Several important relationships are the key to successful business outcomes. Healthy employer-employee, cross-departmental, community, stakeholder, and vendor relationships keep company morale and ROI high. Customer service, a.k.a building quality relationships with customers, is an important market differentiator—spurring high satisfaction and retention rates.
When people think of final mile, they rightly focus on the obvious: national coverage areas, number of drivers available, deliver times and windows, rates, etc. But impactful final mile service is based on human interaction—and that’s where key relationships come in. These relationships can often make or break customer delivery experiences.
Here are the three key relationships in final mile logistics and how to keep each one strong:
The Final Mile Provider-Brand Relationship
When choosing a final mile logistics provider, consider factors beyond rate. Pick a provider who wants to form a partnership built on trusted guidance—a provider who has your back in every sense. An advisor.
A final mile partner is more than just an on-demand delivery service. A quality partner provides account managers and sales executives who are committed to being reliable logistics advisors, learning the ins and outs of your business and helping you strategize the most cost-effective ways to deliver your products. Look for a partner who employs strategy experts, leverages data to optimize routes, and uses cutting-edge technology to increase efficiency. This type of partner will take an active role in your business and tackle challenges alongside you.
A strong logistics partner also comes armed with expertise in your industry and applies that deep-seated knowledge to your company’s specific needs. For instance, in the tightly-regulated pharmaceutical industry, a late delivery could have devastating legal and financial consequences, not to mention the damage it can do to patient relationships. With such a small margin for error, a high level of understanding and trust is essential in the final mile provider-partner relationship.
At USPack, client relationships start with in-person meetings to learn your challenges and delivery needs, strategize schedules and routes, and get all logistics right from the start. We then remain onsite for two weeks to ensure implementation goes smoothly, making adjustments as needed.
After this initial period, we remain in close contact through consistent communication via human outreach and tech-based platforms. Partners can log in USPack’s Adaptive Delivery Driven Intelligence (ADDI) platform from anywhere to view key metrics, track deliveries in real-time, and easily input new orders.
The Final Mile Provider-End Customer Relationship
As a brand, you’re looking for a final mile partner who can essentially step into a customer service role—a partner who can guarantee the same high-quality service you’d expect from your in-house team. That’s why it’s important that your final mile provider is not just dedicated to forming a positive relationship with you—they want to form one with your end customer as well.
Here trust comes from consistent reliability. Your end customer may be waiting on time-sensitive medications, prescriptions, or other essentials. If your final mile partner does not follow through on the agreed-upon and communicated delivery timeline, the impact on your end customer can range from extreme annoyance to potential medical emergency.
Professionalism is another must. Services like white-glove or brown-box delivery require drivers to enter a customer’s home or garage. In these scenarios, drivers must be friendly and knowledgeable during interactions and respect the customer’s space and belongings. Final mile providers who care about building strong relationships with your end customers understand this and source reliable drivers who will represent your brand with integrity.
A strong final mile provider and end-customer relationship can help you cut costs and save time. Excellent end customer service means your customer service reps spend less time on the phone with dissatisfied customers. Clear and timely communication from your final mile provider to your customers takes administrative burden off of your team. An end-customer-centric provider will offer your customers full visibility into their deliveries, with real-time updates and driver tracking—a key feature of USPack’s ADDI portal.
The Brand-Customer Relationship
That brings us to our final relationship: the one between a brand and its customers. Ultimately, the first two relationships define this third one. It is the behind-the-scenes, underlying presence in every step of final mile delivery. Essentially, a strong relationship between: 1) a final mile provider and the brand, plus 2) a strong relationship between the final mile provider and the brand’s end customers, equals 3) a strong relationship between a brand and its customers.
You’ve likely heard the old saying, “You are the company you keep.” This is especially true in choosing your final mile partner. While a late or incorrect delivery may be the fault of a poor final mile partner, a customer will likely blame your brand. In other words, your final mile partner’s actions directly affect your relationship with your customer.
Delivery experience is a critical factor in customer retention. According to a PWC report, 32% of customers would stop doing business with a brand they love after just one bad experience with the company. Even just one delivery mishap could damage a long-term customer relationship. On the other hand, consistently on-time, intact deliveries can keep customers coming back for more. A strong final mile logistics partner can help you retain customers, and an unreliable one can cost you.
USPack solidifies relationships at every step
At USPack, we understand that our final mile delivery services directly impact your relationship with your customers. We work hard to cultivate strong relationships with both brands and their customers so that relationships and ROI can thrive. With data-driven insights and state-of-the-art technology, a national delivery network, and experts who truly care, we help our partners ensure that every relationship counts. Contact us to learn more.