For many businesses, the contact a courier has with its customers may be the main human interaction a company has with its clients. For an online business it can often be the only human contact. There are lots of courier companies to choose from. Kate Lester CEO of Diamond Logistics, discusses what you should consider when choosing the right courier company for your business.
Will my package be delivered immediately?
“Same day” is the equivalent of chauffeuring your Very Important Parcels (VIPs) – like court documents, passports or even medical equipment – because they need to get to their destination quickly. One courier might quote you £50 and another £25. So you go for the cheaper one, however that courier can only afford to charge 50% of the price because he takes two consignments. So he picks up your VIP, then goes to another company to pick up somebody else’s VIP, then delivers the other person’s VIP and only then will he deliver yours. So you’re basically getting a consolidated courier which, when it’s really urgent, isn’t what you are paying for or wanting. Make sure your same day courier is going to chauffeur your Very Import Parcels (VIPs) directly.
Does tracking make a courier better?
Frankly if you have the time to track a courier from Guildford to London (i.e. 60 -90 minutes) you need to manage your time better! Ask instead for email notification on delivery so you can rest assured it’s delivered without having to monitor your courier. You should be able to book and then not worry about your delivery – trusting your reliable courier to deliver on time every time. Make sure your courier is so reliable you don’t have to check up on them
Is big best?
Not necessarily. Even if you spend £50,000 a year, will one of the major carriers who turnover in excess of £500 million a year properly value your account? The sales person will care briefly about the commission, but after that you risk being a faceless number in a corporate machine. Make sure your courier is big enough to cope and small enough to care. Locally owner managed depots are smaller companies that are more likely to care.
Will my courier find me the best price option?
Did your insurance company offer you the best price option at renewal? Well neither will some courier companies on services, other than your core requirement. Every different carrier has a different speciality subject and needs to be played to its advantage both in its service provision and its pricing. Some aren’t good at fragile stuff and some will volume out, meaning unexpected additional charges, sooner rather than later. Some are poor at same day and others don’t do 24 hour. So choose with care. Choose a courier who offers a multi carrier solution to adapt to your needs.
Does it matter who delivers or collects my goods?
Hello?? A courier is the lifeline of your business and will fundamentally make or break your client relations. You want an ambassador for your company, a high quality service provider and a great problem solver. Because if your goods don’t get where they need to be, think of the client implications of that. Choose a courier who gets this and provides you a guaranteed service standard – or your money back.
Is it all about price?
No. It’s all about COST not PRICE. Anyone can compare an overnight delivery pound for pound. But what is their guarantee and what is their customer services policy when things go wrong? This is the true cost of logistics. Efficient logistics saves you time and money in more ways than a pre-booking charge. It streamlines operations, relives admin and simplifies booking. So beware of low cost so called solutions providers – they make their money somewhere and that will be by cutting corners somewhere. Choose a courier who prices with enough margin to provide you with quality.
Are there differentiators between couriers other than cost
Hmm. Other than insurance, reputation, customer care, awards, trading records, staff turnover, courier relations, vehicles, appearance and general helpfulness, then we guess not! All couriers are not the same.
Is a courier just a cost to my business?
A courier can be just that, a drain on your bottom line. Just another figure in your ever escalating profit and loss. Or they can be your greatest ally, a friendly professional face to your customers and a solution provider to make your logistics nil cost and in some instances help you turn a profit on logistics. It just depends what kind of courier you choose!