The job of a logistics company is basically to ensure that your package (item) is delivered to your customer in time and in perfect condition.
It is also quite important that the company is able to provide you with adequate details as per delivery from drop off or pickup point to final status after delivery or failed attempts to reach customers or consignee as the case may be.
Be it an E-commerce or retailer store, it is your desire to keep your customer happy without any loosed ends. Having decided to employ the services of a third party logistics company, it is expected that all ends are tightened to ensure that your customers remain loyal to you thereby returning to re-order.
Here are a few things required of your logistics or fulfilment partner:
Pickup services: It is a world of convenience. It is important that your provider is able to pickup from your agreed location and time whenever you send your request. Although, depending on your availability, you can as well drop off your package(s) for shipment at drop off centers provided by the company.
Provide Pay on delivery service and remittance of cash: Being the most acceptable mode of payment in this clime, you sure want a situation where payment will not be a barrier to your sales. The volume of sale recorded under pay on deliver / cash on delivery cannot be over-emphasized, and sellers do not want to miss out on every opportunity to sell to customers regardless of where they are located within the country. Although Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt records the highest number. Your ability to make this happen through the logistics provider is simply the ultimate. From the point of collecting cash on your behalf, you want your money remitted within the stipulated time frame as agreed in the contract. There are a few logistics providers in Nigeria who are good at remitting as and when due, so also do we have those who hold on to merchants’ payment.
Good customer service: It is often said that customer service is everything. Without mincing words, a logistics provider without quality customer service will surely ruin your business. The logistics provider must ensure that there is no break in communication both with the merchant and customer at any point in time. Sometimes, Bad news is good news. You must try not to spoil the party by hiding the truth as it may end in a mess. For instance, there is a case of broken or damaged item, it is very important to communicate with involved parties, resolve and come to a resolution before things get out of hand.
Real-time tracking / on time delivery: A logistics company with good and well communicated SLA will certainly be of great value, which is often the case for companies with standard. It is very important to always inform your customer prior to shipping when to expect delivery with a stipulated timeline as provided by your logistics coy. Should you at any point in time ‘lie’ to the customer, you have created a wrong impression that will surely boomerang.
Pricing: Well, every business has its unique selling proposition, for some it is pricing. You necessarily do not have to consider using a logistics provider because it is cheap, but it must meet your expectation. Sometime, when it is too cheap, you need to watch it.
After sale service / reverse logistics: At times, there are cases of returns or exchange. This is a situation where the customer is either unsatisfied with the item or product received for some reasons and wants a return. Your logistics provider should be able to help with retrieval of the product. Please note this service may not be for free depending on the terms of agreement.