Changing Customer Expectations

Changing Customer Expectations

As everyone knows, a lot of things changed during the pandemic and are likely to keep changing in the future. Customer expectations were one of them and indications are that some of that may not change much in the new normal.

One of the areas that experienced big increases in volume during the pandemic was deliveries. One of the reasons many consumers said they will continue to rely on deliveries is because of the contactless benefit it offers. However, as Forbes recently pointed out, one of the downsides of contactless has been what they referred to as “friendly fraud.” This was defined as consumers who in fact received what they ordered but filed claims that they never got it.

The magazine expects the issue to still be a major challenge looking into the future since there’s no proof of delivery without a signed receipt. Forbes’ research during the pandemic revealed that “friendly fraud,” along with phishing with stolen credit cards, accounted for 60 to 80 percent of company chargebacks.

The issue is further complicated because after the pandemic was declared, UPS and FedEx eliminated the requirement of delivery confirmation and observers believe they will continue to do the same in the future. However, according to a recent survey by OCR data solution firm, Anyline, 75% of respondents believe that identification should be required at least for high-value packages like medication and perishables.

One way for brands to deal with the “friendly fraud” situation is to insist that distribution staff and drivers for companies that deliver their brand are equipped with apps that have OCR and barcode scanning capability. Having apps with these abilities will not only ensure tracking of goods but also identify damaged ones. It will allow drivers to scan and verify recipients’ signatures on drivers’ licenses and IDS safely and quickly. 70% of consumers polled agreed.

Here’s where contactless delivery becomes even more important for brands. More than 75% of those polled by Anyline said that an unacceptable delivery experience would affect their future decisions in conducting business with the brand they just purchased or the firm making the delivery. And without identifying their favorite companies,

Another 45% said they had a distinct preference for delivery companies with 70% saying the delivery company a brand selects to deliver their purchase is also important to them. Brands that can offer customers different ways to receive their purchases and the final decision over who delivers it will gain more favor and loyalty.

For now, it appears that high package delivery volumes will be around for a while. This means that brands should make every effort to maintain confidence in contactless delivery and workflows. This also means assessing where OCR and barcode functionality will have the most effect on both customer and worker experience. And leveraging these barcodes on packages being shipped enables brands to more easily optimize worker and customer workflows.

Brands hard hit by bad delivery experiences, “friendly fraud,” and other ID issues should be open with their customers. Many may also have been victims of scams during the pandemic and will empathize with this. Most importantly, it matters that brands reassure customers that they’re doing everything possible to ensure the safes and timely delivery of their products by disclosing the challenges they’ve been faced with while ensuring the well-being of their customers.