Most people have lots of questions when it comes to choosing a courier; are they competitively priced, do they collect from the door, and can you really trust them to deliver? The courier industry is highly competitive and it seems that all couriers claim to be the best in the business, so how do you actually know what’s important to look out for, and what’s irrelevant to your needs?
Here we look at the no-nonsense approach to getting the best from a courier service and highlight the areas that matter most, as well as give you some inside tips on getting that extra special customer care at no extra cost.
Whilst you can compare prices quite easily online to find the cheapest price, this is not really the only thing you should be comparing. After all, what’s the point in saving a couple of pounds on the courier service, if your parcel never makes it to its destination or if you can’t get any assistance if your parcel is stuck in customs.
Whilst costs are a huge influence in your choice of courier, reliability and customer care should be just as big an influence.
Naturally, all couriers aim to provide a great service, however some may be better priced than others and come with no or little customer care and support once you buy your service. This can lead to frustration down the line if you need assistance or if you have never used a courier before.
If you want the very best service, then this should be your order of priority for choosing a courier:
Reliability; can you really trust them to deliver?
Low costs; can you afford them? Are their prices within your budget?
Customer care; do they make it easy for you to get in contact, or do they not offer contact telephone numbers (always a bad sign).
When selecting a courier, it’s worth calling them before you book to see how friendly/helpful they are. If they don’t have a telephone number then perhaps there is a reason they omit this, perhaps their customer services is based abroad and only communicate via email, or perhaps the courier is just not looking to have a dialog with its customers…either way, you can expect a far inferior customer care service from such couriers.
Another thing to be aware of is that most couriers will not offer a proactive tracking service, even if you call them and ask them to keep an extra eye on the parcel for you, and this ‘no’ policy can be a good indication of the level of customer care they are willing to offer you. There should be no reason why a courier shouldn’t be able to monitor a parcel for you at your request and even let you know if there are any issues along the way, but just like many things in life – if you don’t ask you won’t get.
It is also important that you can get help with important things like customs invoices and how best to avoid delays with customs clearance, and that the booking process is easy and quick to use. The best couriers will have an automated system that helps you generate the customs invoice when you book your parcel online, providing you with step-by-step instructions and guidance, as well as a friendly customer service team you can call for help if you need it.
Last but not least look out for companies that provide you with automatic email notifications about your delivery, as this will help keep you informed about your delivery without having to pick up the phone or track your parcel online. Steer clear of couriers that charge extra for this service, as this should be a complimentary service.
Finally, you should also look at the types of rewards the courier offers to its customers – does it have a loyalty scheme or membership scheme where you can earn points or discounts for future shipments? Some couriers will give you a one off voucher to try and lure you in, but if you are looking to send parcels regularly then you should be on the look out for couriers that offer free memberships and ongoing reward schemes. Some couriers will offer a referral scheme where you can earn discounts by referring other people, and the more people you refer the more points and discounts you can earn in the long run.
Couriers will also use Twitter and Facebook to offer special discounts and promotions, and it’s often well worth becoming a fan of your courier company on Facebook or following them on Twitter for the latest offers and rewards.