Your courier service is the front line between your products and your customers. Uncovering some of the practices a number of courier companies use can make a world of difference in finding an unfailing courier; one which will provide a positive extension of your company, making the right impression that will help you to grow your business.
You’re on your way to the Edmonton Oiler’s hockey playoff game, and your cell phone rings. It’s your most valuable customer; they’re working on a construction project on a major bridge spanning the North Saskatchewan River in Alberta, and there’s been a gas leak. They need one of your specialized drill bits, and they need it STAT! They can’t come to pick it up as they’re frantically dealing with their emergency on hand.
What should you do? You’ve spent over $200 for your hockey tickets which are nearly impossible to get, and it’s the playoffs! On the other hand, you certainly can’t let down your major customer! You call your courier service expecting that they’ll handle your emergency, but it’s now 7 p.m. You place the call, there is no answer, and panic begins to set in.
You need to find a courier company that works after hours, and you need to find one fast. You pull over to a phone booth and fumble through the directory in a frenzy for a courier available at this late hour, but you don’t have an account with them. Moreover, how do you know that you’re going to even find someone who is reliable? You place call after call before you finally make contact with a knowledgeable human being on the other end, not a person that’s simply taking messages for the company after hours. After this day’s worth of unpleasant experiences, you swear to yourself that your first mission tomorrow is to find yourself a new courier company who is available to handle emergency situations.
How are you going to find a new courier service? The majority of local courier companies don’t have as much as a published website, so you need to let your fingers do the walking in the big Yellow Book or you can try your Yellow Pages directory online for local courier express, where you will find a company that cares enough about their business that they’ve made an investment in a quality website. You can learn plenty about a company through the efforts they put into presenting factual content on their website.
To Begin with, look for a courier service that advertises that they provide 24/7 courier service, 365 days a year. Try calling them after hours while you’re at it, to see what kind of actual live response you’ll get in your search. They may only have an answering service for after hours, and you’ll be wasting precious time waiting for their response. If the courier services seem unable or unwilling to assist you, then you would be better off looking elsewhere for a company who can meet your needs.
These types of scenarios happen all too frequently, so don’t be caught unawares. Come up with a contingency plan for the worst case situations.
Some courier companies practice a an unacceptable policy of leaving the deliveries on board with a driver who has gotten called for a hot shot or point to point delivery. Businesses are already waiting for these deliveries, so if the courier held back on regular delivery to get a full load, they’re now even further behind.
Some courier express companies will holdback on regular delivery even though they aren’t busy. They’ll park roadside and let time pass until they come for pickup or they will pick up your order quickly and then holdback on delivery. This is a less than desirable practice meant to force your hand to call in for a freight rush service!
A reputable courier service will never follow unacceptable industry practices. A company aspiring to provide an optimum level of service will capture and deliver your shipment as soon as they’re able to do so, even if it isn’t a freight rush service. Unfortunately, many couriers do not follow the industry’s best practices when it comes to delivering your goods.
As a note of reference, it is important to understand that you should not take advantage of the courier express company that operates in this manner by not calling for a freight rush service when you honestly need it. One reason why a courier company practices holdbacks on regular delivery is to force you to upgrade to rush courier service when it is a rush. You never know, the one time that you actually needed your delivery on a rush will be the time that your courier was too busy to deliver as quickly as you had expected. Now you’re in trouble with your customer!
Understanding some of the fundamentals in making decisions for which courier company you use will be one of the most important things your company needs to be aware of. Your best arsenal to prevent a poor company image with delivery of your products is to be informed of many of the less than desirable practices for courier service which some companies perpetuate and stay away from those who do not uphold the industry’s best practices.
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