Just as the pandemic has taught us to adopt new health measures and limit our contacts, companies have had to adjust their delivery service to meet these requirements and keep their staff and customers safe. Packages tend to be handled by different hands throughout the delivery process, so limiting contacts is essential to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Applying health measures can be challenging while delivering packages, but the development of powerful delivery software has helped companies make contactless deliveries. Take a look at the elements you should consider if you’d like to offer home delivery to your customers.
What is contactless delivery?
We refer to a contactless delivery when, in the context of social distancing, the driver and the customer do not come into direct contact. For example, a delivery driver will typically leave a parcel at a customer’s doorstep, and then they will stand a few meters away from the door and wait until the customer retrieves the package before leaving. As no hands touch during the process, the risk of spreading the virus is reduced.
Why is contactless delivery important, and how can it make a difference for customers?
Even though many restrictions have been lifted, we live in a pandemic, so it is essential to protect your employees and customers from COVID-19. Health measures will keep being applied, and with eCommerce sales growing, contactless delivery is now necessary to minimize the virus's spread. Therefore, delivery health measures are also a norm that is here to stay.
Failing to apply health measures could negatively affect your brand’s reputation. If your staff is not taking precautionary measures, customers may think you are not considering their health and never order from your brand again.
On the other hand, if your customers see that you value their safety and apply health measures, they will take your brand seriously. This could increase the trust they have in your company as they will see your professionalism.
The following contactless options will effectively reduce the spread of the virus on the condition that your staff get regularly tested and your equipment is regularly cleaned.
Here are four ways to make your deliveries contactless:
Photos as proof of delivery
Delivery drivers usually interact with customers when they have to get proof of delivery. However, this is usually far from being a safe way to deliver as drivers will hand customers either a pen that many hands have touched or a screen that fingers have touched all day.
This is why some companies use delivery software that allows them to take photos of the order without coming into contact with the customer. Drivers can then send the photo to the customer to inform them that their order is at the doorstep.
If the customer is not home, he or she will receive a notification on their phone that the delivery has been completed. Drivers can hide the parcel and take a photo of it that they will send to customer with instructions on where to find the parcel. They won’t have to leave a note telling the customer to get their package at a pickup point; if they do, customers will be in contact with people when they get their order.
For example, they might hide the package behind a flower pot, take a photo of it, snap it in the app, and leave instructions for the customer that the parcel is behind the flower pot.”
Contactless pickup deliveries
While home deliveries have significantly increased since the onset of the pandemic, so have pickup deliveries. This option is in high demand and can be very convenient for people who don’t want to pay shipping fees and want to get their order faster and safely.
Everything is planned to minimize face-to-face interactions between customers and the staff. For example, customers will usually be able to choose a pickup time while completing their online order. They will then drive to the pickup location on the day and time they selected and stay in the parking lot waiting for a notification that their order is ready.
They will receive an email or SMS with the instructions to pick up their order. The staff will leave the package at a specific place or at curbside so that customers can pick it up without any interaction.
Digital payments and tips
One element that has been fairly absent during the pandemic is cash payment; it’s the norm to use contactless payment. Therefore, eCommerce shopping limits contacts as there is no cash exchange and no physical interaction since all the payments are done digitally.
While fewer customers use cash nowadays because of COVID-19, they usually don’t have cash to tip drivers. With the significant shortage of workers companies are facing, this is an important issue as tips can represent up to 30% of a driver’s salary.
At Cigo, we have created a new module called Cigo Pay, which allows delivery drivers to earn tips digitally. It is very straightforward; once the delivery is completed, customers receive a notification to rate their experience and leave a tip for the drivers.
If they accept, they will be able to select the % or $ amount they want to give, and the credit card they used to place their order will be automatically charged.
Real-time tracking for fewer missed deliveries
Companies should aim to reduce interactions between customers and their employees; they should also make sure orders have been well received by customers. In fact, missed deliveries will usually not allow contactless deliveries unless your drivers are attempting a second delivery.
What usually happens is that customers don’t answer the door when the delivery driver arrives and the driver has instructions not to leave the parcel at the doorstep. Therefore, drivers will go to the closest pickup point where customers can pick up their order later.
However, this won’t be a no-contact delivery since your customers will have to interact with the staff at the pickup point. Those employees are not yours, so you don’t know if they are taking the proper measures and if their store is respecting health measures. Not to mention that customers usually don’t like going to a pickup location when they choose home delivery.
The best way to avoid this is to make sure your customers know when their parcel will be delivered to increase the chances that they will be home to get their order. This is why customers and companies usually appreciate real-time delivery tracking features.
When customers can track their order and are given a precise delivery time, they are much more likely to be at home when your drivers arrive with the parcel. They will be able to plan their day accordingly and be notified of any delay. This will reduce the risks that they will miss your drivers and will have to go to the pickup point where they will interact with other employees.
Meet CIGO Tracker
CIGO Tracker is a best-in-class, cloud-based platform to increase deliveries, service calls, and pick-ups for your business. It scales as you need it and provides a state-of-the-art, “last mile” delivery experience that will thrill your customers.
Driven by innovation, an unwavering commitment to customer service, honesty, and trust, CIGO delivers the best, most flexible delivery tracking software in the industry.
At CIGO, we are always on the lookout for new features that we can add to our delivery software to improve your daily operations. If you would like to learn more about our delivery software.