What Customers Expect from a Farm to Door Delivery Service

Groceries delivered at customer's door by the farm to door delivery service providers
Featured image credit: OKrasyuk/iStockphoto.com

Farm to door delivery has become more important than ever. The low touch factor is especially a big draw at a time when a trip to the supermarket would involve substantial health risks and anxiety. People are also looking for the convenience of having fruits and vegetables delivered to their doorsteps.

By meeting the dynamic consumer demands and making timely deliveries right at your customers’ doorstep in this tough time, your farm could prove itself to be loyal and trustworthy. This will give you the competitive edge you might have been striving to keep your customers coming back for years to come. Yet, even though it’s the greatest opportunity ever, the job is not easy for the farms, considering the turmoil we’re dealing with.

How can you ensure frictionless door to door organic food deliveries? What do the customers expect from farm to door delivery services? Below are some tips to help you find the answers.

Ability to Order Online

Online grocery shopping is the new normal. According to a report done before the Coronavirus hit, 70% of US shoppers were set to buy groceries online by 2022. Also, digital grocery sales in the US were estimated to reach $59.5 billion by 2023. Last year, Walmart even invested a whopping $20 billion to compete in online grocery shopping. The market could grow even more now because the deadly Corona pandemic transformed consumers’ needs and behaviors. So, don’t get left behind and start allowing your consumers to order online.

A simple website or social presence, with a phone number and email address, is not enough. Your site should have pictures of fresh fruits and veggies and enable customers to choose the size and type of the produce box. They should also be able to add other farm products, such as handcrafted jams, dairy, olive oil, small-batch honey, and other produce items.

Ultimately, the customers should feel as though they have a farmer as their personal produce shopper with a final say in what goes into each delivery. Your online farm store must furthermore be accessible via the web, mobiles, social networks, email and newsletters and provide the option of shopping as a guest or creating an account to buy.

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On-Time Deliveries

Your customers wouldn’t want to be kept waiting. Even a couple of minutes’ delay would damage the reputation that you’ve built up over the years. Reports say, almost 52% of customers expect a refund or discount when a shipment is delayed. Add to this that fruits and vegetables are perishable and a delay in delivery could be one way to kill your farm business instantly as you might just deliver rotten organic produce, especially if you take two to three days to deliver. Clearly, you need to make the farm to table box deliveries on time.

The rule of thumb to ensure timely delivery is planning accurate routes. But, route planning and scheduling are complicated because you need to factor in constraints like traffic, weather, and one-ways. In fact, manually planning such a route (with pen and paper) can be messy and time-consuming, especially if you have multiple vehicles and drivers and have many stops to make. Also, free mapping software can’t help you with multi-stop routing.

So, you must use an advanced technology solution like a produce delivery software to automate the route planning process. A farm delivery app can help you find the best directions, with multiple stops, which are cost-efficient and time-saving while factoring in all the critical constraints that can affect your routes. It even does all this in just 30 seconds. Imagine how much time and money you’ll save.

The best route planners also offer a GPS tracking feature to help you monitor your drivers and vehicles in real-time. This will ensure that your drivers follow the routes as instructed and do not make personal stops or idle the vehicles for long. Also, the GPS tracker helps you ensure driver safety. For example, it can notify you if a driver is driving aggressively and, if a driver has a road mishap, you’ll know about it as soon as it happens and can send assistance quickly.

Long story short, a produce delivery software improves dispatch efficiency and helps your drivers make farm to table vegetable deliveries on time, no matter how hard the situation is.

Being Up-to-Date about the Delivery Status

Consumers love transparency which means that they would appreciate being updated about their delivery statuses, without having to call you up all the time. Luckily, a delivery route planner app like Route4Me can help you here. Such apps come with the following two features to minimize the amount of time and other resources your team spends on low-value activities, for example, customer service, tracking and tracing customers’ orders, and notifying your customers about the statuses of their orders.

Customer Portal

Route4Me’s Customer Portal allows your customers to track the statuses of their own orders, without you having to waste a lot of valuable resources on doing the work manually. Customers can simply log in to Route4Me (using a tracking number or their Account ID) to monitor the status of their inbound visits. The portal also enables you to give your customers as much (or as little) information as you want to reveal to them about the visits. For example, you can show them estimated arrival times, the driver’s identity, and custom fields.

Customer Alerting and Notifications

Route4Me comes with a notification feature that helps you notify your customers through email, voice calls, or SMS, with a tracking link about their delivery statuses. You can set different alerting rules for the customers. For example, you can notify a customer when the driver is within 5 miles, 5 minutes, or 5 kilometers of their locations. You can even set up custom time windows for each notification type so that notifications are sent to customers only during their hours of availability.

Meet Customers’ Dynamic Expectations

Customer needs can change at any time. They can suddenly ask for new delivery time or request that the delivery be made at a different address or even cancel an order. A delivery route planner app can help you cater to these changing needs immediately by enabling you to re-optimize the routes. The best route planners are even cloud-based and offer synchronization features to ensure that any changes made to the route are automatically reflected on the drivers’ mobile apps. So, you never need to worry about updating them and they will never be in the dark.

Conclusion

In spite of all the technology to help you, displaying a positive attitude, and maintaining good communication with your customers is key. Such a great attitude and behavior will encourage repetitive purchases and referrals. Long story short, every farm to door delivery service provider should focus on customer satisfaction above all else to ensure seamless door to door vegetable deliveries. Remember, survival is not the aim; excellence is. And, you can only achieve excellence by delighting your customers.

So, how do you make a farm to door delivery? Do you have any questions? Please feel free to leave your comments below.

Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Boost Your Profits?

Whether you want to slash the time it takes you to plan routes for your drivers, increase the number of stops they can make, or keep your customers satisfied knowing that your drivers show up on time… Route4Me helps you achieve that!