Business Tips, Delivery Service

Delivering the Best Customer Service!

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Do you remember the last time you had an unpleasant experience with a service or product?

Maybe the service or product failed to live up to the sales pitch; perhaps the company concerned failed to answer your emails or phone-calls.

Maybe they failed to do what they said they would; or they gave you the good old ‘run-around’ when you called to ask a question or report a problem?

Any or all of these issues revolve around one thing and one thing only – terrible customer service! And when there’s a lack of customer service it’s usually caused by a lack of customer focus.    Here are some customer service rules that we feel are important

1. Accessiblity To Customers

Customers must be able to contact someone in the company who represents you, should they require service or have a question to ask. It’s important to offer many different ways for your customers to contact you: like phone, email, and social media. Make sure all these communication channels are easy to manage; otherwise the level of customer service could take a dive. If you provide many contact points, but you don’t increase your resources and staff, you’ll be spreading yourself too thin. The result will be a decline in your customer service.

2. Always Responding in a Timely Manner

Make it business policy that all emails and phone calls must be returned with 24-hours. If this is not something you can commit to, then you must determine what timeframe would be manageable and be very clear with your customers that this is the timeframe you work within. Customers are usually very accepting providing you’ve been clear with them from the onset, and you follow through.

3. Listen to What Your Customers Have To Say

Customers are just ordinary people, and they want to be heard: sometimes all that’s required is that you listen to what they have to say. Don’t jump in and start defending yourself, your company, or your product – just listen. Who knows, they could have a valid point!

4. Treat Your Customers With Respect

If you are trying to deal with an irate, rude, complaining or demanding customer, never lower yourself to their level of behaviour. Continue treating your customers with respect, and in turn they will respect you. They might just be having a bad day and could well regret their bad behaviour. Obviously it’s not ‘right’ that people disrespect you, but at the end of the day you’ll be pleased that you didn’t lower your standards and that you remained respectful.

5. Never Argue With Your Customers

You’ll never win an argument with a customer: what this means is that, if you do win, you will have alienated the customer and lost their business forever. We all understand only too well that a customer is often wrong, but it’s not a good idea to start defending yourself: focus on what’s occurred and see how you can best resolve the situation.

6. Honor Your Commitments

Do what you say you will do. If you offer a guarantee, then you must honor it: it you say you’ll respond to emails, respond to them. It’s irritating to anyone to be promised something and then not get it: it’s a surefire way to ruin a relationship.

7. Do What You Say

If you’ve promised to call a customer on Monday, call them on Monday. It’s really very simple. If you want to earn the trust and respect of your customers you must follow through and do what you said you would. From a customer’s point of view we all know how annoying and time-wasting it is to be waiting for a phone-call, email, or visit from someone who (turns out) had no intention of following through.

8. Focus on Customer Relationships – Not Sales!

For your business to enjoy long-term success you must cultivate long-term relationships. Sacrificing long-term relationships to make short-term sales dooms your business to failure.

9. Admit When You’ve Made a Mistake

We’re all human, and we all make mistakes. One very valuable lesson on customer service is, when you do make a mistake, don’t deny it or try to cover it up. Admit your mistake, apologize, and do whatever it takes to make the situation right. Your customers will appreciate it, and no-one loses customers this way.

10. Provide Fast, Convenient Customer Support

When consumers encounter a problem with your products/services or have a question about your brand nowadays, they expect you to offer a quick, decent response. Think about it – people today don’t usually get to enjoy a lot of free time. Thus, having to spend even half an hour on dealing with customer support can seriously harm customer satisfaction levels.

Excellent customer service often comes down to consistently checking in with your customers and making sure they are happy with not only the products and services you’re selling, but also the process of purchasing, ordering, working with you, etc. UDS would like to partner with you and be your first choice in last mile delivery! Your customers deserve the best and so do you! Save 10% or more with a FREE shipping evaluation.

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UDS To Exhibit at Parcel Forum 2018

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PARCEL Forum is the learning event for Supply Chain professionals dedicated to parcel fulfillment. PARCEL Forum ’18 will be held in Chicago September 24-26 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center. Schedule a meeting in advance with one of our team members to discuss all your parcel needs.

For the past 15 years, PARCEL Forum has been the only conference dedicated to serving the unique and ever-changing needs of professionals who are responsible for the shipping, warehousing, packaging, distribution and delivery of parcels. The industry’s only peer-driven, peer-reviewed and peer-produced conference has helped thousands of parcel shipping professionals learn how to ship more packages, more frequently, more efficiently, and more cost-effectively.

United Delivery Service’s Dave Meyers will be speaking at this year’s conference.  Dave will be discussing how to elevalute your ROI  when adding a regional parcel carrier to your carrier mix as well as reduceing accessorials and how UDS does not have as many as the nationals.  Please check back on our Twitter and Linkedin Pages for updates when Dave will be speaking. In the meantime you can learn more about UDS on this link.  https://youtu.be/gycscXOAg48

UDS will be at booth#319

The First Choice…In Last Mile

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Business Tips, Delivery Service

Overcoming The Fear of Change

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As human beings, we are afraid of what will happen if we don’t choose the right thing for us. This is something that often presses us to avoid to make a decision that will change our life, our family, our business, or our world.

Without decisions, you can’t make changes. Without making decisions, you can’t expect personal and business progress. You really need to make right decisions and take actions based on them. Only in such a way you can expect progress. Have you been putting off making the decsion to switch your delivery service?  Here are some tips for overcoming the fear of change:

Stop Searching for Perfect Answers/Solutions

One of the primary reasons why so many of us as leaders experience fear in decision-making is because we’re driven. We want to succeed. Okay, let’s be honest, we want to win/crush the competition. In order to do that, we set ourselves up for failure by making our standard, “The BEST,” or “The PERFECT,” or “The ULTIMATE.”

The problem with the “perfect” standard is that it’s by definition, unattainable. Perfection doesn’t exist in reality (similar to infinity). They’re both helpful constructs, but neither can exist in reality (i.e. there is no such thing as an actual infinite).

So if the standard we’re shooting for is unreachable, what does that do to fear? Exactly, it increases it because fear is a negative expectation about a future outcome and if we already know we can’t meet a standard, fear makes sense. And what does fear do to decision-making? Exactly, it delays it—which is a killer when speed of implementation is critical to fast growth.

What’s the best that can happen if I don’t make this change?

Sometimes this question is the push we need to face up to change. It’s simple: If you’re unhappy with the status quo, and all you’re likely to get is more of the same, then you have a choice: Learn to love what you already have, or go get something new. If you can’t do the former, then you’d better do the latter, or you may be stuck in the doldrums forever.

Procrastination is not the name of the game

The last thing you want to be doing as a business leader is perpetually putting off making decisions, especially the important ones. Taking some time to allow yourself to think, digest and ultimately come to the right decision is encouraged, but that doesn’t mean taking too long and in some cases, purposely putting it off altogether. Whilst sometimes it may be difficult when it comes to making a choice, avoiding making the decision isn’t the answer. Push yourself to make timely decisions and ones that are well-considered too, even if it may be really hard to do so in certain instances.

Take a step back

Sometimes when you’re very deep in something, your judgement can be clouded and therefore it can be difficult to make the right decision. In this case, a little distance can be the best thing, as it can give you some time to step back and gain a new perspective from afar. Separating yourself can very often give you the clarity you need to make the best possible decision.

Learn from your mistakes

In life, it’s impossible to make the right decision every time, so be prepared to take some wrong turns in business too. Mistakes can and will happen, but it’s what you do with them and how you deal with them that really counts. There’s usually a lesson to be learnt from every bad decision, so in order to ensure you avoid making the same mistakes over and over, make an effort to learn from each one – you’ll be a better leader and decision-maker for it.

We often hear from potential customers that they are unhappy with their current delivery service but the idea of changing to another one is too overwhelming to consider. If you are ready to make the switch we will work with your team to ensure the transition goes smoothly.   Call us today and let’s discuss how to finally make the switch to a logistics comapny that will work for you!  

 

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Business Tips

Overcoming Obstacles for Change

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To put it simply, change is scary — and challenging. Maintaining an existing habit is easier than changing. Trying something new means there is a possibility of failure. Most people prefer to stay in their comfort zone than venture into unknown territory.

#1 Listen First, Talk Second

The first strategy to overcome resistance to change is to communicate. Communication is key — you already knew that. However, try letting your employees initiate the conversation. People want to be heard, and giving them a chance to voice their opinions will help alleviate the frustration they feel over the situation.

What’s more, your employees thoughts, concerns and suggestions will prove wildly valuable to steer your change project. At the very least, understanding them will help you pinpoint the root of employee resistance to change.

#2 Communicate the Reasons for Change

The next strategy to overcome resistance to change is to communication the why, what and how. Develop a communication plan that is more than just telling your employees what you want them to do. Effective communication segments and targets each audience, focusing on what they care about and need to know. Underline why this change will benefit them.

#3 Confront Fear of Change

Asking people to make significant behavioral changes is the most frightening request one can make of them. Stress levels in organizations and people are directly linked to the level of change experienced. Underestimating their fear response and potential resistance is the most consistent mistake made by leaders when introducing change.

#4 Show Them the Data

While resistance to change is usually emotional rather than logical, it can be helpful to use some hard facts as a supplementary strategy. Let your employees see the data for themselves. This is a great way to simultaneously show transparency and demonstrate the need for improvement.

#5 Be Willing to Compromise

If senior management focuses on predetermined outcomes and displays unwillingness to compromise, the possibility of work group support is minimized. Involved employees will suggest changes that greatly improve the original plan, because the people most heavily affected by a plan will correct its obvious defects. Employees are much more likely to support a new set of ideas which they have had a key role in shaping. When a senior manager approaches the group or organization from the members’ perspective, he or she will be able to design interventions that don’t immediately trigger defense mechanisms.

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Delivery Service

Tips To Reduce Your Shipping Costs

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Most shippers recognize the advantages of having alternatives in the marketplace. In fact, two-thirds of all shippers surveyed told  Shipware they are open to exploring the use of regional carriers.  Research shows that shippers could realize as much up to 40 percent cost savings by using regionals. Underscore that you have fewer assessorial charges than the nationals. It is so much easier it is to negotiate contracts with regionals. But equally important is service. Show customers how you offer a higher level of service, earlier deliveries, later pickups, and a wider Zone 2 footprint for next day delivery.

Shipping costs are one of the biggest expenses for small businesses, but it is possible to reduce them. Here are a few ideas.

1. Negotiate.  Shipping carriers will negotiate their rates based on your annual shipping volume. The more you ship, the lower your rate.

2. Know where you’re shipping. If you primarily ship to one specific region, a regional carrier may be your best bet. Regional carriers often provide lower rates than national shipping carrieres because they cover a small geographic area.

3. Use 3rd party insurance. Carriers charge more for shipping insurance than third party companies. Carriers charge about $0.90 for every $100 of insurance, and third party companies charge about $0.55 cents for every $100. This savings can add up, especially if you ship expensive items.

4. Watch out for fees. Depending on the shipping carrier you use, you may be charged for things like Saturday delivery, fuel surcharges, delivery signatures, and residential delivery charges. Understand these fees in advance so that you don’t pay for a delivery feature that isn’t important to you and your customers.

The Advantages of Using UDS as Your Regional Parcel Carrier

Used as a part of a data-driven transportation management system and shipping strategy, the strategic use of regional parcel carriers can have important advantages for your company.

  • UDS offers improved customer service at competitive prices. That’s a win-win. Save at 10% or more with a free shipping evaluation.

  • Better Customer Experience.  At UDS you will always speak to a person not a computer.  Need help with a package or delivery let our customer service specialists assist you through our issue management system.

  • Excellent service, next-day delivery. The large next-day service area many regional parcel carriers offer for their ground shipping provides the shipper with excellent overall transit time in other words we can deliver faster than national carriers. UDS guarantees next day shipping!

  • Proprietary Technology developed with our customers in mind.  Real Time Package Visibility through the use of our own proprietary technology such as geocodes, GPS, mapping API’s and other technologies, we are able to offer total visibility into the delivery process.
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Tips to Stay Motivated at Work

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You may find your mind wandering elsewhere while at work. Consequently, maintaining your focus on given tasks and getting items checked off your list can be a challenge. When you start to feel yourself falling behind on your to-dos, it’s likely because your motivation is lacking. Your level of motivation has a direct correlation with your productivity, so a lack in motivation will result in…well, no results. Here are 5 simple ways to stay motivated at work

Set some goals.

I’d take an aggressive growth plan and being overworked any day before a job with no purpose or goals. Goals give us meaning and in work, they give us direction. We need a vision to be inspired and without that it’ll all start to feel pointless.

If you find yourself in a situation like this you’ve got to take the bull by its horns! Don’t wait for someone to motivate you – try some self-motivation! If the vision isn’t set, set one. It doesn’t have to be an impressive vision, linked to the corporate strategy and all of that. It can be a vision for you and your work. You can frame success within the context of your environment and what is within the scope of your control. Create your own goals, even if they’re small. Having goals and making progress on those goals makes us happier so go out there and start setting some goals.

Spend time with co-workers

I believe it’s important to get to know all of my employees outside of the office — grab coffee, lunch, or even work out together! We spend so many hours of our life in the workplace, why shouldn’t we use the relationships we make to stay energized?

Set Mini Deadlines on Your To Dos

Building off the strategy of time blocking, another option to help keep you moving is to make mini “deadlines” for each of your tasks. For example; if your blog is due Friday, make a mini deadline for you to finish your opener by end of day Monday. This gets the ball moving and puts you one step closer to completion.

Push yourself
If you always do work that your comfortable with that’s fine, but eventually you will start to lose your motivation. Sometimes actually pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone can be inspiring — similar to the feeling you get when accomplishing a workout goal. So I always encourage people to push their professional limits –jump into a new project or attend a brainstorm meeting.

Spread the love.

When the going gets tough and you’re struggling to make yourself happy, try and make someone else happy. In a study, researchers “found that the more people participated in meaningful activities, the happier they were and the more purposeful their lives felt.” This is all fine and dandy but how can you apply it at work? Find out what the pain points are and strive to abolish them. Help others out wherever you can. Be a source of positive energy for others. In everything you do, strive to be helpful. It could mean small acts of kindness around the office like refilling the kettle for the next guy or starting a social committee and planning some well-earned fun for your team. Whatever you do, ask yourself if it’s helpful to someone else and their joy will soon translate to your own.

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Why Switch to a Regional Carrier?

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It’s easy to understand why parcel shippers might want to use a regional carrier; they usually offer flexible pickup windows, faster transit times, and lower transportation and accessorial cost. And while a regional carrier can absolutely provide these advantages, shippers need to consider the following items before they take business away from their national carrier.

While the obvious answer might be lower shipping costs and fees, there should be more motives that drive your decision to use a regional carrier. Is it better customer service or on-time delivery rates? Does your business require more same-day, next-day, or two-day delivery capabilities? Or do you need a custom shipping solution in place?

Lower cost
As a result of lower operating costs, regionals can often pass along to customers savings of 10% to 40% over UPS and FedEx pricing. Most regional carriers transport packages via truck hubs instead of airlines. Trucking can be as little as 10% of air costs.

Regional carrier pricing and contracts tend to be simpler and easier to understand than the national carriers. Most regionals have fewer accessorial charges than the nationals.

Shippers that have a high concentration of customers in a particular market should consider regional carriers in conjunction with less-than-truckload services. Many shippers leverage regional carriers to lower pricing with the national carriers. Competition enhances leverage, which is essential in any negotiation. Shippers may also feel more comfortable not putting all their eggs in one basket.

Expanded next-day delivery footprint
Since regionals concentrate operations in a well-defined geographic market, service to that market is often better than what the national carriers provide.

Many shippers find the wider next-day delivery footprint offered by regionals a competitive advantage. Imagine if you could offer your customers next-day delivery at a lower cost than what a competitor that charges for a three-day delivery.

Moreover, the regional approach often means later pickup times and earlier deliveries than the standard 10:30 a.m. service, improving both productivity and customer satisfaction.

Flexibility
Shippers in a recent national survey cited annual rate increases, hidden “accessorial” charges, complex contracts, arrogant sales reps, invoice errors and poor claims processes as their top frustrations with “the other guys”.

Getting the nationals to be flexible can be a frustrating experience—even for multimillion dollar shippers. Merchants that make the switch to regionals often see a greater degree of customer service and accommodation.

Other benefits
There are many other potential benefits to working with regional carriers. By bypassing national and multiple regional hubs, service can be more reliable in inclement weather. Some shippers reported lower damage rates with regionals, the result of reduced package handling. Regionals can often offer special services or make it easier to ship certain products like hazardous materials.

Questions to Consider

Once there’s an understanding of the pros and cons of regional parcel carriers, some of the criteria for shippers to consider include:

  • Are rates negotiable?
  • How much volume can move to regional carriers without losing existing FedEx or UPS discounts?
  • What are the minimum volume requirements for a contract?
  • What are the fuel surcharges?
  • What other surcharges are there?
  • Are daily pickups provided or is drop shipping needed?
  • Are residential deliveries offered?
  • How does one ship with the regional carriers?
  • Is a multi-carrier shipping platform required?

Call now for more information and for a FREE shipping assessment!

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