With expectations so high and pressure to consistently delight a daily reality, shipping and delivery is a huge component of the overall customer experience. If the order doesn’t show up as promised and when expected – usually within a couple of days – not much else matters. At that point customers complain and let others know, often in social media forums, and they can be lost for good.
For the 2016 Excellence in Customer Experience Awards, presented at the Operations Summit in Cincinnati in conjunction with Radial and its SmartHub data unit, finalists were determined by evaluating both shipping fees and actual delivery experiences tracked in the SmartHub system. Besides tracking how quickly orders arrived, merchants were evaluated on the appropriateness of the package and dunnage and the condition of the package on arrival.
The finalists in the category were Apple, Fossil, Sunglass Hut and Walgreens. And the winner is … Apple.
WHY APPLE WON: Apple does not charge for shipping, which is a big plus for customers. The test orders placed were all shipped the same day as the order — another plus. Apple also has its packaging down to a science. With expensive electronics, it is imperative that the product arrive undamaged. A plain brown box — an excellent choice to reduce theft — conceals the signature white Apple packaging. Within the outer box, the products ordered are shrink-wrapped together to reduce movement and breakage.
IDEA TO STEAL: Make your packaging functional, beautiful and consistent with your retail packaging. What customers see in the retail environment can be exactly what they receive when ordering, with the extra protection needed to reduce breakage.