Digital communications for the logistics industry: Yodel’s plan for Christmas deliveries
Ecommerce is booming, and with record online shopping sales last December, many retailers are hoping for similar busy sales period this Christmas. While the high street still enjoys high footfall over the festive period, the ease of online shopping is a far greater pull for those who want convenience and bargains. Shoppers don’t often consider the logistics industry that supports the Christmas shopping period. But logistics companies work hard to develop online and digital services all year round to ensure that precious gifts for loved ones are delivered in perfect condition in a timely manner.
Logistics companies come into the media spotlight this time of year more than any other. And in this time of immediate social media response, it’s important for retail companies to choose their delivery partners well. If the feedback isn’t right on Twitter, Facebook or online forums, then companies could expect a lull in sales until the problems are fixed.
The good news is that companies plan for this all year round. Did you know that expectations are set based on the type of products you buy? If a technology company is selling high spec tablets or laptops then consumers expect the processing and delivery to be as high quality as their product, while many who buy from eBay will happily wait for a week before receiving their goods!
I’m shining a spotlight on Yodel this year to highlight what good logistics planning can do to reassure clients, customers and ensure delivery times are adhered to. You may remember the bad press they caught back in 2011 when many of their Christmas deliveries failed to get to their client’s shoppers on time. Yodel announced their plans last month to ensure this year is a huge success.
Online Reputation Management (ORM)
Reputation management for logistics companies is extremely important in this age of instant communication, and Yodel look like they’ve taken this on board. By releasing their plans on their blog well in advance of the Christmas rush, they’ve been brave enough to show the world their deck of cards. It’s risky business: on the one hand if this year goes without a hitch they’ll be gaining good press and reputation, but if they fail with their projected targets and plans, they could end up living to regret it.
It does show that the company have a huge amount of confidence in their plans, and the foresight to release this blog is a powerful marketing tool. It not only tells their clients they’re well prepared, it spreads the word to shoppers too.
Yodel have increased their live web chat services and will be available for use by Shoppers 24 hours a day and seven days a week, showing that they know the importance of human interaction with shoppers – this is key to successful digital communications. They have increased the hours of time allocated by their customer services on social media, telephone and email. It is important that those two little words “social media” are included in their plans. Online reputation management isn’t just about what Yodel are saying about themselves it’s the feedback that they’re getting over sites like Facebook and Twitter and how swiftly problems are dealt with through these platforms.
Digital communications with shoppers
Yodel already has excellent communication with shoppers (confirmation emails etc). But this year they have made a few additions to ensure the smooth delivery of products. Their easy-to-use and navigate My Yodel website will be running as usual, and available from shoppers’ PCs, laptops, tablets or smartphones for instant access to follow the progress of their orders. In addition, Yodel will be sending pre-delivery alerts by SMS/email, and they will be updated in the same manner if delays are likely due to weather concerns. Yodel are also providing their retail clients with daily performance updates and three-day weather forecasts to enable them to make shoppers aware of expected delivery dates at point of order.
What do you think of Yodel’s winter plans? Have they done enough to put right the bad reputations they gained back in Christmas 2011 to rest?