Ecommerce delivery is a tough job. In order to do it right, you need to deliver fast, meet deadlines and make as many deliveries in a day as possible.
However, it only takes a single mistake, such as getting the wrong address, to put your efforts in vain. While you may not have time to track everything, not doing so will jeopardize your business.
With the help of a route planner, you can automate and run fool-proof field operations with zero hassle. And you never need to worry about the vehicle route problem and traveling salesman problem. How? Let’s find out.
#1 A Route Planner Makes Sure Every Customer Address is Accurate
Your drivers won’t get to your customers on time if they have the wrong address.
There are some factors you have no control over. For instance, your customers might key in the wrong delivery address.
More often than not, however, businesses are to blame for an incorrect address. Inputting customer information manually is difficult, tedious work that leaves much room for error. After hours of typing, it’s easy to make a simple mistake, such as inputting “4213” instead of “4231”.
These small errors delay your employees and upset your customers. And if your employee is late at one stop, they will be late at the succeeding stops, too. This will lead to lost revenue and a bad business reputation.
Thankfully, these issues become less of a concern when you use a road trip planner. The best route planners like Route4Me come with a dedicated plugin that allows you to connect to your eCommerce platform and automate the transfer and route planning of orders. Whenever an order is received, the data is saved in Route4Me, which results in a much faster route planning process.
A trip planner also comes with auto-correct, as well as a geocoding feature that flags any incorrect address.
#2 Optimizes Routes
Route planning is no easy process, especially when it comes to route optimization.
Planning routes on pen and paper only makes the job more challenging, and accuracy is not guaranteed even after hours of careful work.
Of course, having poor routes means fewer deliveries and higher expenses (fuel cost, wear-tear costs, and overtime fees).
Fleet management software puts your route planning process on autopilot, effectively solving the problem. All you need to do is upload the list of customer addresses and the route planner will provide you with well-optimized routes (accounting for traffic, bad weather, left turns or u-turns) in less than a minute.
The software automatically speeds up the route planning process while providing your drivers with more efficient routes. With better routes, your field reps will perform more stops per day, making themselves – and your business – more money.
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!
#3 Helps You Track Drivers
While you can plan well-optimized routes, it’s difficult to know if drivers are following directions.
They might make personal stops, diverge from the route, take long lunch breaks or even a nap during their shift. Time is money, and every minute they waste will deepen the hole in your pocket.
Multiply the dollars wasted for a single employee with the number of field employees that you have– all of that is money down the drain.
That’s why it’s important to track vehicles, and a delivery app can help. A driving route planner comes with a GPS tracking feature that helps you monitor what your drivers are doing on the road in real-time. You’d be able to take the necessary action as soon as you notice any suspicious behavior.
Also, you can use a GPS telematics app to maximize driver safety and control expenses. For instance, setting a speed alert ensures a notification as soon as a driver crosses the speed limit. You can then contact the driver immediately to rectify conduct and avoid future road mishaps. This also helps you save on fuel as well as potential vehicle repair and medical expenses.
#4 Keeps Your Customers Informed About Delivery Status
Delivery failure, which happens when a customer is unavailable to receive the package or service, is a big headache for every ecommerce business owner.
A single delivery failure comes at a significant cost, with redelivery doubling the driver’s wages and wasting fuel expenses. It’s important to keep your customers informed about the delivery status so that they leave someone at home to receive the package.
Calling your customers repeatedly for updates is bad customer service, increasing your phone bills to boot. You need a system that allows customers to track the package on their own at their convenience, which is where a route planner comes in.
For example, Route4Me includes a customer portal feature that allows your customers to access the software (using a tracking number or their Account ID) to monitor the status of their inbound visit.
You can even set access restrictions, depending on how much information you want to reveal regarding the visit. This includes custom fields, driver identities, and estimated arrival times.
This will eliminate a great deal of time and effort spent on low-value activities, such as customer service, track-and-trace, and keeping customers up to date with the status of their inbound visits.
#5 Manage Customer Disputes
If your field reps use paper slips for service delivery confirmations from your customers, it’s time to update the process.
Paper confirmation slips are risky, being so easy to lose. When a customer disputes a visit but your driver states that the visit did take place, what happens if the confirmation slip was misplaced or lost? In this case, how would you make an informed decision?
Choosing to believe in your customer demoralizes your employee, leaving you to deal with their discontent and potential decreased productivity. On the other hand, choosing to believe in your driver makes your customer choose your competitors over you due to your mistrust. In either case, you’re losing valuable money.
Scheduling software addresses this issue. It offers an eSignature feature that lets your customers sign in on your employees’ smartphones when they deliver a package.
You can also capture the location, date, and time of the signature. With that information, you’ll have documented verification that the delivery was completed on time. This would be highly useful should any future disputes arise.
The software enables you to handle customer complaints easily with data on hand. You can even nullify arguments and improve your customer experience with zero glitches.
So, how do you avoid ecommerce delivery mistakes? Do you have any questions? Feel free to leave your comments below.
- How can the eSignature feature of a route planner help you avoid customer disputes?
- Why do you need a scheduling app for route planning?
- Why do you need a real-time GPS tracker?