopping experience. As parcel delivery is an extension of the customer journey, carriers are also required to think outside of the box to satisfy the tech-savvy consumer.
Across the parcel delivery industry, a wide range of innovative solutions and services have come to market over recent years. Customers can choose from a variety of delivery options, from click-and-collect to parcel lockers to parcel shops, which have been supplemented by a host of web-based applications that put the customer in control.
Therefore, it was surprising to read a recent IMRG report that said almost one in ten home deliveries failed in June, compared to just 4.39% in May. Commenting on the results, Angela O’Connell, strategy and marketing director at MetaPack, claimed: “the increase in carded deliveries could be an indication that retailers need to provide more convenient delivery options to their customers.”.She added that “with the start of the summer holiday season and with people spending more time outdoors, delivery services need to be flexible enough to fit around the busy schedules of online shoppers”.
At Hermes, we have been working hard to create customer-focused products that place emphasis on visibility and convenience. In 2015, we will be launching a parcel diversion service, which will allow users to divert their parcels to a different address, including to one of our 4,000 myHermes ParcelShops, when it is already in transit. By giving our customers complete control over the final destination of their parcels, even on the day of delivery, the service will satisfy the needs of people who are constantly on the move.
The parcel diversion feature will be integrated with our Parcel Manager service, which already enables retailers to automatically send emails to customers at defined trigger points as a parcel is scanned throughout its journey. We have created Parcel Manager to help retailers improve the customer experience, whilst reducing the number of delivery queries and failed deliveries.
It is clear to see that investment in innovation is becoming more important than ever. Businesses all over the UK, whatever their size, should be working hard to improve the customer experience by exploring exciting new products and services that utilise the latest technology. So let’s get to work, and you never know, we may well knock Switzerland off the top spot in 2015.
- Carole Woodhead is chief executive of Hermes