Answering your customer’s delivery FAQs with Stream

Anyone working in a customer-facing role knows only too well that you will be asked the same questions again and again and again.

For Stream users – whether they delivery goods B2B, direct-to-consumer or as a 3PL – being able to quickly and accurately respond to questions is a big part of customer satisfaction.

We asked long-term Stream user, The Wardrobe Store, who are a family-owned retailer of specialising in modern and contemporary wardrobes, about some of the most commonly asked questions from their customers:

“When you pick up the phone, you’re on the front line of customer service – you have to be able to answer any question that customer might throw at you. With Stream, our customer service team can take a call, quickly search for an order and in most cases answer that question immediately. And that’s if they even need to call at all. A lot of the time, we’ve already sent them the information they need in a notification directly from Stream.”

In this case, customers have placed an order through The Wardrobe Store and are expecting a delivery (and more than often assembly of that item) to their home.

It is worth noting that though Stream helps you answer customer queries, The Wardrobe Stores (and many more of our subscribers) have reported a significant reduction in inbound calls (up to 60%) meaning your customer service team can get on with other tasks.

When will I receive my items?

Customers often call the Wardrobe Stores’ customer service team to get an estimate on the timescale of their delivery. They might also call closer to the delivery date, to double-check that the delivery is going ahead.

Stream’s powerful order search makes it easy for your team to quickly search and find order details, without having to ask the customer for a reference number.

With Stream, the customer service team can search using just the customer name, postcode, part of an address or an email address, to find the order and give customers an ETA while they’re still on the phone. In-flight driver tracking via the Mobile Driver App means you can give customers up-to-the-moment estimates on the day of delivery.

When customers call to ask this question they might really be asking how quickly they can receive their order. Stream also helps with this: efficiency improvements and optimised routes can also speed up average delivery times.

Something has changed – can you still deliver?

Another common customer query, particularly for those delivering furniture, white goods or other large home items, is to advise on household logistics.

Customers may contact to let you know that the dates for moving house may have changed, or that there will be other professionals (like decorators or carpet-fitters) in the building at the time of delivery.

Again, customer service teams can quickly and easily find the order in the system using order search.  Even after an order has been planned, you still able to make amendments or add notes right up until the point of delivery, and drivers are able to see additional delivery information right in the Mobile Driver App.

Can you coordinate the delivery with another supplier?

The Wardrobe Stores, and other Stream users, are often asked about coordinating deliveries with other suppliers – for example when delivering a bed frame, can you coordinate with the mattresses supplier?

Its up to you whether you want to coordinate with other suppliers, but if you do it’s easy to enter a specific date and time for delivery when planning routes.

How will you communicate with me?

Customers may ask this directly – or they might ask:

  • Will you email to confirm my order?
  • Will you send me a proof-of-delivery?
  • How will I know if my delivery is going to be late?

In all these cases you can reassure customers that they will be kept in-the-loop with proactive notifications via email. You decide when to trigger notifications (for example, when the driver sets out in the morning, when the customer is next out for delivery, or when ePOD has been recorded).

With the progress monitor, your back-office staff also have an at-a-glance overview of all the orders currently out for delivery, so any potential issues can be caught early, and either resolved or communicated to customers in plenty of time.

Does Coronavirus make any difference to the delivery?

Since March, Stream users have also seen another question from customers: What does Coronavirus, lockdown and social-distancing mean for my delivery? Customers may contact you to ask whether you are still delivering at all, whether you are still able to go into the house to assemble/install goods, or to advise a secure place to leave their delivery.

We have some guidance on how you can keep drivers safe during the pandemic. Letting customers that you are following steps like social-distancing, hand-sanitising and mask-wearing can go some way to reassure them.

You can even add a non-defect check to your driver daily walkaround checks to ensure that sufficient hand sanitiser and masks are available in the cab.

Additionally, the Mobile Driver App makes contactless delivery easy. Notify the customer when the driver arrives, and then collect ePOD with a photograph only, to avoid handling the same device.


Cutting down on the need to answer questions at all

In many cases, Stream cuts out the need to answer questions altogether. As well as the ability to quickly and accurately answer questions on the phone or via email, part of Stream’s customer service offering is to empower customers to answer their own questions.

End-users get order information in proactive SMS or email notifications, so they always know the status of their order. From their order status page, customers can see the current status of their delivery, the up-to-date expected delivery time, and the delivery address. From there, you can allow them to accept/reject their delivery time, and give them the option to add their own notes or messages about their delivery.

Your partners have access to their own user area within Stream. Retailers can log in and view information on their own orders and deliveries. You can even give partners access to add or amend their own orders directly in the self-service customer gateway.